The A-Z of the Productive Office

Check out 26 ways to make your office more efficient in this definitive guide: everything from air conditioning to more Zzzz’s with productivity-boosting powernaps.

Air conditioning

When the temperature in an office goes up, productivity goes down. A small increase of 2°C above the optimal temperature can result in a 10% drop in productivity. Even in cool climates, the increased productivity due to an improved indoor climate is worth 10 to 100 times the operational and maintenance costs of installing air conditioning. It’s getting easier to fit all the time. For example, Samsung’s Mini 4Way Cassette is the same size as a standard ceiling tile.


Bring your own device’ is an IT trend that sees companies allowing their staff to use their own computers, tablets and phones at work. Samsung research found that adopting a BYOD policy cut communications costs by 17 percent, increased employee engagement by 47 percent and boosted productivity in nearly half (46 percent) of the companies that did it.


Samsung’s Chromebooks offer companies a new way to improve their people’s productivity. They look like regular laptops but they run Google’s Chrome operation system and instead of storing data and applications locally, they use Google Apps in the cloud, including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and mail client, and they use Google Drive for storage. This means the devices can be cheaper, lighter, more secure and much more responsive than regular laptops. For example, the Chromebook Series 5 boots within six seconds and lets you resume work instantly when you open the lid.


Good displays in meeting rooms enable all kinds of productivity-boosting tricks such as internet video conferencing, interactive white boards, desktop sharing and, of course, presentations. But companies can further increase productivity by replacing difficult-to-reach ceiling mounted projectors with large format professional LCD displays. A 55” or 65” Samsung Large Format Displays are easier to install, easier to use and brighter than most legacy projectors. Just plug in a VGA or HDMI cable or even a USB stick and you’re ready to go in full HD.


Sitting down all day can be bad for your health and waistline. Escaping the office regularly for a walk can boost creativity and burn up to 300 calories an hour. The Samsung Galaxy S4 includes S Health which acts as a pedometer to keep you on track.


Filing cabinets are a waste of space, literally and metaphorically. It’s difficult to find what you want, time-consuming to put things in them and they take up expensive floor space. The alternative is a multifunction device, such as Samsung’s CLX-6260FW, which includes an automatic document feeder and scanner that lets you convert old paper files into digital documents at high speed. Store them on your file server or in a cloud application such as Dropbox. You can even use optical character recognition to ‘read’ what’s printed on them, making the digital documents even easier to search.


Cut energy costs by replacing expensive lighting with LED lighting (see below), double sided printing, using Samsung Toner Save Mode which can eke out an extra 3000 pages from a 10000 page toner cartridge and by putting major electrical devices on timers or just switching them off over the weekend and during holidays. Switching to virtual meetings using videoconferencing tools like Skype and business social networking apps like Yammer can also cut the cost and environmental impact of meetings.


If more people work from home or spend time out on the road, you can cut the amount of floor space given over to desks. People can share hot desks when they come into the office. If you need less space, eventually you may be able to move and cut the rent or, to improve productivity, turn some of the reclaimed space into meeting rooms, breakout areas and other spaces that encourage collabouration.


First impressions matter but you don’t have to spend a fortune on interior decorators to make your office more appealing. Adding mirrors and lights can brighten a dark room. Repainting a wall with a bright colour can make a room more interesting. Just tidying up clutter came make an office more professional-looking. Engage your staff – give them a budget and ask for suggestions. Look for quirky but cheap furniture, posters and other furnishings on eBay. Pop round to Ikea on a quiet day and pick up some cheap cable tidies.


Check out the Scott eVEST range if you want to take your office on the road with you. For example, the Travel Vest for Men has 24 pockets, including one big enough for a full-size tablet. It even comes with cable runs for headphones.


If you want to add a keyboard to your Samsung Galaxy Tab or Samsung Galaxy S4, consider the Cellulon Epic laser keyboard. It’s a little box that users a laser to project a keyboard onto any flat surface. It connects to your device via Bluetooth and, voila, you can start typing.


