The new open-plan office trend has brought a few issues, including complaints, bickering, and an overall reduction in productivity in some offices.

In many instances, however, offices simply have it wrong. Instead of trying to make old methods work in a new design, business owners must rethink the concept of the modern office. Corporate culture is more important than ever, since employees work so closely together. Here are a few things businesses can do to improve productivity in their office spaces.

Hire the Right People

A harmonious work environment is all about the people who occupy its spaces. Decide what your corporate culture will be as soon as possible and hire people who fit it. It may help to find a recruiter who can help you connect with employees who will be more likely to stay over multiple years than take the risk of going through multiple employees over the course of each year.

Set a Routine...Then Break It

It's a natural course of action for a business to settle into a routine over time. Employees come to work each day knowing what to expect and activities can be planned around those routines. But over time, too much routine can lead to burnout and boredom. Shake up that routine every now and then to keep things interesting.

Be Flexible

Rules are important, but too much rigidity can drain morale. Try to create an environment where employees are more concerned with the work they're doing than the time they arrive and leave each day. Allow employees to work from home or while on the road and give in-office workers the opportunity to come in late and work late if that makes them more productive.

Give Workers the Space They Need

Once a business starts building a team, it can be difficult to find the right work environment for each employee. Some of your employees will need isolation to fully focus, while others will thrive off the collaborative environment of the modern open office. Create a space that combines standing desks with comfortable couches and enclaves for individual work, then encourage employees to move around throughout the day as their work needs change.

Set Suitable Policies

Policies need to be refined for the modern work environment, allowing for some flexibility while still maintaining order. Open-plan offices require noise-restriction policies, including prohibiting speakerphones in office spaces and requiring headphones for listening to music.

Find the Right Temperature

One employee is sweating while another is wearing a coat and gloves in the middle of summer. Maintaining the right temperature throughout the office can be almost impossible at times, but it can make a big difference in productivity. Space heaters can be dangerous and drain electricity, so consider keeping your office on the high end of a comfortable range and allowing warmer-natured people to use fans.

Focus on Team Building

The end goal should always be to create an environment where employees work together rather than against each other. When everyone moves in the same direction, leaders can spend time growing the business rather than mediating fights between workers. Celebrate birthdays and host occasional retreats to help encourage employees to work together productively.

Productivity can be more challenging than ever, with employees dealing with a growing number of daily distractions. By finding a way to manage their corporate cultures, businesses can help employees work collaboratively and effectively. When the team works more cohesively together, the business benefits by increased revenue and reduced employee turnover.

Published on: Nov 24, 2015