You can offer your employees all kinds of fantastic perks at work, ensuring that they are happy in their job and that it is a fun, exciting kind of workplace. It is a good idea, but what you shouldn’t ever forget is the work aspect itself. As well as having fun, work needs to be done, and if your employees don’t have a safe, comfortable place to do that work, then it won’t make any difference what perks and extras you give them. They still won’t enjoy what they do and won’t be as productive as they could be.
Because of this, we’ve put together some essential tips on making your employees’ office space as comfortable as possible, which, in turn, will boost their productivity and ensure that your business goes from strength to strength.
- Be Organized
There is a lot to be said for organization, especially within an office environment. There will be a lot of information, paperwork, documents, and office supplies moving from place to place within your office, and if your office is messy, then it is inevitable that something at some point is going to go missing! Not only that, but it makes it hard to find everyday items such as paper and pens if they aren’t in one place or haven’t been given somewhere specific to be kept. This can frustrate and infuriate office workers, and for some, it can make them uncomfortable and uneasy.
It makes a lot of sense to have dedicated areas for specific items. A stationery store is always a useful addition, and although this in itself will need to be kept neat and tidy, it does mean that everyone knows where to find anything they need. You could also introduce a rota so that everyone takes turns in tidying up on a Friday evening, for example. If your employees are taking responsibility for their own workspace, they will be less likely to let it get too untidy.
- Keep It Clean
Not only does your office need to be kept as tidy as possible, but it should also be kept clean. A dirty office is clearly an unpleasant place to work in, and in the worst cases, it can even make employees sick. If they then have to take time off work, you will be losing money and work won’t get done; it could have a significant knock-on effect.
Again, encouraging your employees to clean up after themselves is an excellent way to start, and ensuring that everyone knows whose turns it is to do the dishes or vacuum the floor is important, but so is giving them the tools to do this work. It would not cost much to install a small dishwasher in your office kitchen, for example, which would mean that the machine would simply need to be filled and switched on perhaps once a day. It might even save you water.
A big deep clean every few months is another way to help keep your office clean. This is when the windows and blinds or drapes can be cleaned, and when you can use a Bissell commercial carpet cleaner to really get the grime and dirt out of your carpets. If you do this on a regular basis, cleaning the office during the rest of the time will be much easier, plus it will be a more attractive, comfortable place to work.
- Comfort Is Important
Sometimes it is a question of style or comfort, and if this is the case, then comfort should win every time. Although some desks and chairs or other pieces of furniture might look attractive or even impressive, there is truly nothing better to have in your office than furniture that people can use for more extended periods of time. Ideally, it should all be ergonomic, meaning that your employees won’t be physically damaged by merely sitting in their office chair at their desk.
You should also try to provide a break room if possible, or if there is no room for this, then your workers will at least need a couch or similar softer seating to sit on so that they can get away from their desk for a while when taking a break. As well as good furniture, there should be adequate lighting (natural lighting if you can) and ventilation.
These items are small in terms of financial investment, but they can ensure that your employees are happy, healthy, and more productive, and will, therefore, give you the money that you spent on then back quickly.
- Everyone Gets A Say
An office space in which everyone feels safe and listened to is hugely important. Employees will always do more, be more motivated, and be more productive when they feel they their thoughts and ideas are taken onboard by their boss. It is imperative that you listen to what your employees want to say because they might be suggesting small changes that you can make which will change the entire workspace for the better.
There are a number of different ways you can do this. You might have an open door policy, for example, where people know they can come to your office and speak to you at any time (assuming you’re free to talk to them). It means they feel more included and part of the team, and since they don’t have to make an appointment, they can talk about what they are thinking as soon as it comes to them, which will help them feel happier too. Alternatively, you might hold a weekly meeting where everyone in the company attends and has their say on whatever it is they want to talk about. Again, this can be a positive experience, especially as you can gauge exactly how other people feel about the suggestions at the same time.
- Open Plan
Whether or not you can provide an open plan office space will depend to some extent on the kind of sector you are working in, and how much privacy each employee needs to be able to do their job successfully. However, if it is possible, then it can help make your employees love their workplace immensely. Sitting in a small space such as a cubicle or office can make people feel cramped and uncomfortable, and it can make them feel lonely. It is, therefore, potentially bad for both the body and the mind. If you open the office up and give it a sense of much more space, people will feel freer and often happier too.
If you can’t make the office more open, perhaps because you need to hold meetings that need their own room, for example, then the communal areas should be as open as possible so that people can meet on their breaks and enjoy some extra space.
- It Must Be Functional
If the office equipment keeps breaking down and the machines like the printers, photocopiers, or even the computers themselves can’t be relied on, then the people working with these pieces of equipment will never feel quite at ease about them. They will always be expecting the worst, and never be sure that the piece of work they are currently doing will get finished on time not due to their own lack of productivity, but due to the equipment they are being asked to work with.
As an employer, it is one of your duties to ensure that the equipment you want your workers to use is functional, up to date, and, of course, safe. This doesn’t mean you have to buy everything brand new, and there are many excellent deals to be had when purchasing used equipment, but it does mean that you need to take the time to check everything over and, when something does go wrong, either replace it or have it repaired quickly.
- Could It Be Optional?
Somewhere that your employees are always going to prefer to be, no matter how great their office space is, is at home. In many cases, they will be more productive if they can work at home for part of the time, and they will appreciate the option being given to them, making them feel pleased about working for your company. Therefore, if it makes sense and will work for your business, you might consider letting your employees work from home either full time or part of the time.
For an even more productive team, you could reduce their working hours, although this should not come with a reduction in pay unless it is absolutely necessary, as this won’t boost morale. Some offices have started giving their employees four day weeks instead of five, for example.
- Make A Community
The happiest workplaces are those that offer a sense of community and belonging. If your employees do this for you and you for them, and they do it for one another, then it is probable that they will also do the same for your customers. Everyone will be looking out for everyone else, and offering them the best service and ideas that they can because they understand the importance of community and how one kind act can spread.
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