We were interested to read an article on WorkplaceInsight.com referencing research by Dell Technologies into the key factors that diminish workplace productivity. The good news is that least half of the top 10 reasons could be easily solved through improved office design.

The Top 10 killers of office productivity

1. Unsuitable office temperature
2. Colleagues talking too loudly
3. Unnecessary meetings
4. Old or out-dated technology
5. Lack of quiet working areas
6. Messy desks
7. Poor Wi-Fi
8. Poor lighting
9. Lack of training
10. Poorly integrated technology

Where Procol can help

Unsuitable office temperature

Heating and cooling play a critical role in workers’ comfort and ability to be productive. Counter to what some may say, this is not necessarily about maintaining a magical one-size-fits-all sweet-spot temperature throughout your building. Different rooms, spaces and areas may benefit from differing temperatures depending on a range of factors including function, occupancy level, exposure to daylight/sun, and the time of day, day of the week or time of the year. As experts in office air-conditioning and ventilation systems, Procol can design, spec and install modern (and highly cost-effective) systems that account for any of all of these factors.

Colleagues talking too loudly

Trying to concentrate when your colleagues are animatedly discussing quarterly targets (or last night’s episode of Love Island) can prove impossible, but a number of solutions are at hand including the use of office partitioning. It can provide a flexible, aesthetically pleasing and low-cost method of creating individual offices, breakout areas or meeting rooms. With features such as differing levels of acoustic performance, and double-glazed panels with internal blinds, the systems we recommend can address a wide range of audible and visual distractions.

Unnecessary meetings

OK, the solution to this is more about a businesses practice and culture, but office design can play a role too. If unnecessary meetings – or meetings that take far longer than necessary – are an issue, the number of meeting rooms could be reduced and the space repurposed in order to make meetings an exception rather than the rule. Seating could be made less comfortable – for example, speccing high tables with stools rather than standard tables and board-room chairs signals ‘this meeting is not going to take long’ and helps people maintain focus. Electronic meeting-room booking systems and displays could also be tailored to limit the time a space can be used.

Lack of quiet working areas

As with the issue of loud colleagues, office partitioning is a highly flexible solution that can be used to quickly and easily create quite working areas within a new or existing office space.

Messy desks

They say a cluttered desk is a sign of genius, but in our experience it’s often a sign of inadequate storage and filing solutions. Our on-site storage surveys will determine the best storage solutions for the requirements and space at hand. We can then recommend and supply everything from mobile desk storage to side tambour units.

Poor lighting

Inadequate consideration of office lighting can quite literally leave workers in the dark… or, conversely, the glare of the sun. At Procol, we help clients see the light about lighting (and shading) in all its forms, and factor this in as an integral part of their office design and fit-out.

A final thought

Dell’s research once again underlines the importance of ensuring your working environment is not just pretty or practical, but truly professional. What’s more, 73% of the of UK office workers who took part said they would consider leaving their current employment if their employer failed to provide a working environment that inspires them to fulfil their role. Even if many such people ultimately choose not to scratch that particular itch, it should concern businesses to know of such a high level of disquiet – and that it invariably has negative effects on productivity.

Read more about Procol’s philosophy of creating professional working envionments, and their multiple benefits to your business – including enhanced productivity. You can also learn more by getting in touch.