Your office setup is directly correlated to your team’s ability to be productive during work hours. And whether you realize it or not, your office productivity has a major impact on your revenue and long term success. In fact, studies have found that loss of productivity cost companies nearly $550 billion every year.
Cultivating a strong office culture that prioritizes productivity can help your company reach your goals and milestones. And furthermore, you’ll have a happier staff, and the happier your staff is, the more likely they are to perform. In a startup atmosphere, this is more important than ever. Your early days will affect the culture for years to come. And with that in mind, here’s how you can encourage productivity in your startup office:
It’s not uncommon for startup founders to want everything done the right way. However, micromanaging can have serious negative effects on productivity—not to mention the harsh hit to the overall energy of your office. And furthermore, micromanagement is a very costly management style. Your team wants to feel confident in their ability to complete tasks and develop autonomy across their projects.
Simply put, micromanagement prevents them from doing their best and thinking outside of the box, which is important for new businesses. Take a step back and analyze how you communicate with your team and how involved you are in each aspect of the business. If you find yourself spread thin, it may be a sign that it’s time to loosen the reigns.
Get Rid of the Clutter
According to the National Association of Professional Organisers, cluttered workspaces cost companies an equivalent of 10% of a manager’s salary in your business. The reason why clutter can hurt your bottom line is because it affects team members. Multiple studies have demonstrated how clutter can make it more difficult to focus and can damper the aura of a space. Clean spaces create a more distraction-free environment.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can eliminate clutter. For instance, start by utilizing a document scanning service. Not only does document scanning help eliminate the paper clutter synonymous with offices, but it also makes it easier for your startup to scale in the future. After all, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year, and 30% of print jobs and never retrieved from the printer.
By enforcing a digital system, you’ll avoid serious paper waste and will keep the office less cluttered. Furthermore, be sure to give your team the organization tools they need to keep their spaces clean and neat, and organize an annual office cleanup to get everyone restructured for optimal working.
Create Private Spaces
Startup culture has long been associated with big, open spaces. These open spaces are intended to create collaborative working environments and break down traditional hierarchy setups by encouraging fluid communication. In the startup world, this is a great setup, but an ever better situation would be to create a layout that combines the collaborative and transparent features of an open office with private space as well.
The fact is, there are certain areas of the business—like number crunching, brainstorming, or creative thinking—that are hard to do in open spaces where there are multiple things happening on any given day.
To enable your team to benefit from the deeper level of concentration that private offices afford, incorporate them into your plan. In some cases, you’ll already have some private offices in a space, like conference rooms or other small rooms. Turn these into tiny spaces for your team to turn to on an as-needed basis, such as sales calls or other important business tasks. You can also add high-walled cubicles in the corner of the space to improvise if you don’t have extra rooms.
Bring the Outdoors In
There’s something restorative about having plants in an indoor space. But there’s no doubt about it: plants can help improve productivity and creativity among teams. Studies have also shown that plants help reduce stress and produce cleaner air. And in one Harvard study of high-profile offices, they found that incorporated greenery tended to have better crisis response, cognitive function, and strategy planning. With our inherent link to the natural world around us, it’s no secret that adding plants to a space helps create a serene environment that makes it easier to focus.