This post is complements of my friend Buddy Francese who is a tenant representative in Austin. He and I are both members of the Alliance of Tenant Representatives and share information on how to serve clients better on a regular basis. This is his list of 13 ways to improve your office environment which will hopefully increase efficiency.
1. Kill the air. Many offices are kept so cold that the employees are wasting time talking about how cold they are and trying to keep warm. If you do a better job of keeping the office temperature at a comfortable level, your employees will be more productive and you will save money on your bill.
2. Nix meeting rooms. A lot of wasted office time takes place in meeting rooms. Get rid of those and hold standing-room-only meetings by the water cooler or coffee pot. You will be surprised how much more gets done!
3. Let there be light. Try to make sure that natural light comes into the office. Natural light, especially on a sunny day, can energize your employees and help them be more productive.
4. Ergonomics count. Because you spend so much time each week in the office, it is important that you be comfortable. Invest in ergonomic products that will make you more comfortable, and that will increase efficiency.
5. Go with the flow. Arrange your office so that it is in line with the traffic flow. A couple of minutes saved here and there throughout the day really add up, over the month, and year.
6. Keep kids out. Millions of people work from home offices today, and more of them get started every day! If you work at home, make your home office ‘off limits’ to the kids. The last thing you need is to be tripping over toys or having important work items misplaced or drawn on.
7. Think minimalism. The new thing, these days, is to be a minimalist, which entails getting rid of things you don’t need, and keeping only the bare minimum. This will work in the office environment as well as in other areas of life.
8. Headphone help. Keep an iPod or headset in your desk. Many people find that putting it on when there are distractions is a good way to focus and get more work done.
9. Stand up. Researchers have found that you are more likely to get work done if you are standing up. If this is a possibility for you, give it a try and see what it does for your productivity.
10. Hire an organizer. We all know that organization in the office is important, but most don’t want to take the time to get it done. Invest money in hiring a professional organizer to get it all done for you; then you can take it from there. With the increase in efficiency, it will pay for itself in no time.
11. Get a sign. Every time someone walks into your office to ask a question, it slows down your productivity. If you are busy working on something, hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door until you are finished.
12. Pace yourself. Forget trying to turn everything on its head in one week in the hope of making your office the most efficient one around. Instead, pace yourself and choose one thing to implement at a time. Master that, then move on to the next.
13. Admit differences. If you have employees, it is important to keep in mind that an efficient office is subjective. While you think standing up at a high-bar table is efficient, someone else may feel that it’s annoying and find that it slows them down. Recognize and respect the differences, so long as you are pleased with output.