We spend a huge proportion of our lives at work. And that means that the environments in which we carry our day to day tasks really do come to define how we feel. All the data shows clearly that happier workplaces are a lot more productive – when employees are satisfied and feel valued, they are able to be more creative, motivated and will usually go the extra mile for a project, as well as being more likely to stay with the company, reducing knowledge lost and recruitment costs.
But having a great workplace is not an accident – it’s very much a product of careful design. And while we may not be able to design the business premises of dreams from scratch, there are lots of things we can do to make our working environments much nicer places, so make it a resolution to think about yours.
Maximise Natural Light
Light, bright spaces make us feel more awake, open and ready to take on the challenges of the day. A light-filled space taps into the body’s natural circadian rhythms and helps employees to set their body clocks so they have consistent energy levels and are likely to sleep better at night. So make sure you maximise the light in your workspace to encourage this.
Keep It Clean
A clean and tidy workspace is very much a more efficient one – think about how much time can be wasted looking for a missing item, and then multiply that by all the people in your organisation and you’ll soon see the wasted potential that could easily be avoided. The first smart move is to make sure you use a cloud computing system.
This has a number of business advantages with being able to access what you need anywhere, greater security and instant updates – but it also cuts down drastically on physical files that need to be maintained and stored. Try creating a clear desk policy too, which will keep desk space streamlined and efficient. It’s also important to keep the environment clean, by bringing in a specialist cleaning firm like SMC Office Cleaning. This prevents the spread of germs and helps to keep the sick leave of employees to a minimum.
Provide A Quiet Space
Open offices work well to encourage communication and collaboration, but they can occasionally be distracting if someone needs to focus on a deep-dive project. Try to provide a few quieter areas where employees can go if they need a little solitude or are working on something complex.
It also might be a good idea to have a rest area for power naps – studies show that a 20-minute power nap is more effective than caffeine at boosting brain power and can help your staff during intensive work tasks.
Provide Healthy Snacks
The right diet is crucial in regulating energy levels, priming the immune system and keeping our mental and physical health in check. And while you can’t police what employees are eating all the time, you can give a helping hand by providing healthy snacks in the office.
Why not schedule a fruit delivery, or do a catered lunch once a week that offers healthier options? Getting people into the right habits at work may inspire them to name positive changes at home as well.