The average employee spends as much waking time in the office as they do at home. You spend your time focusing on the things your business does well. You spend countless hours developing your products and services and creating a brand. Why not spend just a few moments thinking about how your office environment affects your employees? That will have a knock-on effect on their happiness, comfort and productivity.
It is an underreported fact that our surroundings have a direct effect on the way we feel. They have an impact on our behaviour. Naturally you’d prefer it if your employees felt good about themselves. It would be better if they felt that way about coming to work! There are some things you will never be able to change. Tweaking and upgrading your working environment is not one of them.
Take a look around the space you are working in. How many of the following could you change to give your workspace a boost? Essentially how can you make your office a healthier, happier and more productive space? A place that your employees love coming to. A place they love to spend time in. It all begins with the space itself. Looking for Office space to rent? Call Office Space in town.
Now let the light in
It is all about the quality of light that we have access to. We gravitate to natural light; it is our right, and we seek it out when we can. When we are deprived of the source of our life, we start to feel uptight, nervy and cranky. As soon as that happens we are no longer focused on the task in front of us. Good lighting is the number one goal of any good office looking to help their employee’s comfort, well-being and productivity.
Natural light will always be best, and you could start with trying to ensure that everyone has access to it. That may not always be possible in our inner city environments where space is at a premium. Some environments will always be better than others, so it makes sense to be in an ideal location. But there are proven new technologies in lighting systems that are affordable and simply a matter of changing light tubes or bulbs.
Poor lighting results in eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. Dim lighting means lower productivity and energy. Bright lighting is more cheerful and energising. Exchange old fluorescent tubes with newer full spectrum ones. These emit a balanced natural light that replicate sunlight.
Turning up the temperature
How unpleasant does if feel to be cold and shivering? How irritated to we get when we overheat? Our brains can only tolerate a tiny change in temperature before our bodies kick in and try and lose or gain warmth. Even the slightest temperature change affects our behaviour and our ability to concentrate. Strangely enough female and male react differently to temperatures. Let’s face it you are never going to please everyone! Ensure your office operates at an ambient temperature and has an adequate supply of fresh air.
As with temperature, you might never reach a consensus about how much noise is acceptable and how much a distraction. Assuming you have suitably glazed windows and depending on your location, try and focus on the noise within the office. Some of us work best in silence and others can beaver away with death metal blasting out of the i-pod. For optimum efficiency, all round calmness and productivity it is a good idea to create a quiet space if you can. This is somewhere anyone can go to to enjoy silence without distraction.
Music is a personal thing. It is understood that it has an effect on our well-being. That means music not only masks unwelcome sounds, but it directly affects our mood and health. It has an effect on our social functioning and our communication abilities. Think about the bars and restaurants you enjoy and those that simply are unpleasant to be in. A large part of your reaction will be down to the sounds around you. Consider investing in ambient music that is not too intrusive but is softly uplifting.
One sound that is considered universally uplifting is the sound of water. It’s energy is soothing and calm. Consider installing a water fountain for all round happiness and well being!
The colour fields
It’s as old as the Pyramids and the dynamic theory behind the greatest painters in the world. Colour theory has a direct effect on mood. Take a look around. In short, orange is the colour of creativity, yellow relates to intellect and emotion, red energises, blue is calming and green is healing. How you use colour changes the energy in a room instantly. The Artwork you have around you can also be a powerful stimulant and a chance to dip into a more relaxing or inspiring place.
Comfortable as you are
Standing or sitting, our desks, chairs and workspaces matter. There are some brilliant office desk solutions that allow you to have the best of both worlds. Chair technology has made leaps and bounds in the last few decades. We still seem to be tied to lackluster solutions that say more about stability and ease of cleaning than our comfort and well being. Sitting on an uncomfortable chair is not just bad for you, it is soul-destroyingly bad for your focus and motivation. The cost of a comfortable chair should be related to the cost of a chiropractor!
Change it around from time to time
Why do we simply accept that the way things are is the way they are meant to be. You have every right to change and experiment. This is particularly true for arranging your office furniture. Look for layouts that can be improved. Consider communication and interaction as well as a less stressful environment.
Your employees can be a great source of inspiration. Perhaps they have ideas of their own. Ultimately it is up to you to initiate any changes to create a great work environment. Changes can be undertaken overnight, and result in a happy office and staff who are stress-free and more engaged on the tasks in front of them.