If you want to add a keyboard to your Samsung Galaxy Tab or Samsung Galaxy S4, consider the Cellulon Epic laser keyboard. It’s a little box that users a laser to project a keyboard onto any flat surface. It connects to your device via Bluetooth and, voila, you can start typing.

Multifunction printers

The paperless office may be an impossible but the less-paper office is definitely within reach. The latest multifunction printers can help companies get there. Combining a printer, copier, scanner and fax machine, they are more than output devices. You can also use them to enable digital workflows, support mobile working and digitise old paper documents.


Some things are still easier with a paper and pen. For them, you need a good quality notebook, like Flex by Filofax or the ubiquitous Moleskine.

Online applications

Cloud computing came of age in 2013. There are now 50 million servers in the world and 61 percent of small and medium-size businesses are using cloud-based solutions. There’s an online application for almost any business requirement and they make people more productive. First, they give people access to cutting-edge, big-company technology. Second, there’s no need for expensive on-premise hardware and software, which frees up space and IT resources for more important work. Third, they often work well on phones and tablets as well as PCs, allowing people much more flexibility about when, where and how they work.


Your phone could be your biggest productivity asset. A powerful smartphone like the Samsung GALAXY S4 lets you stay in touch and keep your information at your fingertips. And for business users, the GALAXY S4 Active, which is geared for durability, is ideal for people who work in the field. Samsung Knox’s Mobile Device Management lets you keep all your company’s phone secure and up to date and Samsung’s Mobile Care Pack protects you against unforeseen risks, enables business continuity and increases the return on your phone investments.


Although open-plan offices can be buzzy and fun, research cited in Peopleware, a seminal book about knowledge worker productivity, suggests that the most productive configuration is two people per private office. It also recommends minimising noisy interruptions such as music, phone calls and PA announcements, in order to encourage a productive flow state.


Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs, is a huge advocate of reading. It may not seem as productive as ‘doing something’ but he says ‘I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.’


Samsung has the technology to help you transform your office and deliver a new business experience that is user inspired, solution driven, mobile and collabourative. We registered 5081 patents in the US in 2012 and spent $9 billion on research and development. Put our innovation to work in your company.


Tablets already outsell laptop PCs, and they’re an increasingly viable business alternative. Combine a Samsung Galaxy Tab with business applications like SmartOffice and online storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox and you can create and edit documents on the move.


If you need the power and flexibility of a fully-featured laptop, upgrade to a Samsung Series 9 Premium Notebook. It’s one of the world’s thinnest laptops and, thanks to Samsung Fast Start™ it can wake up from sleep in as few as 1.4 seconds so you’re ready to be productive in the office or on the move.


Free services like Google Hangouts and Skype videoconferences let you stay in face-to-face contact with people over the internet. For people who use them these videoconferencing have turned a sci-fi concept into something very mundane. And yet, a video conference often saves a journey which saves time and money. It enables remote teammates to feel like part of the team. You can even get Android clients and do join in from your tablet or smart phone.

Wireless printing

Printers such as Samsung’s CLX-4195FW multi-function printer (MFP) are compatible with Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint, allowing you to print documents, emails and more from an iOS or Android device from wherever you are using an internet connection. You can even start a print job from elsewhere and then pick it up when you get into the office or arrive back home.


Microsoft’s on{x} is an Android application and a website that lets you remotely program your phone with a set of rules, for example to send a text message every time you leave the office. It can even detect whether you are walking, driving or running so, for example, you can program your phone to remember where you parked when you go from driving to walking.


Worried your staff will slack off when your back is turned? Want to skive off home early for the weekend, but feel you need to be seen in your office? What you need is a life size foam board figure of yourself looking stern and imposing. Send a picture of yourself, your actual height to Lifesize Cutouts in Kettering and they will clone you in cardboard. Quantity discounts are available if you want to start a personality cult.


When B2 bomber pilots fly their epic 30+ hour missions, the two pilots take it in turns to use a garden lounger in the back of the cockpit to take power naps. NASA research found that napping improved pilot reaction times and vigilance and other research that naps were better than caffeine at improving verbal memory, motor skills and perceptual learning. So perhaps your productive office should find space for a sleepy corner.