Let’s face it, our working environments can sometimes be less than pleasant. This can be for various reasons including stress, information overload, and more. An unpleasant office can make employees tired, stressed, and unhappy, all of which leads to lower focus and productivity.
The good news is that improving the workspace doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult or even take that much time. We’ve put together several ways that you can improve your workspace and lessen the stress and strain for employees, while also improving productivity.
1). Make the Workspace More Comfortable
When it comes to creating a positive atmosphere and improving employee mood, then comfort is one of the first things you can do. For instance, having comfortable furniture can mean the difference between being distracted by strained muscles or injuries and staying productive and focused.
Office chairs and desks need to be ergonomic in order to promote healthy seating or even standing options. An ergonomic chair will have adjustable arms & height, and provide the right support for the back. These will make it easier for each employee to customise their chairs to maintain proper posture and be more comfortable.
You might also consider standing desks that are adjustable to use as a traditional or a standing desk. These are great options for employees who have back or other health issues that make sitting for long hours uncomfortable.
2). Add Some Colour to the Workspace
The colours in the workspace can affect employee mood and focus. Completely renovating an office can be expensive, as well as disruptive to business operations. However, rather than going all out for a complete redo, why not come up with some creative ideas to add colour to the office space?
Painting the walls might be an option or having one accent wall with a pop of colour may also work. If that’s not possible, then consider adding colourful posters and wall art to add some colour.
Other types of accessories that are colourful can also be added to the office décor. You might consider allowing employees to decorate their work areas or desks with personal items. It may be necessary to have some ground rules, but then allow employees to bring in photos of loved ones, plants, and other decorative items. Personalising their space can give employees quite a boost.
Get creative and see what you can do. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
3). Bring in the Light
Another way to improve the workspace is to bring in natural light. Studies have shown that natural light works to improve mood and productivity in employees. Not only that, but it can also mean less eye strain, an increase in vitamin D (which boosts the mood and immune system), and more.
When letting in more natural light, be sure to include some window treatments that allow employees to control the amount of light that they’re exposed to. There are certain times of the day when light is too bright and may compete with monitors, leading to eye strain from the glare. And other people may have underlying health issues that make intense light painful, so give them more control over the light can be a huge help to their health.
Letting in natural light may even cut down on your electric bill. With so many benefits, natural light is a great way to improve your office without the cost of major renovations.
4). Climate Control
Nothing is more distracting then working in a office where it’s either too hot or too cold. Each person has their own preferences, which makes it challenging to keep the office climate comfortable for everyone.
One solution may be to change to a smart climate control system. There are smart systems that can be integrated with your current HVAC, which allow climate control over specific zones. Rather than having thermostat wars, the smart climate control system monitors temperatures in each zone, along with humidity levels. It’s possible for some systems to learn what’s optimal for each zone, and then work to maintain the most comfortable temperatures.
Not only can this end thermostat war, but your business may also benefit from lower energy bills with the use of a smart climate control system.
5). Bring in Natural Elements
Studies have shown that people need nature in order to be happy and satisfied. Take a look around your office. Are there touches of nature here and there? Do the windows look out over trees and green spaces, or over a cityscape? If your office doesn’t include natural elements or beautiful views on to green areas, then consider adding natural elements to the office décor.
Again, this doesn’t have to be too difficult or expensive. You might start by allowing employees to bring plants to work. Another option is for the company to invest in beautiful houseplants that also work to improve air quality. But the natural touches don’t end here.
Adding brilliant nature photos and artwork to the walls also helps to bring a natural element into the office. Choosing office furnishings made of cotton, wood, bamboo can also work. For instance, wood flooring may be an option to consider. If you’re concerned about sustainability, then choose those furnishings that are environmentally friendly. This may include recycled and repurposed wood, and more.
6). Individual Spaces
While it’s important to have areas of the office that promote collaboration, it’s just as important to have workspaces for other employees. There are people in every office who need a quiet, personal space to focus and get work done. They don’t do well in an open office plan, where it can be noisy and distracting.
For these individuals, create spaces where they can work. This might be self-contained office space an employee can personalise. Or these may be spaces where anyone can go to get away for some quiet work time.
Summing It Up
Take a look around your office and consider how employees are feeling. You may already have noticed a decrease in productivity and happiness. If that’s the case, then look for ways to improve your office space. It doesn’t have to be expensive or mean a complete revamp—just get creative and find what works for your unique company and employees.