Last week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported a 1.4% increase in worker productivity from April to June compared to the same period a year ago.
While this is a undoubtedly a positive, the country are still falling short of pre-recession productivity levels, with UK workers taking five days to produce what those in the US, France and Germany can produce in four.
So, what can we do to improve workplace productivity?
Research suggests that the answer may lie in improving the physical workspace.
A 2001 study by Dole and Schroeder concluded that “employees who are more satisfied with their physical environment are more likely to produce better work outcomes.”
Put simply, it might be worth investing in some office plants and colourful wall hangings in order to boost the productivity of your staff.
It might not be just a spike in work rate you’ll see by kitting out your office, though. One 2015 academic study found that being in an aesthetically pleasing environment actually leads to physical health benefits, as well as relieving stress and anxiety. With happy employees up to 20% more productive than unhappy ones, moving away from the traditional off-white wall can be a great way to elevate not just mood, but profits too.
One man who has seen the benefits creating an attractive office environment can have is Paul Feather, Managing Director of wall art company Vista Digital. Paul and his team have installed Vista Digital’s bespoke one piece wall murals in many office spaces, transforming surfaces into forest scenes, cityscapes and more to capture the imagination of employees.
Paul said: “We’ve been installing wall art in offices of major UK companies for over 10 years, and have definitely seen a rise in employers being conscientious of their environments. Offices used to be famously grey and drab, but now we’re seeing more and more companies introducing colour and artwork to the workplace.
“The feedback we get from clients is always that their employees really value them making an effort to make the workplace a nice place to be, and it often results in staff putting more effort in in return.”
With more and more employers reaping the benefits of creating a physically attractive office environment, the days of the beige cubicle may well and truly be behind us.