A happy office and a productive workforce can be a deciding factor in the success or failure of any small business. Without a strong and supportive team in place, meeting KPI’s and quarterly targets can feel like an uphill battle.
It’s no secret that your work environment can play a significant part in the levels of employee happiness, focus and overall productivity. There’s a reason the ‘desk cubical’ species of offices are becoming extinct. Employers are catching onto the idea that a vibrant and well equipped work space can make for a happier and more fruitful workforce.
Create a beautiful environment
Having a beautiful, happy office space to work in can improve workforce morale, and in turn reduce employee sick days (and the costs associated with them). In fact, a recent survey by Service Partner One, has discovered that of the 2.8 sick days that each workers takes on average each year, a massive 1.5 of these days are taken due to being unhappy at work.
Ensure your work space is well designed and attractive to get the most out of your team. For example, numerous studies have found that workers who are in view of live plants can concentrate better and have increased productivity. This doesn’t mean you need to turn your office into a forest, just a few plants here or there can do wonders.
Though the design and style of the office space is often decided by business owners or managers, it’s important to consider that employees may have their own personal style. Staff may want to bring some personal belongings into the office and make their desk space unique to them. Allowing for individuality in the office (within reason of course) can boost efficiency and concentration. It can also promote positivity and happiness as employees feel more comfortable in the office environment.
Make sure your workspace is organised
Have you ever had an extremely busy period at work which has resulted in a chaotic and cluttered office environment? Often, a disorganised office can hinder everyone’s ability to work effectively because let’s face it: chaos breeds chaos. A clean and ordered office not only boosts happiness and productivity, it also reduces the likelihood of employees becoming unwell due to germs spreading and makes a positive statement to clients about your business values.
Organisation of people
The way in which you organise your employees can have a large impact on how productive and efficient they are. Often, employees are organised in relation to their job title. However, organising staff in relation to their common goals or clients is an effective way to boost productivity and teamwork.
Working towards the same objectives can also boost morale and workplace positivity.
Never underestimate the power of good lighting in the office. People who work in artificial light are more likely to feel tired towards the end of the day. Whereas people who work closer to windows and work in natural light feel more satisfied and can work more effectively. This idea relates back to the death of the cubical and a move towards bright and happy office spaces.
Chair and Table
Supplying your workforce with ergonomically fitted desks and chairs can be rather expensive, however the benefits to employees can far outweigh the costs involved. For example, a poorly adjusted or ill fitted chair can affect the physical and mental health of your employees, which in turn can increase sick days in the office. There are many services available to help ensure all desks and chairs are adjusted correctlyfor a happy office.
Have a well-stocked office
You can bet that the moment you have an important document to print for a client, is the exact time that the print decides to run out of ink and paper. Part of having an efficient workforce is having the equipment needed to run your businesses smoothly. This goes for free flowing tea and coffee as well as general office supplies. Investing in a quality coffee service means you’ll be providing your employees with high quality coffee and tea, which is sure to boost employee satisfaction. Often, it can be difficult to keep track of what you’ve already ordered and what you still need to arrange.
Office management services like Service Partner One can tailor and coordinate the ordering of your office supplies like coffee, food, stationary, envelopes, ink and so on. This leaves more time for the important tasks, meaning you’ll never be late for a meeting again (due to the printer running-out of ink!)
Lunch breaks are important
It may be slightly unpopular in this modern day, however breaks between tasks are important to keep your concentration up. It seems that 61 per centof Londoners, aren’t taking a full lunch hour and this can affect your ability to focus and complete tasks efficiently. Taking a break could simply be a 10-minute walk, a stretch or a change of scenery, which can do wonders for your concentration.
Happy employees are productive employees and benefits can be an effective way to incentivise positive office habits. Benefits start with the obvious; health insurance, holiday leave/pay etc. However, benefits can also involve team outings, Christmas parties or monthly meals out. Benefits can give employees something to strive for as well as promoting a stronger sense of ‘team’ amongst staff.
Importance of food and drink
Having the right food and drink is important for any office as it helps promote health and wellbeing. Coffee is obvious, it’s the lifeblood of the economy. However, it’s also beneficial to provide fruit, water and refreshments (particularly if you’re having a Friday drink or entertaining clients).
Providing your staff with a happy office is an important part of running any business. By creating a comfortable, organised and well equipped space, you are giving your business the best chance at being as happy, and as productive, as it can be.
Sven Hock is CEO and co-founder of Service Partner ONE.