You know you are working in a smart organization when there are mechanisms in place to help you perform better over time. People are the engines that actually keep the company innovating, improving, adapting to market conditions, and growing from strength to strength.

It is therefore not a surprise that to support employee performance, occupational therapists often recommend an efficient, ergonomic workplace design. Alongside an efficient workplace design, employee health and wellness also go hand in hand in ensuring the desired productivity of the company. With an emphasis on the natural processes that take place in the body, it is important to look into ways of best supporting human performance in the workplace. From collaboration, mentorship, deep thought processes, innovation and creativity, it is important to combine these factors in the right proportions, to help individuals succeed, and in the long run the company too.

Organizational psychologists do believe that one of the most effective ways of studying and understanding the nature of human performance is through a careful blend of opportunity, motivation and ability.

Performance enhancement

Members of staff are able to work better when there is an appropriate blend of the three factors mentioned above. Ability is all about whether the person can do the task they are being assigned or not, motivation measures whether the individual really wants to do what they are being tasked to, while opportunity on the other hand is about access. Occupational therapists note that it is impossible for someone to carry out a task if they are not allowed to do so, or if they are denied access to the resources that they need for the said task.

All these factors have to exist in the work environment so that people are able to do their best in the work environment. There are lots of components within the business environment that affect the prospect of a comfortable working environment. The building for example, needs to let in just the right amount of light, to provide ambient working conditions. Towards this end, it would be wise to enable individual adjustment and control of the conditions prevalent, and in the process reducing the safety and health risks associated with the job at hand.

Negativity in the work environment will in most cases be as a result of the presence of distractions, noxious or hazardous situations, or anything else that brings about discomfort. An ergonomic design of the workplace therefore is supposed to promote positive functioning, encourage personal control and psychological engagement

In order to enhance human performance, there are certain best practices in the workplace design that occupational therapists recommend, as we will discuss below:

Temperature and thermal comfort

It is important to make sure that in the work environment, there is an appropriate combination of temperature, humidity and flow of air. This will help create a physically comfortable workplace. With this in mind, always make sure that the temperature in the room is ideal. This will also help with an increased sense of accuracy, and a reduction in the number of people who request sick leave.

You can also look into the prospect of underfloor air, zonal temperature controls where necessary and operable windows to help with natural light, temperature control and airflow.

Natural light

Most people take this for granted, but access to daylight and the views of nature are important to a successful work environment. A lot of people do respond well to nature, which is important in occupational therapy, providing them with an endless stream of possibilities in terms of sensory changes.

It is often advisable that you spend some time outside, even if it is for a brief moment. The presence of windows and the ability to interact with nature will usually spur positive well-being. Most people do enjoy working in a situation where they are on a height looking down below. The presence of natural features like a water body will also work well towards productivity, and this explains why most people are comfortable paying hefty prices to have some of these views at work.

The plan for the work stations should therefore be ergonomically designed in such a manner that natural light can penetrate onto the floor. Open spaces are supposed to be designed near the windows to help with lighting. In case you are designing a workplace where visual privacy is not really necessary, glass walls will be a good alternative.

Nice views should be encouraged wherever possible, because this helps create that aesthetic value that the body needs for effective performance. You also need to make sure that you provide outdoor areas where employees can go for their breaks or to relax even if they do this for a few minutes. Occupational therapists recommend you encourage your employees or your teammates to make use of the outdoor experience during the day and this will certainly help their performance.