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DATE: 09/09/2015

Productivity in the workplace – it seems everyday a new article gets published promising “the holy grail” of getting more done in less time.

Google the keyword term “how to be productive at work” and you’ll be given an astonishing 124 million search results.

Though astute business owners have presumably always experimented with performance enhancing tweaks, unprecedented advancements in technology over the past decade have only added more fuel to the flame. Common pieces of advice include:

All of these are great tips that should be experimented with, but there’s another often overlooked option that should be considered. And it has less to do with what you and more to do with where you do it – choosing office furniture that increases productivity. Studies show the top killers of productivity have more to do with environment than anything else. With this in mind, here are 3 office furniture room ideas to increase productivity:

1. Create Privacy Nooks

According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology's published research, lack of sound privacy is the no. 1 cited employee distraction to getting work done. With an open-office floor plans on the rise – thanks to touted benefits like lower costs, enhanced communication and a more youthful appearance – privacy has become a major concern in many workspaces. You can address this by creating privacy nooks that give employees the option of “being alone with their thoughts.”

There are many ways to construct privacy nooks, including sectioning off informal workspaces with privacy dividers; sporadically placing comfortable office chairs with small work surfaces throughout a designated “quiet room;” and incorporating modern bubble chairs into your space. Just make sure to communicate to the entire office what these areas are for – solitude and highly focused work!

2. Utilize Game Rooms

As mentioned in our previous article, brief diversions from tasks can dramatically improve our ability to focus for prolonged periods of time. Scientists say this is because when constantly stimulated, the brain groups whatever task we’re working on into the “unimportant” category.

Solution: Consider furnishing a game room with modern chairs, tables and games for your employees (we’ll let you decide whether or not to spring for the ping-pong table). Not only will this help rest the brain, it may also encourage co-worker bonding. A recent Gallup survey found that employees with a best friend at work tend to be more focused, more passionate and more loyal to their organizations, as reported by NYmag.com. Sounds like a win-win.

3. Invest In High-Quality Office Chairs

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, a chair isn’t just something you sit on. Many stress, lumbar and postural alignment issues can be mitigated, or eliminated, by finding the right chair. We recommend giving your employees the option of choosing their next chair. After doing your due-diligence, select 3 options and bring them to the office for a “test run.” By allowing workers to select what feels best to them, they’re more likely to be comfortable and thus, produce their best work.

Put these 3 office furnishing ideas into place and you’re on your way to a more productive staff.