In 2015, a survey was conducted on 136,000 respondents. The goal was to find out what factors contributed to an effective workspace. The top three features all had to do with physical comforts, like temperature control, a comfortable chair, and the right desk. The main take away from the study was that for a person’s psychological needs, such as the desire to be productive, to be met, their physical needs must be met first.
The Importance of Ergonomics in the Workplace
Most people become less productive and start to feel grumpy if they experience minor discomfort for an extended amount of time. The constant fatigue and pain workers feel in environments that are not ergonomically correct increase their stress and lower productivity. Simple workplace ergonomics, such as reducing motion, improving posture, and positioning equipment at proper heights can increase efficiency and improve employee engagement.
Companies that take a holistic approach to health and mental wellbeing will identify the needs of different employees and address them. This may be done by company-wide ergonomic initiatives and individual worker-centered initiatives.
The Role of Comfortable Clothing in Workplace Performance
Studies have shown that wearing comfortable clothing impacts a person’s understanding and performance. Finding the balance of professional and comfortable clothing can be a difficult styling task. However, there are several fashion pieces that make this possible.
A lot of what makes fashion comfortable is what we do not see. For example, you may increase office comfort by choosing to wear underwear that keeps you comfortable throughout the day. While walking around and meeting other people, you may be required to wear dress shoes. But when you are sitting in your office or behind a desk, can you swap out uncomfortable dress shoes for a pair of tennis shoes?
The Role of Lighting and Workplace Comfort
Worker-controlled lighting and lighting solutions that have been tailored to meet the needs of individual workers have been shown to enhance employee productivity and employee job satisfaction. This leads to enhanced retention.
There are mounds of research that document the link between lighting in the workplace and an employee’s mental wellbeing. These same studies show that it is not lighting alone that impacts worker performance. However, it is one of several factors that combine to create a healthy environment, which encourages employee engagement and improved employee productivity.
This link is especially strong when discussing employees who engage in shift work. It is likely that links between biological health conditions and lighting for shift-work workers will receive more research.
Basic Principles Behind Workplace Comfort for Increased Productivity
It is good to remember that workplace comfort doesn’t mean a state of unbridled relaxation. Instead, it means a state without pain that has produced optimal productivity.
Some workplaces have been designed to be slightly uncomfortable as a way of keeping people more alert. Workplace comfort for increased productivity means making slight variations to the ambient environment that leads to more productivity.
When designing a space for workplace productivity, a question that needs to be considered is, what should a workspace look like and feel like if everyone is going to work at their best? The goal is to create an environment that allows people to feel socially, psychologically, and physically comfortable. Many refer to this as a congenial environment. This can be created by removing negative factors that hold people back. This may include eliminating distractions and giving people more control. This helps everyone to be their most productive.