Workspace Setup Checklist for New Office: Keep Employees Happy
Guest Post by Daniel Nicklin, People who own and run modern businesses no longer work by the old methods of carrot and stick, but realise that the best way to get the most out of their employees is to make sure that their work/life balance is correct, and that they are happy in their job.
Of course much of this depends on their personal life goals and whether they have made the right choices earlier on in their careers. There are some ways however that employee’s morale and happiness can be boosted at work, hopefully increasing their productivity:
Eating and Drinking Right
One thing that employees will need to work productively is the right ‘fuel’. Consider investing in a water cooler for the office, which will help keep everybody hydrated, and perhaps order in fruit to the office to promote healthy eating and increase concentration levels. Arranging catering companies to visit the office with healthy choices is also a good idea, and will help both businesses out. A discount could even be negotiated with the other firm in question.
Having sufficient time away from work each day is vital to the wellbeing and productivity of staff. Studies show that employees who eat their lunch at their desk are less productive than those of their peers who take the full time away from their computers. Why not lengthen the daily lunch break to an hour each day, and add 15 minutes to the morning and afternoon (if it was previously 30 minutes) to make sure that staff come back to work in the afternoon refreshed?
One way to increase productivity is by introducing some healthy competition. By setting attainable goals and offering prizes or filled gift bags as a reward, monthly competitions can be made more exciting. Different areas of work that need improving can be the focus of any goals, so that improvements in the team can be steered in the right direction, and team goals can ensure that teamwork is still high on the agenda.
The atmosphere and decor of the office is also a major factor in the happiness of workers while clocked on. Things like plants – which of course turn carbon dioxide into oxygen even on this small-scale – and an agreeable colour scheme are not only easy on the eye, but have measurable positive impacts on mood. Air conditioning is also a luxury that in many climates can make a huge difference between a tough week and a productive one.
Lighting in offices can sometimes be the cause of many problems including headaches and low visibility in terms of computer screens. Relying on bright strip lights to illuminate everything will often be overkill, bathing everything in unneeded artificial light. Windows should be taken advantage of so that in the daytime as much natural light can get into the work environment as possible. Curtains and blinds should be left open when possible, and to help with glare blackout film can be applied to sun facing windows to block some but not all the sunlight.
Ergonomics are a very important aspect of office productivity and the long term health of your team. Manufacturer guidelines on optimum monitor height, keyboard positioning including hand rests, and chair that are sufficient of staff of all heights will make sitting down at desks all day ‘safe’ so to speak. Some employees may need things like footrests and higher chairs to be more comfortable during working hours.