A startup can be born in a basement or a garage, but once it takes off, it needs a proper office. However, office space isn’t just an orderly collection of desks, chairs, and computers.
The office is your creative space, the kitchen where the sausage is made, as Mad Men’s Bert Cooper puts it. In other words, your office should be set up as a welcoming, comfortable environment for all employees. Whether you’re operating cubicles, an open-plan office, or have a luxury of giving every employee a private office, there are ways to make this space more people-friendly.
#1 Don’t Scrimp On Comfort
When it comes to office furniture, many businesses tend to make savings, which leads to many employees having back pain, which affects their productivity. Consider looking for some ergonomic chairs with lumbar support, lumbar cushions, and even standing desks for those prefer doing business with feet firmly on the ground, pardon the pun. Such flexibility will give your employees to choose what works best for therm. It’s wrong to force all the employees to use a bar stool as an office chair just because it’s trendy.
#2 Create A Few Quiet Spaces
No human employee can be at the productivity peak all day long – everyone needs a break. Whether this is just a few minutes to have a cup of tea or coffee or to get a bit of fresh air on the balcony or office backyard, these spaces offer a refreshing respite, allowing your honeybees to meditate, their minds to wander off, or even take a short nap after a stressful episode.
#3 Decorate It
Since your employees spend a lot of time in your office, you should as well make efforts to add decorations to make it more aesthetically pleasing. It doesn’t have to be flashy colours or funky street art, just a few things that make it look less like an office and more like a laid back lounge, where those people would like to spend a part of the afternoon. An inspiring monochromatic wallpaper can replace the monotony of white walls, and some real art and bookshelves can give the space more character. The bookshelves can in return provide great and easily accessible storage for file folders.
#4 Add Office Plants
Furniture, carpets, AC units, and even computer equipment produce harmful toxins that pollute the indoor air. It’s estimated that a typical office space contains over 300 different airborne pollutants, and yet a single office plant is able to remove the harmful toxins in the 10 square feet space around it. Instead of making a wild guess which plants would thrive in your office, nowadays you can even rent a plant or two from a company that specializes in the installation, maintenance, and replacement of greenery in both indoor and outdoor areas.
#5 Make More Light
While a run of neon lights on the ceiling used to be a standard in 99% of the offices, now it was proven that despite their economy, those unnatural flickering tubes aren’t making anyone neither comfortable nor efficient. While the best option is natural light, your office orientation and the number of windows may not be enough for certain tasks. LED task lights aren’t as expensive as they used to be a few years ago, and apart from having better colour temperature range than other alternatives, they give off less heat as well. The savings you make through LED lights throughout the office can allow you to throw in a few of those modern Edison filament bulbs for a more relaxing ambiance lighting.
#6 Optimize Temperature
It’s no one’s idea to work in an office that is too cold in summer and too hot in winter. In both scenarios, the office environment isn’t balanced with the outdoor temperatures, which may lead to employees’ discomfort. Instead, you should let your employees decide on the office temperature, but don’t allow the gents in suits crank down the thermostat when ladies are cold. Provide comfy sweaters and blankets for the chilly days. While everyone has different temperature preferences, you shouldn’t let one person who is always cold make the most decisions.
Although every company or workplace has its own indoor environment depending on the preferences of the owner and the business the company is dealing in, it’s important to understand that companies with employee-friendly, and work-friendly environment experience fewer productivity issues. Employees in these spaces are more content with their surroundings and often find themselves working there not only because of financial advantages but also because they like it.