Corporate culture has often been associated with stuffy, depressing cubicles and sterile white lights. Once upon a time, corporations tended to think that people would be more diligent and productive if they were undistracted by pleasant surroundings. By now, companies are beginning to learn better. The environment you work in is just as important as the job you’re doing. In fact, it’s vital to it. If your office brings people down, it will be hard to keep up productivity or encourage growth.
Beyond good desk chairs or a coffee machine in the breakroom, find ways to make your office more comfortable and inviting. These tips will help you transform your office space into an environment that people actually look forward to arriving at every day.
Don’t stress over looking like a business
You may have a mental image of what an office is supposed to look like, but this idea could be restricting you from creating a genuinely enjoyable environment. Some employers believe that if they make their office appear too casual, workers will be more likely to slack off. But adopting a more comfortable and relaxing design will make people feel more at ease and allow them to do their jobs without constantly counting down the hours until their shift ends.
Be open-minded and check out other modern work venues for inspiration. Think bright, cheerful colours, open spaces and communal settings.
Invest in comfortable furniture
Style is important, but comfort should always be your top-priority Because most people spend the majority of the day sitting, you need to invest some money into good chairs and sofas. Comfort should always be at the forefront of your design, but you can experiment with different textures if you’re trying to achieve a particular aesthetic. If you’re worried about looks, you should know there are several different kinds of wood used in furniture, so you can choose what you like. Furniture pieces with metal and brass finishes can be just as durable as wood but offer a more modern look.
Don’t let it be only your decision
Send out a survey and ask your employees what features they’d most like to see in a new office. Encourage workers to turn in photos for design inspiration or even collaborate on a Pinterest board with ideas for the office. When employees have a hand in creating the place they’ll work in, they become more invested in the space and happier to be in it.
The process of planning your new office design or renovation can be a great team-building exercise. Hold votes for final decisions on furniture, wall colours and even break room amenities. Make sure that everyone has a say in their space.
Combine work and play by hosting office events that boost morale and help people eliminate stress. From catered lunches to games with prizes, there are lots of ways you can turn your office into an inspiring environment. Events such as these give people the opportunity to create pleasant memories. When they build a connection with their environment, they’ll be happier spending time there throughout the year.
Once the holidays come around, make decorating a team effort. To be inclusive, encourage an exchange of holiday traditions and promote opportunities for employees to bond with one another.
Consider dressing down
Dress codes don’t have to be stifling to be professional. In fact, you can let people wear low-key attire and feel far more comfortable at their desks than they do in typical office clothing. While it’s fine to require all employees to appear presentable and properly groomed, consider ditching the formalities and making casual Friday an everyday thing.
Create a fun common area for breaks and meetings
Make sure that your office has quiet areas for workers to concentrate without interruptions. Some businesses have made the mistake of removing desks entirely, which leads to a lack of privacy and increases common workplace distractions. So make sure to provide a communal area where employees can socialize and take a mental break. This communal area will be your break room. Stock it with plenty of snacks and beverages, tables and chairs, and maybe even a game table or two.
It’s important to remember that your office isn’t just a place to get a job done. Most people spend the majority of their life at work, so they need to feel as though they’re somewhere just as comfortable and inviting as their own home.
Looking for some great advice from other female leaders in business? Check out these words of wisdom: 3 Ways To Ensure Creative Connectivity Between Remote Employees By Claire Reynolds