Any business owner who has been in the game for a few years knows very well that serious productivity only comes from a great work environment. Hawking over your employees, treating them authoritatively, and shutting yourself in your office and only speaking to a privileged few is, in other words, a thing of the past – and it’s certainly time to open up the floor a bit more too.
If you’re interested in creating the best possible environment to work in for your team, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Here is a handful of tips to get you started so that both you and your team of hard-working professionals can enjoy better and happier days at work.
It’s the kind of stuff that boosts work performance, after all, and makes it a bit more likely that your brightest talents will stick around for as long as possible before jumping ships.
#1 Focus on innovative office design
Great office design may need to be a bit more innovative than you originally had in mind. This doesn’t mean that you have to go all out, though, and certainly not that you have to spend all of your hard-earned cash on a fancy office upgrade; just remember what really matters when designing your office, and the rest will come naturally.
We’re not just pulling out any feng shui and running with it here either as studies have proven that workplace performance is, in fact, directly linked to the level of innovating office design. So what is considered an innovative design, in any way?
It’s actually about more than just having the fanciest technology and the latest coffee machines available – and no, you don’t have to install a basketball court in the middle of the office to be considered innovative.
The idea is that everything in the office needs to be thought-through, from the comfort of each employee’s desk to how well the lounge is laid out to encourage conversations between the team members. Remember to take care of their basic needs as well, though, and have a look at telehealth in order to make them feel as secure as possible while working for you.
#2 Think about the four key elements
Luckily, you have a set of elements to lean on while trying to figure all of this out. It’s going to make it a lot easier for you when deciding on how to lay out your office space and you’ll always have something to come back to in case you get a bit lost during the process.
There are, as you may well know, four key work modes that are essential to reach the kind of processes in the workplace that you are looking for: focus, collaboration, socialization, and learning. If your business is going to enjoy happy and efficient days of work, all four of these should be incorporated when designing your office.
It needs to be the red line throughout your office design, in other words, and you should think about how easy it is for your employees to do exactly this; focus on their own work, engage in collaboration with other employees, learn while they’re on the job, and socialise with the rest of the team.
Without these four elements, you simply won’t be able to be as productive and creative as you could have been – and each element needs to be given its fair share of weight to ensure the best kind of work environment.
Let’s focus a bit more some of the elements and figure out what you can do to make it a part of your office.
#3 Focus: Give them room to concentrate
The main obstacle you might find while trying to accomplish all of this is that one element seems to cancel out another. Sure, your employees will need peace and quiet to focus on their daily tasks – but they should also be able to work together, engage in casual talk, and even engage others in a proper discussion and brainstorming session once in a while.
Although a closed-up office landscape with individual cubicles will make it a lot easier to concentrate and get some peace of mind, it’s not really making it easy for the team to collaborate or even get to know each other. A completely open office landscape, on the other hand, will make collaboration and conversation quite easy – but the individual focus may be lacking, in the end.
What you need, at the end of the day, is an office that accommodates for both of these. Make sure that you have areas where they can chat and work together while also having desk space enough further away from all the chit-chat where they’ll be able to concentrate on their own.
You could put up a few potted plants on their desks, for example, to create an illusion of shelter in case you only have open desks in your office. It will brighten up space a bit as well, in any way, and make their desks look a bit more cheerful.
#4 Collaboration: Give them the tools to work together
Being able to work together as one excellent team is about more than just having open office space, though, a collaboration doesn’t exclusively happen in the physical world. You’ll often be communicating online, for example, and will need to have some proper tech tools in place in order to make this happen seamlessly.
Invest in some decent collaboration systems once and for all, make sure that your office environment encourages casual conversations as well as work-related ones, and make it easy for them to feel like a team, in general.
The last part is important as goes beyond just ensuring that your office space is designed in a way that invites your team to collaborate. They need to get to know each other as well in order to boost their sense of actually being a team – and not just a set of random people who happened to end up in the same office.
#5 Socialization: Let them get to know each other
This brings us over to our next point; as their leader, you’ll be doing your company as well as your employee’s huge favor by initiating outings and socialization, in general. Your office will need to have a decent coffee area, first of all, and opportunities for taking a break together and talk about random things as well.
Friendships happen when you’re able to get to know each other outside of work and, if you’re only encouraging work-related discussions, they’ll never really be able to consider each other as friends. You can start by having a look at this site, for example, for some more ideas on how to design their break room in order to boost their sense of wellness once and for all.
Make sure that you include some plants, in general, to brighten up their day and make them feel a bit more awake, a decent coffee machine, and perhaps even a basket of fruit in order to have a snack together and chat casually without feeling obligated to run off to their desks again right away.
Encourage them to get out a bit as well during their breaks in case your office isn’t the brightest, and remember that cheerful office space will provide the most energy. That way, you’ll always have an active and energized team that always feels like sharing their ideas with each other – and you will certainly notice it on their performance as well, in the long run.
What are you doing to design your office so it will energize your team?