10 Tips for Maximising Workspace Efficiency
The way people work is a continually evolving process. With overheads and a range of wider economic factors to consider, it’s important for businesses and organisations to make the most efficient and productive use of their available space.
The following tips may help when thinking about how to make your space work as effectively as possible:
1. Make use of common areas
Communal areas can be used as informal meeting spaces. This could be within the lobby of your building, or another otherwise unused area if it is large enough to include a couple of small tables and chairs without restricting access or movement.
Providing informal spaces such as this for colleagues to discuss projects together can help to encourage collaboration and creativity.
2. Use less paper
Whilst it may not be possible or desirable to move to a 100% paperless environment, the potential exists within many businesses to reduce the use of paper considerably. Modern software and web based tools enable colleagues, customers and clients to store, access, share and collaborate on documents without the need for a paper copy.
Not only can this help to improve efficiency within the business, but the need for storage and filing of paper documents can be significantly reduced. And as we all know, less printing is also kinder to the environment.
Perhaps one of the most obvious ways to ensure that your space is being used as efficiently as possible is to ensure that it is not taken up with clutter. Removing unused or unwanted equipment or furniture can often free up space; having this recycled also ensures you won’t simply be shifting your clutter to a landfill.
Introducing a clear desk policy amongst staff ensures that space isn’t taken up with old files or documents, promotional mug collections or any other unnecessary items. Whilst personal objects are understandably important to many, and can help keep us motivated, these should be moderated to one or two per desk.
Spending a couple of minutes a few times a week means you can stay on top of any clutter; providing a more spacious, safer environment that helps project a professional image to visitors and clients.
4. Use appropriate lighting
Where possible, try to allow as much natural light into your workspace as possible. This helps to increase the feeling of space even in smaller rooms and can help to keep staff happy and productive.
When it comes to indoor lighting, overhead track or panel systems help to illuminate the area as much as possible and don’t cast shadows in the same way floor lights do, for example.
5. Invest in clever storage
A storage system tailored around your needs and your space means that you really can make the most efficient use of the area. This also means there is appropriate and safe storage for all the items you need to place so less of your storage space is wasted or unused. For example, if you need to store large numbers of documents then an archive shelving solution helps to keep everything safe and organised, with durable, modular systems available to install quickly.
If you need to overcome a shortage of floor space, mobile shelving could be the ideal solution. It works by shifting units to create an aisle between shelves as needed, meaning there is no space taken up by aisles between every unit.
6. Think about furniture
With careful planning, the layout of your office or work area should help your business to run efficiently. This can also minimise any dead areas – why pay for space that isn’t going to be used?
By carefully assessing and considering what staff need and planning around this, it may be possible to reduce the amount of furniture in the space, or the size of some pieces, without a negative impact of productivity or motivation.
7. Use partitioning to create different areas
Partitioning within an office or work environment is a great way to create private areas for meetings, independent work, to contain noise or to provide security. Glazed partitions don’t block natural light and can help give a feeling of space.
Ideal for enclosing workspaces within a factory, warehouse or other commercial/industrial environment; steel partitions are cost effective and can be designed to accommodate existing structure and aesthetics.
8. Consider hot desking
If you have a number of empty desks in your office because staff are regularly out at meetings or visiting clients, hot desking is well worth considering. This allows staff to use desks or other communal areas when they are in the office, but reduces the space taken up by individual desks that go unused most of the time.
9. Expand vertically
Don’t just think about the floor space you have available if your growing business needs more room. Depending on the height available, mezzanine floors can be a great way to add extra office or storage space – for example in a factory, warehouse or retail premises – without the associated expense or inconvenience of relocating.
10. Don’t forget to take a break!
When it comes to maximising the efficiency of your workspace, don’t forget to think about break rooms or other areas staff go to take a few minutes out.
A well designed, stimulating break room can help to keep staff motivated throughout the day and prevents them leaving the premises during break times, which in turn could reduce lateness and improve engagement. If you only have a small area set aside for staff breaks, look at some of the well designed space saving furniture available on the market.
Taking a few short breaks during the working day can help us to stay productive, so consider this area as another important part of your work environment.