How to Create a Productive, Employee-Friendly Workplace
Your employees might love their jobs – but not their workplace. Here are some ways to transform their office woes in to office ohhhs!

You spend a lot of time at work. If you’re an office employee, you’re practically dedicating one-third of your life inside your cubicle. That’s about an average of 90,000 hours in a 9-5 work week, ranging from two to three decades before retirement. It’s a good reason to love your work, but if staying in your office is not your favourite thing, now is the time to make some changes.  

Every day, you commit at least eight hours to working, but your most productive hours is something less than that. A survey done by software developer AtTask and market research company Harris Interactive revealed that employees only spend 45% of their time at work in completing their duties. This was surveyed amongst 2000 office workers.

Where does the wasted time go? Here is the result: a whopping 59% is used in meetings, next is 43% in answering emails, and 36% in lack of process. E-mails, one of the common time-suckers, takes up an average of 4.1 hours for every worker to check. That's about 20.5 hours each week, and a staggering number of 47,000 hours throughout your career. Think of what you could have done otherwise with those precious hours!

While the eight-hour-a-workday is a standard for every company ever since Ford Motors implemented it back in the 1910s, this stretch of time doesn't seem to work on the modern employee. So, what could have been done differently to match today’s needs? Here are some workplace transformations you can do:

Nap Rooms

Any boss may raise brows if he found you sleeping on the job – but that was last century. Today, progressive companies have seen the power of sleep, or more specifically, 20-30-minute short naps that will give employees enough time to recharge back to productive mode. It's healthy and humane, especially if they were required to work long hours. Separate rooms with couches, pods or even hammocks, encourages the body to nap. Making this part of the company culture won't take anything away from the 8-hour workday; in fact, this may even add more essence to it.

Work spaces

In Britain, workers spend an average of 5 hours and 41 minutes at their desk, but it's not maximising the office's potential. In a study held by the British Psychological Society, it was revealed that employees did not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity, which then results to decreased mental well-being and less productivity.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all workplace, today's business trend is a complete revamp of the old: something that caters to the creative and physical needs of their employee. A standing desk, for example, takes away the limiting position of staying seated, removes feelings of languor and enables one to move around. A communal space lets groups perform productively minus the hassles of sending emails and calls. Designating creative workspaces not only imbibe a whole new atmosphere to the workplace, but it also keeps people engaged, more awake and amiable.

Amazing kitchens

Office kitchens can boost employee productivity, one recent study shows. For years, office kitchens and pantries were shielded out of plain sight, but interior designers have turned these spaces into a gathering of employees. This is where interaction happens, insinuates Gensler interior designer Chris Coldor. "It's all about personal connections."

Mingling with other co-workers helps create better collaboration and a happier office vibe. Other than that, better kitchens help boost employee morale, impress new clients and satisfy the needs of new recruits.

Workplaces need not be dull. As employees devote years of their lives in a company, this form of loyalty must be appreciated in return. It is just right that businesses thing progressively while taking their workers’ needs into account. These transformations in the office will greatly help the business – and its people – along the way, by creating a convivial space where one would love to go to work to, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Jonas Diezun

Co-Founder at RADICE

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