Cultivate a good working environment by transforming the office space into one where employees are excited to come in. With monogamous workdays and long periods of screen time, the modern day work environment tends to create unnecessary stress that results in work-related anxiety, depression, and low morale. Employees who enjoy and like their work environment tend to be more engaged, productive, and healthier.
The physical workplace is only one aspect of a good working environment. You have to supplement the physical changes with a culture of mindfulness and healthy working attitudes for long term changes. Remember to keep up with the healthy work culture by constantly upgrading and evolving the physical space to match the specific needs of the company. Increase employee satisfaction, performance, and talent retention by making the physical office a place where employees can do well and thrive. Here are some ideas to revitalise the office design and stimulate the different senses in order to galvanise employees, inspire creative thinking, and foster collaborative team working.
1. Flexible spaces – focus
Account for varying personalities and create designated spaces for multiple modes of working. Optimise employee’s ability to focus, collaborate, and socialise by having separate spaces for each purpose. Have a quiet zone with minimal distractions where employees can enjoy uninterrupted time to fully concentrate on their task. Allocating a space where employees can go specifically to focus lets employees get in the zone quicker and become more productive. Silent areas are also beneficial for employees that may need a mental health break. Employees can also use this room to nap or read for a short time to mentally recharge and come back with renewed energy. Encouraging wellness and mental health can reduce unnecessary work-related stress and improve moods.
2. Flexible spaces – collaboration
Set up a space for active collaboration. Encourage positive energy, movement, and interaction between employees with energising colours, comfortable couches, and whiteboards. Create private phone booths or cubicles for smaller and less formal collaborations. These versatile rooms are ideal for hosting video conferences that may distract other people in an open room, having confidential conversations, or providing an informal and intimidating space for brainstorming spontaneous innovative ideas to discuss with a small group of people. You can also consider having moving desks or movable walls that employees can take advantage of for more natural conversations and collaboration.
3. Flexible spaces – socialise
Enrich team working capabilities by building a place where people can meet, connect and socialise. Dynamic social hubs dedicated to socialising helps to strengthen the work community and nurture a healthy office culture. Interacting, connecting, and having fun with other employees outside of the focused work time encourages loyalty, reduces stress, and promotes positive energy within the office. Having a segregated space for play allows employees to be more effective with their time by working hard and playing hard. This can come in the form of music rooms, game rooms, or an open bar.
4. Natural elements – greenery
Design a healthier and calmer work environment by incorporating natural elements into the office. Plant some greenery and let natural light stream in. Natural elements in the work environment are associated with improved wellbeing, heightened productivity, and enhanced creativity. Reconnect with nature, improve the air quality, and clear surrounding toxins with greenery to the office. Bolster a more comfortable, happier, and healthier indoor working environment by introducing plants such as Boston ferns, English ivy, peace lilies, Chinese evergreen, and aloe vera.
5. Natural elements – lights
Natural lighting, as opposed to artificial lighting, helps to not only reduce eye strain, headaches, and tiredness but also increase mental alertness, regulate sleep patterns, and improve moods in the long run. Large windows, solar shading, and window film can ensure that the office has the optimal brightness of around 300-500 lux with natural light. Utilising natural light instead of artificial lighting can also have added economic benefits since fewer lights are needed.
6. Creative decor
Customise the office space with lively artwork that will spark creativity and reflect the unique culture and value of the company. Making the physical office a manifestation of the company advocates a greater sense of community, cohesiveness and togetherness with the employees. It sets the foundation for a healthy work environment where employees are proud to be a part of.
As mentioned, having separate spaces for employees to focus, collaborate, and socialise is important. It helps to put employees in the right mindsets when there are physical zones for it. Employees become more productive and effective in everything they do. You can consider employing specific colours as a way to separate the space. Yellow tends to be an energising colour perfect for innovation and creativity, whereas muted colours are more relaxing and soothing for workers to focus.
7. Office ergonomics
The physical space is one where we can interact with our different senses. Optimise the work environment by maintaining thermal comfort and keeping temperatures around 21 to 22 Celcius. When temperatures are too high or too low, the brain’s processing speed becomes affected and productivity exponentially decreases. Keep minds refreshed and air ventilated with air fresheners scents like citrus smells that help boost productivity and focus. Think about offering healthy snacks as a way to encourage clean eating and promote employee wellbeing. Healthy employees produce useful energy that translates back into workplace productivity. You can also help to decrease fatigue, discomfort, and physical stress in the office by using ergonomic furniture that supports the physical capabilities and limitations of workers. Provide comfortable chairs and adjustable tables to increase productivity.
8. Power to customise
Empower employees and make them feel like a part of the office community by giving them the power to customise their areas and personal spaces as they like. Letting them decide what works for them in terms of furniture or decor will improve employee satisfaction and performance. You can also dedicate a space and time for employees to come together and transform the workplace. This sort of active participation shifts the responsibility of creating a good working environment to the employees and can result in stronger team cohesion and commitment.
At Links International, we understand the importance of a good working environment. Increase talent retention rates and learn how to promote a healthy workplace environment by looking at our career tips or using our employer branding services. Get in touch with one of our specialists today for our award-winning recruitment services or to help with any HR-related queries.