“I need some space”, whenever we hear this sentence we know it’s coming from a place that needs to be sorted. And when a person is given the space they desire, it works out wonderfully for all the parties involved. This scenario when applied to that of a workplace, there is not much of a difference. When it comes to organizing your workplace for improving productivity, much of the advice we hear is about setting up a mindset or motivating an individual. While such advice can potentially be helpful, there is another important aspect of improving productivity that we shouldn’t overlook – storage and space.
The prevailing situation of your working environment affects your personal productivity. A clustered and messy environment has the ability to keep you distracted from work and in most cases, creates negative energy. A well-composed workspace has tremendous benefits as it will make you feel focused and define areas that need attention. Most people think that they don’t have the time to organize their workplace, but if you really knew how much time disorganization can cost you, you would reconsider this fact. Clearing off your desk by sweeping the mess into a bin or a desk drawer doesn’t occasionally count neither does rearranging or moving the piles.
A relatively elegant and precise office space clears the way for higher productivity; also you need not waste time in arranging stuff again and again. It doesn’t really take days to organize your office. In fact, if you’re supposed to do it like an ongoing project. Instead of a massive assault, you can maintain an organized office much more effectively.
Here are some key points for transforming your workplace into a hub of productivity:
♦ Evaluating & Detailing the Needs and Wants
For a good head-start towards your workspace management, you should take detailed notes of the requirements for each section of your workplace. A well-constructed space will feel natural to the occupants. But it should be adaptive to the needs of the workers and not the other way round. If a company has a collaborative environment, it is most likely in the need of open spaces for employees to work and meet together. For an office where employees interact with each other a lot, creating cubicles may not be the best fit.
♦ Acknowledge Technology and Equipment Requirements
Every workplace needs the latest equipment and technology that can best fit in the available space. Creating a space that can be convertible or adjusted according to the latest equipment and technology would be enhancing; instead of using the same, old-fashioned big desks or tables to settle everything on it. It is better to discuss instrumentation and technology in depth with IT and the management. So that you get a deep understanding of the current and projected needs.
♦ Make it More Personalised
Employees work more efficiently when they feel free and comfortable in their desired space. So consider the areas that allow workers to individualize their working environment. While planning on making more space, find the areas where employees can create their own personal zone. In this way, you can establish a sense of ownership which is crucial for the productivity and loyalty of employees; not to mention you must create a space that they will actually want to work at.
♦ Promote the Changes Positively
It is necessary to motivate the employees and promote new and improved changes to create the ideal workspace. This step can be initiated by maintaining an enthusiastic attitude amongst all employees and sharing your excitement with them. When you involve your employees, it will help you get feedbacks and remain approachable during the process. Discussing each step of your space planning with your employees can fetch brilliant ideas and results which will be appreciated by all.
♦ Design for Daily Activities
Since every organization has its day-to-day operations in which people of other departments interact with each other and have meetings, a good space plan will be able to meet the requirements and provide enough space to the departments for better communication. Also, you must consider locating each department at their best position. For example, placing marketing department near to sales department. Thinking of these aspects well in advance will ensure a layout that helps increase the efficiency and productivity of employees, rather than deter or hinder it.
Basically, a company requires one type of space, which should be enough to complete an office. But an office consists of many departments, which often requires a completely unique type of space to work in. Speaking of departments such as sales and marketing wherein workers are constantly on phone calls, cubicles are a must for better communication; while other departments would rather work in an open space. Not to mention, an effective plan will certainly work with different types of space partitions in a cohesive and logical manner.
♦ Allow to Expand
While designing a space plan for your workspace make sure to consider the future outlook and growth possibilities of your office. Leaving room in any design for a company to grow is always needed. This is because an office needs to accommodate more employees in the future so there has to be some extra space. Getting ready for development is generally an inspiration in using all the available space more effectively. And it also enables an organization to work on its growth plan.
♦ Incorporate Adequate Storage
For any successful design, incorporating adequate storage is very important. As each company has its own unique requirements, storage and filing are a crucial part of the workflow and play a central part in space planning. Be sure to consider filling all the storage needs at the beginning of a space planning project. As ignoring it till the end can give rise to complexities related to insufficient space. A well-established and organized workspace can literally eliminate distractions, save your time in arranging space and help you stay super productive. It also helps in the business development and has been successfully demonstrated to support profitability and increase the satisfaction of a workforce.
These space hacks are also productive for small offices. Many start-up companies and small businesses don’t have enough budget for large space. But they can still improvise their working zone into an enhancing space to reflect their true potential.
Storage Hacks for Small Spaces
♦ Room Partitions
Small offices need proper utilization of the available space. Creating enough space for an individual and even for meetings is necessary. You need to consider what obstacles will come in your way while partitioning the space into equal rooms. Also, make sure you choose the right size of doors as they acquire a lot of space while creating room partitions. Even if you are opting for an open workspace, you will need room to relax or for conferences. So it is essential to utilize enough space to make partitions.
To create an efficient workspace for a big workforce, most offices provide cubicle desks. It can help reduce distractions from the co-workers nearby. Cubicles also offer the most storage options to maximize your employee work area and reduce unnecessary space.
♦ Sustainable Stuff
Another way to improve space efficiency is to buy less disposable items. Instead of stocking up your office with paper products such as plates, cups, towels and other break room items for your employees, try passing out reusable mugs and water bottles. It will help to reduce waste and is healthier for the environment too.
♦ Installing Shelves
To make your office look more organized and classified beyond employee desks, try to install bookcases, racks, and closets to hold all the essentials. Shelves with appropriate size partitions provide a better solution to storage problems. Improving an office layout and making necessary changes is more than just using the space efficiently. It also provides a great way to increase the flexibility of workers; such as moving to an open plan, attracting or retaining talent and supporting cultural changes like accommodation for millennial in the workplace. Additionally, optimal space planning affects a company’s bottom line for better outcomes by maximising employee productivity and enabling a collaborative environment for the employees.
So, take these space hacks in stride and transform your workplace into an ideal hub of productivity. Make it a happy place for your employees where their outputs exceed your expectations!
Written by Anna Barton. She is a problem solver, a coffee trailblazer and a passionate creator.