The latest guest blog by MarketInvoice focuses on how businesses of all sizes can improve their workspaces to really boost productivity.

Optimising workplace productivity has become a Holy Grail for management of any size company, and since most of us spend the majority of our weeks at work, it seems logical that the space we operate in should encourage physical wellbeing.

MINo one is suggesting that it’s possible for everyone to compete with the gargantuan ‘techcity’ utopias of Facebook, Google or Lending Club (our most recent object of office intrigue and envy). Most of us work in offices, not a ‘campus’, so how can that environment be optimised and improved in smaller contexts?

Even if you aren’t Google, you can still create a productive, positive culture and enhance the mood of your workforce by providing a creative and well-designed space to work in. Multiple studies have shown that there are factors about the working environment that, if approached with strategy and psychological sensitivity will certainly enhance job performance. And even if you don’t have big bucks to spend, there are simple solutions that can have a big impact on productivity, whatever size your business is.

To achieve a productivity-conducive contemporary workspace, a key thing to consider is shifting the focus from necessity to a more balanced environment of both need and desire. An environment that is not purely transactional will help the culture to grow, and culture is what will bring your environment to life and help your business thrive. There is an intrinsic link between environment, positivity and increased daily output – and of course everyone performs better when they feel invested in – and the place that we are provided with for work reflects that.

We’ve chosen the top four areas of focus that every business should prioritise and consider when selecting or re-designing a working space:


Being comfortable with the climate at work is the number one most important thing – cooler office temperatures are the number one cause of the afternoon slump. But ‘comfortable’ is different for everyone and finding the ‘right’ temperature on an individual level is an almost impossible task.

So, in the interest of the greater good, let’s turn to science for a moment so you can get your office temperature right for maximum productivity. According to a study by Cornell University, temperatures below 20°c resulted in errors increasing and typing speed slowing. But with an increase to just 25°c, typing errors fell 44% and typing output jumped by 150%.

Increased exposure to artificial light causes dramatic feelings of sleepiness that hit hard at the end of the day. Scientists have found evidence that artificial light causes drowsiness as our bodies have fallen out of sync with the sun. The solution is to buck the now rather longstanding trend for fluorescent lighting in the work place. If it’s tricky to offer different types of lighting, focus your attention on the amount of natural light available. The more natural light that is available the better people sleep, the better they work and the more rested they feel due to higher quality of sleep.

Another easy, immediate solution is to always venture out at lunchtime or through the day and encourage other team members to do the same. A breath of fresh air and the daylight that accompanies it is a natural rejuvenator and helps keep you and your team alert.

Research has shown that bodies react to colour on a physiological level and that colour has a definite impact on a person’s mood. Whilst keeping the walls inoffensive and neutral has merit, there are ways that subtle colour bursts around an office can enhance moods or stimulate people. Keep colour associations in mind when you decorate or choose a new office. Consider the positive and negative impact on mood and if possible offer alternative visual experiences within your building.

It may seem obvious but coating your entire office in a bright angry red just because it is your brand colour is distinctly unwise. Red connotes anger, hostility and aggression and can contribute negatively to job performance. Blue on the other hand has a very calming effect on the nervous system – useful for quieter chill out spaces but not necessarily ideal for that ambitious and motivated workforce you desire. Yellow is very stimulating, so a pastel shade can work really well in meeting or brainstorming rooms.

Accent colours and feature walls are the perfect solution to create an appropriate and balanced environment – the bright and engaging colours can be offset with neutral shades to balance out the rooms whilst still providing mood benefits. Pops of colour on walls or soft furnishings brighten up a space without dominating a room.

Cloud technology
Cloud technology has a number of advantages for businesses. One of the significant ones is giving businesses flexibility and scalability. Through cloud technology small businesses can access computing power and technology – at levels that were previously only available to corporates with deep pockets – when they need it.

Another advantage that cloud computing affords businesses is mobility. With cloud technology and apps you can take your laptop and work anywhere. With a wide range of programs for anything including video conferencing, document storage and team management, your office need no longer actually be an office. Or it might be that you use a hot-desking situation in the office and you have a more fluid arrangement, no longer adhering to conventional notions of “desks” and “work hours”. For companies that operate in two or more offices, nationally or internationally, the ability to share information, documents and work remotely helps a huge amount with infrastructure and can streamline projects.

This ability to choose the workspace environment that suits you, combined with the large number of fantastically useful cloud apps available – for example, cloud accounting software – will help you increase your productivity no matter where you are.

This piece was written by Laura Green, Content Manager & Marketing Executive at MarketInvoice, the leading online invoice trading platform. They offer fast, flexible cashflow solutions to help businesses grow. If you’d like to find out more, visit their website or give them a call on 0845 548 0508.

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