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Your workspace is the ultimate productivity hack
Attracting, motivating and retaining the best staff is a top priority for any manager. This is especially true for ambitious, growing businesses. Look around you, do you have the tools that will help you achieve this or has your office become the weakest member of your team?
It’s well documented that wellbeing and productivity are intrinsically linked so when your workplace promotes a happy and healthy culture, that’s when your team really shines. Fora focuses on the following factors to ensure our spaces are the most productive working environments out there.
Space to breathe
Open plan offices can help foster collaboration, but they equally encourage distraction and can promote poor working behaviours. Constant stimulus is distracting and can be particularly damaging to productivity for more introverted members of the team. Rather than returning to the equally detrimental cubicle-style seating plans of the past, there are smarter approaches to office space design.
Fora workspaces are thoughtfully designed, using qualitative and quantitative data to inform their layout. Comfortable seating areas are designed to provide headspace and an opportunity to change pace, deliberately quiet spaces like reading rooms offer sanctuary and respite from the energy of the central working hub so you can always choose the setting that works for you.
A feature that particularly eases the adverse effects of distraction is the inclusion of soundproof booths for phone calls on every floor. With enhanced internet connectivity, these booths are the ideal spot for a critical Skype call without causing aggravation between desk mates.
Across all Fora locations, you’ll also feel the benefit of state-of-the-art sound masking speakers (they work like your favourite noise cancelling headphones), installed every three metres to muffle sound and minimise distraction. We also work with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to ensure our collaborative spaces complement human behaviour and optimise productivity.
If you already see your team as engaged, confident and dynamic, you’d expect productivity to be at unprecedented levels but the daily demands of maintaining an office – such as greeting guests, clearing meeting rooms and making coffee – can take over a lot of time.
At Fora, service is a crucial pillar of our offering. All staff are trained by L’École Hôtelière de Lausanne, the oldest and most esteemed hospitality school in the world. The Concierge team will welcome your guests, deal with any technical issues, and bring refreshments to meeting rooms as standard, taking care of the day-to-day details that you don’t have time for, leaving you and your employees to focus on the business.
Air quality and temperature
A study conducted by Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings programme at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, confirmed that in conditions of “green certified” buildings with enhanced ventilation, which have twice the ventilation rate of conventional office buildings, cognitive scores of subjects, testing traits like strategy and crisis response skills, reportedly spiked by 101%.
Fora understand that an office space optimised for work must pay attention to air quality, so our spaces’ air purification systems are twice as robust as the industry standard meaning healthier, cleaner air for all our Residents.
Air quality isn’t the only factor that has detrimental effects on cognitive ability – the temperature of the space your employees operate in also has a huge impact on productivity. Studies suggest they’re less likely to push through challenging tasks with enthusiasm and they think less creatively.
At Fora you’ll find individual control iPads in every meeting room so that you and your employees can choose the exact temperature that’s optimal for you. Plants also have a considerable effect on air quality and productivity (up to 15% increase), so we add strategically placed greenery to all spaces.
Healthy and hearty food options
Sugar. It’s not having a great time of it in recent years. The UK government’s current sugar tax shows that we’re all realising that those fizzy drinks and sugary snacks aren’t the best for your health. The food your employees eat has a direct impact on cognitive performance.
Spikes and drops in blood sugar are both ‘shocks’ to the brain. Grazing is a much better option for maintaining consistent blood sugar. We know this, and so our housekeepers consistently add freshly cut (and easily grabbed) fruit and vegetables to our kitchens throughout the day. Kitchens are stocked with dried fruit, nuts, and yet more fruit, alongside crackers, rice cakes, and healthy sweet snacks.
Studies show the more fruits and vegetables people consume, the happier, more engaged and creative they are thanks to chemicals like dopamine, which plays a vital role in curiosity, motivation and engagement.
Exercise helps improve energy levels, but even moderate or low-intensity exercise can have an immediate impact on your mood. The release of endorphins creates a happy “runner’s high” feeling. On workout days, employees score 21% higher for concentration on work, 22% higher for finishing work on time, 25% higher for working without unscheduled breaks, and an astonishing 41% higher for feeling motivated to work.
We build Resident wellbeing into every location – whether it’s a fully equipped gym, personal trainers on site or yoga classes delivered by top instructors. Residents have formed running, football and cycling clubs that meet regularly, helping to incentivise and promote wellness within the spaces too, something we’re incredibly proud of.
Retaining existing employees and attracting the next wave of high performers to help move your business forward are equally important. Securing the best and the brightest talent in the market is no mean feat so don’t let your working environment become a detractor. Getting this right will save you time and money in the long run and makes sense for the future health of your business.