The Perfect Office Environment.

July 15, 2008

In many ways the perfect work environment can dramatically improve the productivity of employees whether they are working from home or the office. This topic is often overlooked, especially in small businesses where the main concerns are profit margins, not pot plants and natural light!

All too often (especially in the IT industry) employees are expected to work in basements, boiler rooms, bullpens, hallways and quite truthfully un-inspirational offices that are often bad for their physical and psychological health. Other negative factors come from indoor pollution caused printers, photocopiers, carpets, dust, electrical equipment and office cleaning products.

In order to achieve the best possible performance from employees it is important to create the optimum climate within your office. This can be achieved by air purifying plants that release moisture and oxygen and absorb heat and breakdown harmful substances. Many of people find that office plants can help to reduce stress as well as symptoms of headaches and fatigue. Research has also shown that employees who spend more than four hours a day in front of a computer screen feel much better and more productive when plants are placed on their desk.

Benefits of office plants:

  • Emits Oxygen
  • Purifies the air
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces minor aliments
  • Improves concentration
  • Increases productivity
  • Reduces dust pollution

Another ways of reducing stress and increasing productivity at work is by using a technique known as design psychology. Design psychology is the study of how our environment can affect or behaviour, mood and well being. It even goes as far as claiming that furniture arrangement, décor and other design aesthetics can influence a person concentration levels and well being.

In reality it is not always possible to implement certain changes to your office due to limitations like health and safety, budgets and space, but these improvements don’t always require you to purchase expensive items or make drastic physical changes. It is possible to improve your office environment with non-tangible things like instant messaging, which can help to make employees feel less isolated and more connected with other colleges and the outside world. Thin client technology like VPN can also make a big difference to working life as they allow employees to work from home or other remote locations, which can help to improve their emotional, physical and psychological welfare.

With a small amount of money, some imagination and a willing boss, an office can be transformed into an environment that facilitates new ideas, productive employees and social harmony.

Working at Google Zurich