A Lack of Productivity at the Office: Is the Climate to Blame?

Those 40 (or more) hours a week we spend at the office may fly by in a rush or drag along, yet we may not always think about how the conditions we work in affect our productivity. After all, each of us has a stack of things to do, email to respond to and meetings to attend. However, being able to work with one’s full concentration devoted to the task at hand will mean having the right conditions in place to help us work at our optimum potential.

A variety of different factors go into our productivity at work, and we may not recognize them as having any sort of effect on us. Here we’ll look at the factors that can be controlled to make employees more productive and potentially help your company’s profitability.


Some recent research has shown that workplace temperature plays a major part in our productivity. Anything that’s a diversion will prevent someone from focusing, and if a cold flow of air is constantly beating down on them from a ceiling vent, there’s a good chance that person isn’t working in the best frame of mind.

Additionally, keeping the thermostat at a proper temperature may save you some money — keeping the office at 60 degrees during the summer probably isn’t the best use of your cash. Installing fans or even gas wall heaters around the building may be an easy and effective solution to prevent distractions due to a chilly atmosphere.

Getting Ergonomic

When we’re at work in front of computers all day, we’re getting things accomplished, but we’re also being sedentary at the same time. Office furniture may not be something you think about when you consider maximizing employee productivity, but providing people with adjustable seats and information on ergonomics for the large amounts of time they’ll be at their desks can go a long way toward preventing injuries such as carpal tunnel. It’s also beneficial that employees be aware of how some adjustments in seating posture can play a part in reducing strain and fatigue.

Air Quality

During those forty hours we spend at the office every week, we’re indoors breathing recycled air. Finding ways to improve air quality in an office can help prevent illnesses and fatigue among employees. Making sure your ventilation system is working well can play a factor in employee comfort and health.


An office inevitably will have a great deal of activity going on, and distracting conversations taking place around us can divert our attention and affect our ability to concentrate. Being able to create the ideal conditions and maintain them around the clock is impossible, but reducing the amount of noise can help people focus and even improve employee morale.

A good policy would be to impress upon employees the importance of respecting others by keeping distracting conversations to a minimum or that any lengthy conversations should be done in break rooms or other locations where distractions won’t occur. You may also consider grouping employees together depending on their role at the company so that teams that need peace and quiet have the best conditions possible.

Your employees won’t expect you to eliminate distractions completely, but they’ll expect that considerations will be made for their productivity. With the suggestions here, you can help make your business a more comfortable and productive setting for employees. By creating a comfortable atmosphere, you’ll increase your chance for success. You’ll also send a message about how you value your workforce and want to set a foundation for them to do their best work.

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About Felicia Savage

Felicia Savage is a travel lover, graphic designer and social media expert living in Indianapolis, IN. When she isn’t tweeting, drawing or exploring, Felicia enjoys running, swimming among other outdoor activities. Follow her on twitter @KittyHasFleaz