When you rent serviced office space and meeting rooms, it’s not just space you’re getting – there are all kinds of things to take into account, such as the layout of the office, on-site facilities, furniture and so on.

But how do all of those things add up to boost productivity and keep your employees (and yourself) in good health and good spirits?

In a new paper published by the University of Lisbon in Portugal, Alicja Papierska looks at some of the characteristics of modern office space and their impact on the welfare and productivity of workers.

“We live in times when office space is playing a key role in companies’ and employees’ lives,” she writes. “Employees’ productivity is a fundamental element of any business’s success.”

Ergonomic furniture

Ergonomic furniture is a good start to keep workers comfortable for longer, but can also increase productivity and reduce the risk of aches, pains and repetitive strains, especially when some foliage is introduced into the office as well.

Ms Papierska writes: “Ergonomic furniture and introduction of plants are the elements which increase productivity and protect health of both employees and customers.”

This is beneficial not just for short-term productivity, but over the long term, as a more comfortable office interior means less chance of needing a day off due to poor posture, back ache, wrist and hand pains, and so on.

Activity based working

The principles of activity based working mean that the workplace should suit the day-to-day activities of the workers, rather than expecting individuals to adapt to the restrictions of their workspace.

Examples of how to do this include:

  • A mix of private and open spaces.
  • Areas in which to eat or take on refreshments.
  • Creative spaces and somewhere to relax.
  • Rooms that allow for exercise and activity.
  • Meeting rooms for privacy and collaboration.

You’ll find all of these in our serviced office spaces and meeting rooms, breakout rooms and kitchen areas, so you’re never stuck in one place for the duration of your working day.

The research summarises the importance of having areas where employees can work together while also relaxing: “Common space is designed to increase collaboration among employee and to reduce the work stress.”

Positive distractions

A distracting environment is not good news for productivity, but positive distractions can be – instead of just taking your attention away from your work, they are a way to distract you from any stress you might be feeling, or just give you a little boost over the course of the day.

Some of these elements overlap with an activity based workplace, for example creative breakout spaces, areas for preparing and consuming refreshments, beverages, snacks and full meals, and areas where you can get some exercise.

Others are about how the interiors are decorated – vibrant colours, open plan layouts that hold employees’ interest for longer – as well as the connection with the exterior through appealing window views and plenty of natural light, all of which can keep you feeling energised and help you to face up to any overtime when 5pm arrives.

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