As technology continues to evolve and businesses adapt over time, it should come as no surprise that workers are more productive now than ever. They're accomplishing more each day, which leads to more profits for their businesses and more economic growth.
Staples recently released the results of its study into the growth of employee productivity. According to the corporation's recent survey, a majority of workers now say they've taken significant steps forward in terms of productivity.
"We're seeing a trend in the right direction with more than 70 percent of employers and employees saying they're more productive now than five years ago," said Michael Zahra, president of Staples Advantage Canada. "But there are still improvements to be made, especially when it comes to having the right tools and resources."
There are countless reasons for the recent gains in productivity, but undoubtedly one of them is the way that companies choose to manage space. There's been a noticeable movement afoot toward more open, collaborative spaces, and that's clearly had a positive effect on the workforce.
In fact, when asked to name the factors that contributed most often to diminished productivity, 36 percent said non-collaborative work environments were a problem. In order to work together on projects, employees need to sit in close proximity to each other and have open dialogues. In rigid, closed-off offices, this isn't an option.
One strategy companies can use to improve openness in their offices is rearrange office furniture. The traditional building layout - wrought with nothing but cubicles, desks and chairs - is becoming outdated. By using interconnected tables, fewer walls and a mix of formal meeting rooms and casual ones, businesses can prepare for any office space need. Some employees might want peace and quiet, while others might prefer having space to speak freely. The best offices are adaptable to both ends of the spectrum.
Break rooms are another very relevant factor. If employees have space in their offices to sit, relax, chat with friends and eat lunch, it will invigorate them emotionally and better prepare them to tackle the rest of their days. Facilities managers should consider making adjustments to their offices to account for this possibility.
It's great news that workers are more productive today than ever. But by exploring deeper and finding specific reasons for this growth in productivity, we can uncover valuable lessons for the facilities management community.