Companies, regardless of their size, rely on their people’s productivity for growth and success. Ultimately, it’s the employees working to make things happen that determine if and how much a business grows, how things develop, and how long a business lasts.
That said, maximizing productivity should be one of the top priorities for every organization, but most especially startups that are yet to gain good traction in their respective industries. If you feel that your team’s productivity could use a boost, here are some of the factors that you may be overlooking and should prioritize as soon as possible:
1. Office temperature
It may not be the most obvious factor, but it is certainly significant. People work best when they are comfortable, and comfort is almost always impacted by the temperature of their working environment. If the office is too hot or too cold, employees are constantly looking for ways to relieve the discomfort, which effectively distracts them from what they should be doing.
According to OSHA, the ideal office temperature is between 68 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Although not everyone will be comfortable at this temperature, the majority of people will, which can help boost overall productivity in the workplace. That said, set the thermostat at a temperature between this given range. And if you live in a place that experiences extreme heat, call an AC installation company to ensure that your employees stay cool in the office. The same goes if your workplace is in a very cold area; call a heating company to regularly inspect and maintain your HVAC.
Another environmental factor that affects productivity is lighting. Lighting that is too harsh or too dim often leads to headaches and eye strain, which, in turn, causes drops in productivity. Apart from that, the color of the light can also play a role in employees’ productivity. For instance, blue and white lights are ideal for concentrating and staying alert. On the other hand, warmer lights are more apt for lounge areas since they promote relaxation.
3. Wall colors
The color of your office walls can also affect how well your employees work. Color psychology dictates that blue and orange are the best colors to use in main office areas since they help boost productivity levels. Yellow is ideal for meeting rooms because it can energize people and help promote collaboration. Green should be used for lounge rooms or rest areas to help employees relax and unwind. Red, the least productive color, can be used as an accent to catch people’s attention or highlight a feature in the office.
4. The snack bar
One of the most popular features of a startup is the snack bar, often filled with an array of snacks that employees can choose from throughout the day. However, if your snack bar is filled with more junk food than healthy food, then you may be inadvertently decreasing your workplace productivity.
Junk food makes people happy, which can make them feel more motivated at work. However, it does not make them necessarily productive. Soda, candy, and other sugary foods can give people quick bursts of energy, but sugar crashes usually follow. Chips, pizzas, fries, and other foods rich in fat and sodium can make people feel sleepy right after break times. And when people feel tired or sleepy because of what they’ve snacked on, they are less likely to stay focused and productive at work.
You don’t have to get rid of all the junk food from your snack bar, but you can give your employees healthier options like light popcorn, nuts, whole grains, and fresh fruit so that they can choose to eat healthier, and thus, remain more awake at work.
5. Scents and odors
No one can stay productive in a workplace that stinks or smells too fragrant. With that in mind, address the sources of odors and strong scents as soon as people start noticing them. Possible sources may include people’s perfumes, a dirty carpet, poorly maintained toilets, trash cans, a stinky microwave, and automatic air fresheners, among others.
Once you’ve addressed the source of these foul smells, you can boost productivity by introducing a pleasant scent in your office, like lemon, lavender, or peppermint, through the use of an essential oil diffuser or something similar. Not only can you increase productivity, but you can also help employees stay less stressed.
A lot of factors determine workplace productivity; some more obvious than others. For this article, we’ve talked about some of the less obvious ones that startups tend to overlook. Now that you are aware of them, you can start addressing productivity gaps in the workplace by improving these elements in the most efficient ways possible.