The costs of absent employees are well known, but it’s estimated that the hidden costs of unfocused and unproductive employees are twice as much.
The physical office environment is an ideal starting point for helping employees feel motivated and happy at work. Today we're sharing how flooring can influence your workplace, and how the right choice can exponentially amplify your employees' productivity.
The "Wow" Factor
The aesthetics of a commercial space do a lot to either inspire or jade employees. Flooring covers the entirety of a space, and so makes a much larger contribution to the overall visual impact, compared with smaller items like furniture or wall art.
As such, flooring is crucial to creating the best first impression for visitors and employees. A striking design will have the "wow" factor that inspires employees by creating a positive working environment.
For carpeted floors, this may mean selecting a bold color that reflects company branding, or a particularly striking pattern. For hard flooring, wooden floors are seen as particularly beautiful, with a high-end feel - and pricetag. Instead of choosing natural wood flooring, you may prefer to install luxury vinyl tiles, which mimic the look of wood floors at a fraction of their total cost of ownership.
High noise levels are one of the leading causes of workplace complaints, and excessive background noise can be one of the main reasons employees disengage from their work. In fact, relentless background noise is linked to increased stress levels, which have a significant impact on employee happiness and productivity.
Flooring directly affects noise levels, and in turn, employee concentration and productivity. Hard flooring will create a noisier working environment than carpet, due to increased noise reverberation throughout the space. But while it's better at noise absorption than hard flooring, not all carpet provides equal acoustic benefits.
Carpet tiles offer the ultimate in noise reduction, with cushion-backed carpet tiles able to absorb 50% more noise than hard-backed carpet, which in turn, absorbs 3x more noise than hard flooring. This represents a tangible improvement to your office environment, to enable employees to focus.
A Comfortable Working Environment
Improving comfort at work can also help inspire unfocused and unproductive employees, and even improve their health and wellness. You may not immediately consider comfort as a way to motivate employees, but it plays a significant role in improving staff retention.
In addition to reducing noise levels, your choice of flooring can help improve overall comfort at work in other ways:
Certain types of flooring can help regulate indoor temperatures. With 50% of offices too hot in the summer and 52% too cold in the winter, controlling room temperatures can ensure a more comfortable, productive environment for employees.
Carpet tiles (particularly those with a cushion backing) are excellent insulators. In addition to helping conserve warmth in cold spaces, they are invaluable for keeping out heat and maintaining a cooler temperature in particularly hot areas.
Improving underfoot comfort has a significant impact on employee health and wellness: with fewer aches and pains, employees will be happier and healthier at work.
If employees will be standing for extended periods of time, it's essential that you select carpet, rather than hard flooring. Carpet tiles with open cell cushion backing use the same type of technology found in high-performance sports shoes. This provides greater underfoot support, which significantly reduces muscle fatigue - by as much as 24%.
This underfoot support is hugely beneficial in any environment and even amplified in sit-to-stand working spaces, where employees will be spending more time on their feet.