Creating a comfortable workplace is an important part of keeping your employees engaged and focused. The office is home to your employees for the majority of their week. A professional office space should not feel stagnant and boring. Be creative when choosing colours and finishes so that your office has a unique look that is representative of your culture and brand. There are a few simple things to keep in mind when setting up an office that will help your workplace feel a little more inviting.
Improve the lighting and temperature
Bright lights can cause headaches and fatigue for some people after long hours of exposure. Look for lighting options that allow you to dim the lights or use some natural light when possible. It is also helpful to have desk lamps for work spaces that have less exposure to overhead lights. Make sure that the heating and cooling system is functioning properly all year round. Install the thermostat in an area that is not affected by outside air drafts so that it can accurately control the temperature in the office. The forced air within a typical office can start to feel dry and stale, particularly in the winter months. Prop open the door, or open a window during nice weather to let in some fresh air.
Offer ergonomic furniture and accessories
One-size-fits-all does not apply for office chairs. Although most of them come with adjustable features, allow your employees to choose a chair that is comfortable for them. Height, weight, and posture will determine which chair is most suitable for the individual. There are many other ergonomic considerations that go into creating a comfortable work space. Wireless headsets are useful for alleviating a cramped neck when using the phone. Head Set Era offers the Plantronics w740 wireless headset that allows employees to manage PC, mobile and desk phone calls all on the same device. Choose keyboards that support the wrist and mouse pads that offer some additional padding.
Create a comfortable break room
Design a break room that gives your employees a place to recharge midway through their work day. Have plenty of coffee, tea and filtered water available. Make sure there is a large enough fridge for their bagged lunches and a microwave to heat up their meals. Have some extra cutlery and dishes available. Make sure there are enough tables and chairs for everyone so that employees don’t feel rushed to finish their lunches. This will also help to create an environment that encourages communication and conversation. Add some entertainment like a small radio or television to allow employees to catch up on the daily news. Subscribe to a few general interest magazines or newspapers to share between co-workers. Be sure to have someone designated to keep the break room and appliances clean.
Incorporate flowers and plants
Indoor plants will make any space feel a little more like home. Plants bring some extra colour and life into a stagnant environment. If real plants are too much responsibility, you can opt for the artificial variety, but be sure to dust them regularly. You can also allow employees to bring in their own greenery for their desks.
Decorate the walls
Choose artwork that is representative of your industry. If you have trouble finding exactly what you have in mind, print your own artwork on poster size paper and purchase standard size frames to mount them on the wall. This will help to add some visual interest to your office, and will also create a more inviting space for customers and clients that visit your office.
Most importantly, keep your office clean. Hire a designated cleaning staff to make sure that trash is removed on a regular basis, restrooms are kept clean, and all surface areas are dusted regularly. This will help to improve air quality and eliminate problems with dust allergies. Accept input from your employees to create a space that everyone enjoys. Making the workplace feel a little more like home is essential to keeping your employees happy and committed to their jobs.
Toby Haviland is an office supervisor. He is constantly practicing innovative ways to improve productivity and employee satisfaction.