Low energy at the office, more sick days marked on the calendar and little to no mingling among your teams are just some of many consequences of lack of morale. Higher rates of absenteeism alone are more than enough to affect your business operations, let alone poor collaboration levels or hostility in the workplace. What may seem like temporary issues are most likely symptoms of negativity that has been building up – and as dire as your situation may be, there are numerous ways you can help reverse these effects and build a culture of cooperation and harmony within your walls.
One of the most overlooked factors that affect employee morale as well as productivity is your office look and feel. Let’s go over several of the most notable ways to improve your office design and consequently help your teams become more productive and happier in the workplace and under your wings!
Think healthy lunch breaks
Whether you stick to traditional work hours such as nine to five or you have a flexible work schedule, every team member is bound to hit that mid-day energy slump – it’s just that for some people, it happens in the morning, while for others, it’s around six in the afternoon. The first thing they’ll do is reach for a sugary snack or a soda because they will provide an instant energy boost, although a short-lived one, often followed by yet another energy slump.
Replacing your old, candy-filled vending machines with healthy snacks and nutritious meals on the menu means a huge difference in how your employees will be energized throughout the day. It can be something as simple as fresh fruit salads, bags of nuts and seeds or a smoothie stand within your office for a dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Food has a tremendous impact on productivity, so it’s good to start with your office nutrition.
Level up the fun
If your employees spend around seven or eight hours at the office, the burnout that follows such a stressful routine may not be so unexpected after all. You can help prevent these negative consequences and boost morale if you add a fun zone or a simple community room into your office space. Fill it with activities and décor that will reflect your employees’ preferences.
For example, AT&T and DirecTV bundle packages for your community room TV can make all the difference in giving your people new topics to discuss and take a real break from those stressful projects and demanding clients. A pool table and perhaps a few lazy bags in various colors can turn a regular room into a relaxing space that’s work-free even though it’s just one door away from the rest of the office. Talk to your employees to see what they want and make a few changes to keep them interested and engaged during those breaks.
Add some green to your office spirit
You’ll find many a study confirms what we’ve known for a long time: office life can add to pollution in many different ways, from causing too much paper usage and overconsumption of energy all the way to increasing our carbon footprint. However, there’s another side to this story, as the people that work in these offices are also affected by this traditional take on office design – it’s a mood-killer, and the poor lighting and low air quality can indeed bust your morale. Plants, on the other hand, are perfect stress-killers!
Modern offices are now focused on developing designs that are not exclusively good for the environment, although this is still a key concern, but are also bettering productivity in the employee collective. Add a few low-maintenance plants to your office, switch to digital storage over paper and printing and add plenty of natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows, and you’ll find that your employees are much more eager to complete their tasks and spend time in such a beautiful environment.
Encourage a personal touch
It’s easy to feel like a member of a close-knit community when there are a total of ten people working in your office. However, larger companies and corporations boasting hundreds if not thousands of employees often have trouble making their employees feel at home, no matter how vast the organization may be. From the very first day, encourage your employees to decorate their own desks with trinkets, photos, and posters they’ll find motivational and inclusive.
A cookie-cutter approach, much like the old cubicle, takes away that breath of fresh air when you bring in a new person to your team – let them express themselves and they’ll look at your office like a place where they are free to share their ideas and their input is valued.
Brand your rooms
You’ve already heard how Google and other tech giants use their brand colors and their key values to imbue their entire office space with what they stand for. However, other brands are also worth mentioning for their creative zeal, such as Etsy and their incredible sense for detail and love for the hand-crafted.
Follow in their footsteps by letting your brand emerge in every piece of furniture, wall, and every decorative item in your space. That way, your people will feel like part of something relevant and something they genuinely believe in.
There are many different ways you can help your teams feel included and valued and inspire them to contribute to your brand growth. However, use these office design ideas to take that bond to the next level, and you’ll notice that your employees will flourish in a space that resonates their values and their needs.