5 tricks to increase productivity in an open office

This popular idea came from the likes of Google and Facebook office layouts and has flooded most organisations as a cheaper alternative to closed door offices. The floor plan is great for employees to bounce ideas off of each other and create a modern culture. However, ceos and executives sometimes find it hard to maintain or boost productivity; keeping work related conversation and keep a quiet work area. Below are some ways to keep your open office plan productive and efficient.

Creating private spaces

There will be times when employees will need privacy and time to themselves for certain projects or tasks that they need to focus on. An open office layout may hinder this productivity. However, using furniture like positioning couches, moveable walls and desks in a way that prevents employees from seeing one another can help.

No assigned seats

Giving employees the luxury to sit wherever they want has been found to be more productive; the choice of where they would like to sit helps them find where they work best. For example some people like to sit next/up against a wall while others like to be in the middle of the room to grab the attention of others around them in regards to collaboration. Some employees like to sit next to quieter employees so they have more time to focus on their work, while others like to sit next to a more talkative employee to help them with ideas and creativity. Employees at design consulting firm IDEO are encouraged to play musical chairs at work weekly to stay inspired and boost productivity.

Moving furniture

Open plan offices are created to promote collaboration and inspire ideas and is mostly helpful for extroverts. This is where furniture can be helpful so that employees can collaborate, or section off to work individually. Today’s workplace needs to be able to switch between different work modes, since we’re all working with much less personal space than in past generations.

Seating arrangements

A study from the University of Sydney discovered that sitting at your desk, eight to eleven hours a day can literally kill you, increasing your chance of dying by 15% in 4 years. Providing standing desks for your employees, or compulsory hourly breaks can be a great way to ensure employees are not constantly sitting. This also gives your employees the chance to stretch a little as well, which can boost energy and productivity and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

Creating collaboration areas

Employers can create a social area in their offices by adopting more bench like tables (just like coffee shops do) with comfortable lounging areas and available coffee to invite mingling among workers. Creating a similar vibe to a cafe helps to promote interactions such as socialising, brainstorming or collaborating.