A well-designed work environment can have a profound impact on the culture of the organization as well as the motivation of its employees. Unorganized office space can negatively affect your employees’ productivity. Whether your company has 10 or 500 employees, great company culture has moved to the top of applicants’ wish lists. One way to promote a positive company culture is by creating an office space that influences and inspires workers.

When it comes to designing a cohesive office space, it’s important to find the appropriate balance. Companies should be mindful of how the workspace will affect employees’ overall productivity. The way an office is arranged or painted can have tremendous effects on the performance of the organization as well as it’s brand perception. Below are three ways companies can set up their office space to enhance employee productivity:

Create flexible floorplans

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in office designs incorporating open floorplans. This naturally increases employee collaboration and allows employees the space to get up and walk around. Providing your employees with comfortable chairs and desks can also help eliminate stress. Facebook is known for providing its staff with the ability to tailor the layout, height and configuration of desks to fit their own personal preferences — thus, allowing employees the ability to control their comfort level as it pertains to work and allows them to be in control of their productivity. While not every company can afford to do this, there are some cost-effective and simple ways companies can implement comfortability to improve the welfare of its employees.

While open floorplans help foster a positive environment, it is vital that it is done correctly. By offering private rooms or quiet spaces for employees to work, it can help maximize employee well-being.

Establish a designated kitchen area

Oftentimes, employees are so busy throughout the day they barely have time to look up from their computers. Food can often seem to be the only incentive to get them to step away from their desks. By creating a designated space for employees to eat, it can decrease the chance of burnout, as well as encourage inter-department conversation. One way to establish a welcoming kitchen area is to add multiple tables for employees to mix and mingle while eating their lunch.

In recent years, we have seen an increase in employees eating lunch at their desks. But, according to a recent study, sitting at your desk all day can be detrimental to your health. While not all companies can provide their employees with a full kitchen and dining area, try encouraging employees to go out to lunch or provide additional seating options that allow them to step away from their desks.

Create a welcoming reception area for visitors

While most companies have a designated front desk attendant that welcomes guests, not all smaller companies have the resources to do so. In this situation, employees are often expected to fill that role as needed. While some employees may view this as an imposition, it provides an opportunity to create a culture of hospitality.

Having different employees welcome guests can create a positive atmosphere, not only for the employees but also for the visitors. Visitors can benefit from an accepting and friendly experience, which in turn, makes them feel more welcome. For small-sized businesses that may not have enough space to accommodate a reception desk, try adding a few chairs by the door so your guests have a place to sit while they are waiting.

Having an innovative and creative space that promotes productivity is becoming increasingly important to the younger generations as they continue to enter the workforce. By creating a common area that fosters a positive environment, a designated kitchen area where employees can gather as well as a welcoming reception space for visitors can help you increase employee productivity and motivation. Implementing these three tips into your workspace can keep your employees much more engaged.

Matt Thomas is the President of Indianapolis-based WorkSmart Systems, Inc., which he founded in 1998.

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