Most people understand what can affect the productivity of staff from poor work/life balance to a lack of rewards or benefits but it can be easy to overlook the environment as an influential factor and maybe it is time for an office revamp.
Environment plays a huge part in the motivation and productivity of your staff and a dark, dingy atmosphere can make staff feel demotivated, unappreciated and it can even lead to feelings of sadness and a reluctance to come in. If you’ve noticed your staff have a dropping level of morale or are experiencing a high number of absences, first talk to your staff to understand they don’t have anything else going on, then consider revamping your environment.
There are a number of factors that contribute to creating a positive environment for your staff. From the colour of the walls to the internal perks offered and we are going to explore the most influential factors so that you may use the most relevant to your business.
Use of colour is a powerful way to change an environment around. All white walls create a cleaner look but can make the working environment feel sterile and boring, especially when paired with a single block-colour carpet. Adding some colour to your workspace creates depth, aesthetic appeal and certain colours can even invoke happiness in others when brought into their environment. Colour doesn’t have to be relegated to the walls either. If you need to have clean white walls, consider adding flashes of colour in your furniture, such as brightly coloured office chairs that match the business branding or curtains and blinds that add an extra ‘pop’ where the natural light shines in.
Coloured carpets are a popular choice as well, with a wealth of options available from bold stripes and marble-like patterns to deep luxury piles and cost-effective carpet tiles. Flooring provides a catalogue of different carpet types, designs and colours and with hundreds of different styles to choose from, you are guaranteed to find the perfect carpet for your commercial property.
Where do your staff go for a break? Are they stuck at their desk throughout the entire day or do they have somewhere away from the working area to relax and enjoy their lunch?
Break-out areas, even small ones set up in corridors near to a window can make a huge difference to staff in the workplace and for most people, they aren’t able to fully relax unless they are completely away from their desk. Finding space can be difficult and if your workplace doesn’t have the space available at all, consider whether it’s the best place for your business to stay. Break-out spaces can be outside but you should offer some shelter and potentially some external heaters for those colder days and throughout the winter.
Staff that are able to take a proper break throughout the day are more productive and usually happier in their work, feeling less stressed and able to decompress between tasks.
Lighting and temperature are the greatest contributors to comfort in the office but it also extends to cleanliness and furniture. Comfort is a balance that can be tricky to get right.
Giving all your staff armchairs and cranking up the warmth is going to create a cosy and by extension, sleepy environment where half the staff end up dozing in the afternoon. Buying the right type of chair is important however as it will help prevent back and hip issues for staff that are sat at the computer all day. Fully-adjustable computer chairs are recommended as they allow staff to adjust their tilt, height and the angle of the backrest to their requirements.
Lights should be as close to natural light as possible but ‘blue-enriched’ lights can be used if necessary to help staff stay more alert throughout the day but shouldn’t be used in break-out areas as this can prevent people relaxing.
Cleanliness doesn’t simply refer to the cobwebs in the corner and the bin over-flowing but it extends to cluttered surfaces and lack of open-plan facilities. Lots of walls can result in a lack of natural light but open-plan designs can ensure light spreads amply across the entire workspace. Keep surfaces clear of working materials, documents, stationery or anything that is regularly used and add more storage where necessary to keep things tucked away until needed again.
Your customers may be the lifeblood of your business but your employees are the heart and one cannot work without the other. By putting your staff force first and ensuring their comfort and happiness in the workplace you encourage loyal staff that work to the best of their ability, ensuring a higher quality of work supported by increased productivity.