We spend most of our adult lives in the workplace. Whether it’s a café in the tropics, a corner office with a view, or a cubicle amidst a sea of other cubicles, your work environment can affect your mood, productivity, and even the quality of your non-working life.
Companies are always on the lookout for innovative ways to create happier and more balanced workplaces. Aside from rewarding employees with exciting corporate gifts, here are some ideas on how to turn your office into an oasis of joy.
- Noise vs silence
Some people are multitaskers who cannot function unless white noise or music is humming in the background. These people thrive when working in groups, while others prefer complete silence and would rather be away from the hustle and bustle of open-plan offices. The takeaway here is to find out what works for your team and design your work areas accordingly.
Depending on the size of your office, you can dedicate one part to an open-plan layout, while creating closed-off silos in another, all brought together by a mutual meeting space where your team can brainstorm and plan projects.
- Add personal touches
Employees should feel comfortable in their workplace, just as they do in their homes. You can achieve this by encouraging them to bring things in to personalize the space.
Seeing familiar objects when you step into your office can elevate your mood as it creates a connection between you and your space. It could be as simple as adding a few picture frames with photos of your loved ones or hanging up artwork from the kids.
- Purify the air
No-one can truly focus in an environment filled with stuffy air. The competing scents of cologne, morning coffee, and bagels, can quickly prove too much for your olfactory senses. That’s why you should always keep a few resilient, air-purifying plants around the office. Not only will the green color lift your spirits, but the plants themselves will keep your office smelling clean and fresh.
Plants with flowers serve a double purpose – beautifying your office while adding an uplifting organic element. According to a study by the Society of American Florists and Texas A&M University, the presence of plants and flowers in the workplace can improve creativity, productivity, and problem-solving skills.
If all you’re exposed to is artificial light at the office, you’ll end up feeling trapped and off-kilter. There’s something about sunlight and fresh air that promotes a feeling of wellbeing and happiness.
Maximizing natural light in the workplace can do wonders to improve productivity and focus. It can be as simple as keeping the windows open to let the summer breeze drift in, or investing in proper lighting for the winter, so employees don’t have to strain their eyes in order to see properly.
Studies show that adequate exposure to light can boost morale and improve performance, even when people are sleep-deprived.
- Make snack time more exciting
Make sure the water cooler is regularly replenished to promote hydration. And consider offering free tea, coffee, and break-time snacks such as fruit or granola bars. Keeping your staff well-hydrated and satisfied will help with their ability to focus, improving their cognitive performance, memory, and productivity.
Schedule snack times for your employees throughout the day and make sure the office canteen stocks up on healthy snacks instead of unhealthy options.
Creating a happy workplace should be a priority for every business owner because it promotes productivity and collaboration. The happier and more comfortable your employees are, the more productive and efficient they’ll be.