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We spend a large proportion of our week at work, whether it’s from home or in a commercial office setting, and office comfort plays a big role in our productivity.
An uncomfortable office makes for disgruntled staff and low morale, which can deeply affect everyone’s mood. Moreover, it’s worse if you’re faced with artificial lighting, uncomfortable chairs, and cramped desks day after day.
More and more employers are recognizing the importance of creating a comfortable environment for employees. Here’s why office comfort is so essential for productivity and how to achieve it.
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Why Office Comfort Is Key (and How to Achieve It)
Maintaining a comfortable office helps to boost morale. It ensures staff are happy coming into the office every day to work. Moreover, a comfortable office improves productivity.
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. This encompasses everything from maintaining a comfortable temperature throughout the seasons to investing in ergonomic furniture to keep postural issues and injuries from developing. A poor office environment doesn’t just impact productivity and the quality of work. It can also bring on fatigue, mental strain and stress, and even negatively affect staff turnover.
Prioritize Natural Light
Lighting can deeply affect an employee’s wellbeing and motivation to work. Therefore, flooding the office with natural light is a great way of creating a comfortable environment that’s conducive to work. An office that’s properly lit, without the need for harsh artificial lighting, will keep employees motivated throughout the day. What’s more, such an environment promotes overall wellbeing.
In order to keep your office staff comfortable during brighter periods and ensure they can work effectively without glare, it can be beneficial to invest in solar shading. This keeps the inside of the office cool without the need for air conditioning while still maintaining natural daylight.
Choose Sit-Stand Desks
Office workers often spend a huge percentage of their day seated. This can have a negative effect on their mental health as well as their physical health. Studies have shown that sit-stand desks can actually boost productivity levels by as much as 50% in some cases. It also helps staff move more throughout their day, which is beneficial for health.
Happier and healthier staff are less likely to seek employment elsewhere. Moreover, you’ll be able to reduce sickness and absenteeism. Height-adjustable workstations enable staff to switch regularly and easily between sitting and standing, while still being able to work efficiently. Coupled with supportive desk chairs, employees can stretch their legs and maintain strong posture when they’re working.
Control the Office Temperature for Greater Comfort
Being too hot or too cold keeps a person distracted, making it harder to focus on the tasks at hand. When employees are too hot, it can make them feel lethargic. On the other hand, being too cold can lead them to be unfocused, which can increase the risk of errors. You don’t want your office to be uncomfortable, so creating a temperature-controlled environment makes for a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere for your employees.
For the best results, studies show that temperatures between 21 and 22oC, or about 70°F, result in the best performance from staff. Productivity decreases below 20oC and higher than 24oC. Ensure that the heating and cooling systems are in line with the seasons and the changes in weather. Additionally, ensure that the office is insulated properly so you’re not wasting money on heating costs unnecessarily.
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Too much noise can be distracting for many people. However, this is a factor that often goes unnoticed when discussing office comfort. But we’ve all experienced the irritation that occurs when there’s so much noise around that you can’t focus. Exposure to excessive noise can also lead to headaches, ear pain, and migraines.
One way to avoid this is to provide chill out zones and quiet zones. Then, people on breaks or looking to chat can stay away from work areas. This can allow colleagues to continue working, while those in need of additional peace and quiet can work in a noise-controlled area.
No one wants to work in an environment every day that makes it difficult to get things done. Neglecting the office environment your staff work in could lead to increased staff turnover, higher sickness rates, and low morale. By making a few simple changes, such as investing in high quality office furniture, keeping the office bright and warm, and separating the office into zones, you can create a comfortable office space that people enjoying working in.
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