It is said that you need to invest in your shoes and your bed because you’re either in one or the other. Applying the same logic, one could argue that you should be thinking about improving the conditions both at home and in the office since you’re likely to spend more time in those places than anywhere else.
When you think about it, there’s not much wrong with this theory. A lot of people do spend most of the day in the office, either behind their desks or buzzing around the building. Even those working from home need to make their home office as pleasant and work-friendly as possible.
In terms of improvement, we could broadly speak about two types: essential and desirable. The former refers to creating a healthy environment, which is safe for work, while the latter encompasses all the perks and features that help the employees enjoy their time in the office more.
Health comes first
It goes without saying that only healthy employees are productive employees, which is exactly why the conditions in which they work need to be perfect. Are your offices equipped with modern cooling and heating devices? Is the quality of water in the office kitchen satisfactory?
You need to inspect your air-conditioning and ventilation system and test the indoor air quality on a regular basis. In case there’s a problem, you need to react without hesitation, since your office may easily turn into an incubator for all sorts of viruses and bacteria.
Also, think about the amount of drinking water consumed daily in your office and the cost of having it delivered in huge plastic bottles. Consider a much cheaper and by far more convenient UV disinfection.
If your colleagues spend a lot of time working at their desks, you should seriously think about upgrading the furniture to make it as ergonomic as possible. What is comfortable for a tall person is definitely not suitable for someone who is below average height. Also, if the chairs they use cause too much strain on their legs, back and neck, your colleagues might soon develop chronic health problems.
Consider investing in appropriate furniture both your obligation and investment in the health of your workers. This preventive measure is always a preferred option to having to treat a chronic health problem and possibly losing an employee because of it.
While your kitchen at home is usually occupied by one or two people at the same time, the situation in your office is often very different. Chances are, there are times when it gets quite crowded in there, which is why you need to make sure people are able to do what they want in the kitchen as quickly as possible.
This means you need to have an open space which would facilitate easy access to all utensils and devices in the kitchen. If that means you need to get rid of that table in the middle, so be it. People don’t need to be sitting in the communal office kitchen unless it’s so huge that it can easily accommodate a table.
Any addition of a kettle, coffee machine or microwave oven is bound to contribute to the overall satisfaction among the employees. You could even consider an ice machine. Also, make sure your fridge is big enough to hold enough food containers and bottles for everyone.
Relaxation is equally important
Just like you need to provide clean and fresh air and water, you should also make an effort when it comes to relaxation and entertainment. People need a break from thinking about work in order for their brains to recuperate and be ready for the next challenges.
It’s highly unlikely you can make everyone happy with a single idea because people have different ideas about relaxing. Some prefer a quiet corner, where they might be able to read a book or listen to their favourite music uninterrupted, while some would want their adrenalin levels to go up a bit.
Ideally, you should cater to all such needs. Having bean bag chairs or comfortable armchairs installed near a plant will definitely appeal to those who need peace and quiet. On the other hand, a table for table-tennis, a dartboard or a pool table are just some of the ideas you might consider to help your colleagues unwind.
You may even organise tournaments with symbolic prizes, thus keeping the competitive spirit up, or have an exhibition of employees’ works of art if they are into it. By showcasing their work outside the office you are helping both everyone in the office and the clients visiting your premises get a picture of the company culture and values.
A lot can be done to improve the conditions people work in and not all measures require substantial funds. The most important thing is to have a genuine wish to upgrade and to know what your priorities are. Finally, if your colleagues see that you’re trying to create something better for them, they’ll most definitely repay it by working even more efficiently and they are much more likely to be wearing a grin on their way to work.
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About the Author
My name is Alex Williams, born and raised in beautiful Sydney. I am a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to a wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at BizzmarkBlog.