The prospect of waking up on a Monday morning and dragging ourselves off to work is something that almost everyone dreads, no matter whether they like their job or not. But there are certain things you can do within an office to make sure that people have a happy working environment. Here are some important tips…
In this day and age there are few things that are more important than being environmentally friendly in the workplace. It’s something that people look for when they are searching for new jobs, and it’s also a way that you can attract potential clients. There are many ways that you can push your office into becoming more eco-friendly, from small things like switching regular light bulbs to eco light bulbs – not only are they cheaper to run but they last for much longer – to converting your power source to solar energy by installing solar panels on the roof.
You could also try out water energy or wind energy: these are all renewable power sources and although they may cost a little to install, this investment will more than pay off in the years to come. It’s important to set up recycling bins both in the office kitchen and the office itself: no matter how much you try to become a paper-free company, there will always be some print-offs that will need to be recycled at the end of the day.
Amp Up Your Security
It’s absolutely crucial that everybody feels safe and secure in the workplace. There are a number of ways that you can achieve that. Online, you can improve your firewalls and your data protection so that you can ensure everybody’s data remains private and no one can take advantage of it. In the building itself, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have door codes so that only authorized people can get in.
Make sure that just outside the office building is well-lit so that people feel confident leaving and arriving when it’s dark outside, and offer taxis if employees have to stay late. You can also use plastic cards as ID, printing employees’ photos onto them and providing lanyards so that they can be worn inside and everybody is easily identifiable as someone who works at the company.
Cut Down Your Meetings
One of the most frustrating things that happens at work is time-wasting. It’s easy to dodge a conversation with a person who comes to stand at your desk and talk to you about what seems to be very little, but it’s a lot harder to dodge company-wide meetings that don’t have a real purpose. When it comes to holding meetings, you need to make sure that they are more streamlined.
Make sure that only the people who really need to be there are invited, and that you stick to what you really need to discuss without going into diversions that aren’t useful to everybody there. Standing meetings have become more popular in recent years: they tend to be over more quickly, meaning that they’re a better use of time.
Improve Your Recreational Spaces
Within your office building, you need to make sure that there are different recreational spaces so that people can get up from their desks, stretch their legs, and have a little time out from their computers. Taking breaks is important: it allows people to be healthier as they get up and adjust their bodies, and it also helps people to improve their creativity – quiet time doesn’t mean that people aren’t working. Having space for ideas is important. So a communal kitchen is crucial – make sure that it gets cleaned regularly – and you could also consider two other spaces as well.
Firstly, a space to spend time together and have fun is a great idea – why not install a ping pong table so that people can play and talk and get to know each other? Secondly, you need to make sure you have a quiet, calm space. Many companies do this outside, with plants and benches, so that employees can take a few moments to themselves to relax and take a breather. If you don’t have any outdoor space, it’s very possible to do this inside with a comfortable, quiet room, with plenty of greenery and comfortable chairs where people can sit and relax.
For many people, flexibility is key to their happiness at work. Many offices allow employees to set their own working hours: some say that they can arrive any time between eight and ten before leaving eight hours later, others say that working hours don’t matter so long as the work itself gets done, and others allow employees to work from home a certain amount of days each week.
It’s important to make sure that people feel as though they have a level of control over their lives – this flexibility is important so that they can maintain their other responsibilities, so that they can leave early to attend their kids’ school plays, to go to elderly relatives’ hospital appointments, so that they can take advantage of the cultural offerings that your city has to offer.
Improve Office Communication
Office communication is crucial: the way that you talk to each other is vital to ensure that people are happy. The most important thing with the way that you communicate is to make sure that you get the method right. Although some things can easily be said in an email – and in fact it’s more polite to communicate them via email – it’s also a good idea to make sure that you move across the office to actively talk to your co-workers. It’s important to make sure that you bounce ideas off each other – just ensure that once you’re done talking, you follow it up with an email so that you don’t forget any of the excellent thoughts that you just had!
The perfect working environment may seem difficult to achieve, but in truth, thinking carefully about the needs of your co-workers and colleagues means that you’ll have a happy office in no time.