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11/02/20

Is your office space making you less productive?

by KEITH BEZZINA

Is your office space making you less productive?

We’re ready to bet you’re reading this at your office. 

Most people spend a very large portion of their waking hours in an office building, so it’s no surprise that workspaces have a huge effect on workers’ health, mood and energy levels. Creating healthy, human-friendly office environments that boost productivity is mainly a question of rearranging your space in a way that aligns best with your body’s natural needs. 

Use our checklist below, which is based on your five senses, plus breathing and movement, to find out how healthy your office really is and if it’s affecting how well you or your employees perform at work: 

1. See it – Poor lighting is the most common problem in offices. Lack of natural light and use of fluorescent tubes disturb the body’s circadian rhythm, leading to drowsiness and fatigue. Do you see enough daylight in your office? 

2. Hear it – Background noise due to machinery or loud colleagues cause an increase in stress levels and impair concentration. Does your office sound good? 

3. Rub it – Lack of hand sanitisers near hygiene blackspots like communal food storage place can be a recurring cause of illness among staff. Do you wash ‘em before you use ‘em? 

4. Smell it – Stuffy air and dampness is common in older buildings. Mould growth due to elevated year-round humidity levels in Malta is also a serious issue. Smell anything strange. 

5. Feel it – Too hot or too chilly room temperatures affect work performance. Finding a compromise on office climate is often a very challenging issue! How does it feel? 

6. Take in a deep breath – Inadequate ventilation and air filtration systems cause microbes to accumulate in the air we breathe, leading to discomfort and sickness. How’s the air in there? 

7. Stand up and move around – Sitting for long periods of time can wreak havoc on a person’s back and general fitness. Have you stretched a bit lately? 

If you identified four or more of the problems mentioned above, there’s a high risk that your office space is severely affecting your performance at work, leading to: missed deadlines, low quality work and a feeling of dissatisfaction with your job. 

Thankfully, these problems can be eliminated with a range of methods that can be as simple as installing better lighting, to as dramatic as renovating the entire office! So what is your next action?