Now the New Year has begun and the Christmas festivities are well and truly behind us, it’s a great time to make changes for the better in the workplace. Creating a positive working environment is hugely important, as a happy workforce is a productive workforce.
If you own a company and you’re not achieving your goals, it’s time to look at how you can rectify this. Most employees spend between six and seven hours a day at their desk. Some spend more time in the office than they do at home, so it’s important to motivate the workforce and stop them from feeling jaded.
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Motivated employees create a positive office environment and this in turn increases company productivity. Whether you’re a small start-up, or a large business, this theory works the same. Lots of factors can influence employee morale. The temperature, the layout of the office, the lighting, air quality and noise all have an effect.
Many studies over the years have demonstrated how the physical environment can effect behaviour. A study published by Science Direct focused on how the layout of office space had a direct influence on staff morale. Conventional office designs have normally provided closed individual rooms.
The modern, contemporary, open-plan design doesn’t have traditional floor to ceiling walls or internal boundaries. It favours cubicles, or partitioned workspaces. The open-plan design has two-fold benefits. Not only do employees seem to prefer it, but it’s also cheaper to install, so provides a more cost-effective solution for the company.
Individual workstations are placed within an open space, which are sometimes divided by panels. The idea is that open plan offices provide an environment that facilitates communication and increases work efficiency, while reducing the costs of equipment.
A study by Harvard concluded a 90% of communications in open offices occurred between employees whose desks were within 500 metres of each other. This supports the theory that the open design increases face-to-face interaction between employees and therefore improves their satisfaction level, as there’s more group socialising than with the conventional office layout.
You can make good use of any unused areas of your office by adding some creative and comfortable furniture. Use the space for informal team meetings, or just as an area for casual talk during breaks.
With the appropriate furniture, an environment can change from being a spare area into an inviting and comfortable corner, where employees may get a new idea as they sit in the creative space.
Good health is also important to employees. Make sure there are healthy snacks available in the workplace and don’t have too many sugary foods or fizzy drinks in the vending machines. If the staff have to work late to meet a deadline or complete an urgent project, order them a takeaway meal.
Don’t expect people to work through their lunch break and grab a sandwich at their desk. It is far more productive for people to take a break away from their desk, getting some fresh air if possible, as they will return feeling refreshed.
Make sure your staff have the correct tools to do their job, such as modern desktop or laptop computers and a fast internet connection. Nothing is more frustrating than being slowed down due to sub-standard equipment – this makes people lose interest fast in!
Make sure employees are always able to take their holidays – don’t let them get so bogged down with work that they feel they can’t take any time away from the office, as this quickly kills morale.
Finally, when employees enjoy success, whether it’s completing a project, winning an award, or some other triumph, always celebrate with them and show how much you appreciate their efforts.
When you want to create the best possible environment for your workplace, take a look at our range of high quality office furniture.
For further information about the various products and professional services provided by Let Us Furnish, please contact us today.