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Workplace Design and Productivity

Workplace Design and Productivity

It was a bright morning, in the downtown of Johannesburg. I was new in the country and was looking for a job. I had a meeting with a placement manager called Mpho. As I was searching for the address, I was pleasantly surprised to land at a quiet two storeyed office building with a beautiful garden. I had never seen such an office complex in India. As I walked inside, Mpho greeted me and took me into her cabin. It was a small room overlooking a beautiful garden, with a big tree just outside the window. I could spend my whole day at work if I had such an office!

Work place design is one of the most important factors of employee productivity. As per Fredrick Herzbergs motivation-hygiene theory of the workforce, lack of proper work condition can be a major cause for employee dissatisfaction. Employees spend significant amount of time at workplace. A positive, vibrant, bright place with sufficient natural light, pleasant dcor, good air circulation and comfortable sitting help in lifting the moral of the workforce. A study by Phillips found that workers are more productive in brightly lit environment compared to units that are dimly lit. Other efficiency factors like placement of the printer and photocopy machines on the floor should also be taken into consideration. Employees can also add in their bits. E.g. keeping a family picture or a small plant on the table can uplift ones mood.

Green buildings have become popular in recent years. Here power consumption is kept at a minimum to reduce carbon footprints. Efficient server room lay-outs, auto power-off of lights, A/Cs, Printers when not in use are followed as a policy to make the workplace more environment friendly.

Coworking way of working in future

Coworking is a new concept that has become hugely popular in recent years. Workers (mainly freelancers) come together from diverse backgrounds to share an office space. The necessary infrastructure is already set. So, people can be productive from the very moment they come in. Normally the coworking spaces are available 24X7 providing flexibility in terms of working hours. There is no distraction unlike it is when one is working from home. However, the main advantages of coworking spaces are seen to be social. It removes the feeling of isolation which freelancers feel when working from home. There is no pressure of hierarchy or internal politics. There is more of collaboration, learning and knowledge-sharing. Today coworking culture is not only limited to the freelancers. Many tech start-ups with high growth-rates have embraced it due to its scalability. Coworking culture is here to stay in the coming years.

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