What are the factors that determine how productive you are at work? If you're in the process of setting up your own workspace here are three questions you should ask yourself in order to achieve a healthy mind, as well as a healthy workflow...
Collaboration versus concentration
Two important components that are needed in any workplace - collaboration and concentration. Depending on what you do for a living, your workplace will favour one over the other. An office space designed to promote collaboration, such as an architecture firm, will function well with an open office layout. Conversely, that same firm will require concentration where team members work alone to complete individual tasks on a project. Then there are those companies that give no thought to layout and how that impacts workplace wellbeing.
Some people would rather work from home because they believe they would be far more productive and comfortable. It is that last component that is not implemented throughout many established companies and even start-ups. Just how productive is the average person who works a traditional 9 to 5 in a space that does not consider their work habits? We all tackle our jobs differently and solve our tasks with varying approaches. We therefore interact with our work surroundings in varying ways.
How to measure productivity
The average person stays productive for five to six hours out of their working day, which equates to being 62.5 per cent productive. The other 37.5 per cent of their time is spent eating lunch, messaging friends, browsing social media (60 per cent of users check Facebook daily), having the obligatory water-cooler conversation, and coffee break. Research shows this is attributed to employees being bored, not challenged enough, and unsatisfied with work, among other reasons. The challenge is establishing or creating the “ideal balance” in the workplace.
Experimenting with the established 9-5 work day, to say 8-4 could be the solution. There are a lot of people who are far more productive at nights than they are during the days. I can speak to that, having used many of my nights for the last five years moonlighting as a freelance graphic designer. How do you measure your own productivity? Better yet, how does a company measure its worker productivity? That becomes an important question.
What would be in the workplace of your dreams?
We live in an age where the line between work and play is blurred, primarily due to technology such as smartphones, tablets and high-speed internet. Work should never feel like a chore and the workplace should be a fun environment (within reason). Future workplaces should therefore build these spaces around the needs and habits of its employees from a games room to quiet room for privacy. Companies like tech giant Google have already began to lead the way in the workplace spatial revolution. You may not be able to create the workplaces of your employees’ dreams, but making an attempt is welcomed by all.
The most important asset as a company is your employees. Company cultures should ensure that everyone feels appreciated and recognised not just for the work they do, but for who they are. When we feel as though we are in control of our lives and not trapped for eight hours, we make healthier human beings and therefore better employees. The true bonus for companies will be when their employees wind up staying beyond regular working hours because they enjoy what they do.