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Want to Boost Your Team’s Productivity? Revamp Your Office Space

Help your company reach its full potential by making the office environment work for your team

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BY Cristina Morales - 18 Apr 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

It’s no secret that our environment plays a pivotal part in the way we go about our lives—both in the personal and professional spheres. The way we work can be drastically affected by the space we work in. Thus, the way an office space is designed can make us more (or less) efficient and productive.

The key to making your office space work for your team is to make an effort to make the workplace as comfortable as possible. Having a pleasant office space can boost morale and encourage a positive attitude towards work, thus stimulating productivity.

Here are four things Southeast Asian entrepreneurs should remember when revamping their office space:

 

1. Adapt to how your team works

Not all companies can thrive in a playground-esque office a la Google; some teams work better in a no-frills environment with minimal distractions. If you want to find out if your space is meeting your team’s needs, ask for their input.

The Ho Chi Minh-based tech development company Silicon Straits does just that. “All the design ideas are sourced from our own team, so we gradually add more elements to it,” says Minh Tuan Nguyen, head of marketing at Silicon Straits. The team works long hours and late nights, so the office has a rest area complete with sleep pods for those who need to take a nap or stay the night. The office also offers plenty of ways for the team to blow off steam, like an entertainment corner with game consoles, and other elements like a boxing bag, a trampoline, and a ping-pong table.

Ultimately, your office space should be designed to accommodate the way your team works (or the way you want your team to work), not vice versa.

 

2. Balance concentration and collaboration

Most start-up headquarters use an open floor plan with very few private offices, thus leaving majority of its work stations in large open spaces instead. While this open space cuts costs and makes team members more accessible, working in an open office can be distracting.

Some offices solve this problem by creating quiet spaces for workers who need more privacy to focus on their tasks. The iflix office in Manila, for example, gives its workers the option of working in a shared space or in isolated, quiet spaces.

“The iflix playground in Manila has no cubicles that separate employees from each other,” says Trish Deluria PR and corporate communications executive of iflix Philippines. “Team members are not assigned a specific seat so they can move around and collaborate with other departments or isolate themselves when they need to focus. We have one big conference room, two smaller rooms, and two ‘phone booths’ when you need a quiet space to take calls.”

 

3. Color can promote creativity

Color has long been linked to productivity and well-being; and sometimes, all you need is a fresh coat of paint. In this Inc.com article, Anna Hensel presents a rundown of the best colors to boost productivity:

• Orange promotes creativity and endurance

• Blue has a calming effect and projects a trustworthy image

With plenty natural light, white creates a sense of spaciousness and helps boost creativity

• Red brings heart rates up and makes people more alert

• Yellow promotes feelings of happiness and optimism

• Green boosts creative thinking

 

4. Let the light in

Anyone who has ever had to work in a windowless room knows that spending the majority of your day under artificial light is far from ideal. Research studies have found that people who work in windowless environments tend to have more physical problems and less vitality compared to their counterparts with more exposure to natural light, and that workers perform better with good lighting and a good view.

But placing all desks right next to a window is unrealistic and in most cases, downright impossible. One solution is doing away with the drywall and opting for glass partitions. Start-ups could also try blinds that don’t completely block out light, and only filter out the glaring sunlight.