Thinking about the office and making sure that it is safe and comfortable goes a very long way to helping your employees enjoy the time that they spend at work. Even the smallest of improvements can make the biggest of differences to the productivity, happiness, performance, and well being of the people who work for you. Here are a few tips for making your workplace a great place to be.
Let there be light
One of the most important things you can do for your employees is making sure they have access to plenty of natural light. It has been shown that natural daylight can help to reduce levels of stress and irritation. People who don’t have access to daylight often suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, especially throughout the winter. Have big windows in the work space that can be opened if necessary to bring in the fresh air. If natural light is not an option, mimic the look of it by using bulbs that simulate daylight.
Bring the outside inside
If possible, bring in some greenery and plants into the office. They help to clean the air and increase the amount of oxygen in the room, which in turn will leave workers feeling more productive and energized. Research in the UK in 2014 found that having plants in the office boosted levels of productivity by up to 15%, as well as increased satisfaction in the workplace and employee engagement.
Create opportunities for movement
One of the best ways of staying focused in a long day of work is acknowledging when you have hit a productivity wall. Taking lots of short, quick breaks can be beneficial for workers to give them a new perspective and renew their energy. Facilitating the opportunities for this will increase the productivity of your office. Try putting the printer or copy machine the other end of the room or having a water cooler in a central location gives workers a reason to get up and move about. You can even put in some covered walkways to encourage them to go outside more, even when the weather isn’t great.
Make a space to take a break
Office workers are notorious for not taking a full lunch break, with up to half of workers not taking any sort of break at all. When they are taken, they are quite often at the desk in front of the computer, which is not healthy for anyone. Staff are much more likely to take a break and be more energized for an afternoon of work if there is a dedicated and attractive space to sit down in, eat, relax and socialize with their colleagues. Many offices choose to provide activities such as games consoles or pool tables to help their employees switch off from work during their breaks.
It is vital that you regularly assess your working space – the needs of the area and your employees change and evolve, and it is essential that you update and adapt and tweak as necessary.