Sat comfortably? Good. Have a hot cup of tea or coffee close by? Excellent! Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy reading the rest of this article that’ll teach you how to spice up your workplace. Hopefully by the end of this, you’ll be inspired to upgrade your office to make it comfortable for not only your workers, but yourself as well.
But Why Should I Make the Workplace Comfortable? It’s Work!
The fact that it’s the workplace is exactly why it needs to be comfortable! Would you ever work in a cold, damp and dark environment with a bunch of sweaty co-workers hammering away at an anvil? Of course not! This isn’t the medieval ages! We owe it to ourselves to improve our working conditions with the magic of technology. Central heating for the winter months? Yes, please! Air conditioning for the blistering summer heat? Absolutely! An entire commercial-grade kitchen range with plenty of fridge and freezer space? Maybe that’s pushing it!
But in all seriousness, spicing up the workplace is a great way to increase your employee’s happiness. Happy workforce means happy business, and a happy business will make you money. Loyalty is also a big factor when it comes to productive employees. If your workers are happy to come into work and feel comfortable, then they’re more likely to be productive and they’ll hammer out work like it’s nothing. Don’t neglect your employees, and don’t underestimate the power of a comfortable workplace.
But Doesn’t It Cost a Lot?
It doesn’t have to! Sure, you can spend ridiculous amounts of money on creature comforts like an indoor spa or a swimming pool (don’t do that!) but there will always be cheap ways to improve your office. For example, if you’re willing to pay a bit of extra money then a gym and showers would be a great addition to a busy office. It’ll allow your workers to come into work a bit earlier to get their daily workout, and they’ll enjoy having a nice warm shower to refresh themselves before or after the work day.
If that’s pushing the budget way past the comfort zone, then something simple like a sofa or a couch can be a cosy addition to the staff kitchen or dining area. It’s a place to relax and chill out during work breaks, and it’s not expensive to get a decently sized sofa. Alternatively, you could get something fun like bean bag chairs where staff can lounge and socialise. If you’re thinking even cheaper, some cheap plastic plants will add colour to your office and make it less depressing.
Sure… but Won’t My Staff Get Lazy?
Absolutely not! A comforting workplace should be seen as a necessity, not a luxury. Your staff shouldn’t feel like they have to come to work wearing a ski coat because you don’t want to install central heating, and you won’t want them to arrive at the office in swimwear because the air conditioning is broken. There are some basic improvements that’ll improve not only their work day but also your own. Just because there’s a comfy sofa in the office doesn’t mean your employees will flock to it and fall asleep every day (though the occasional nap is fine, especially if they’re being overworked!).
Also keep in mind that a lot of office improvements don’t have to be about relaxing and falling asleep. Improvements to the kitchen, for example, can promote healthy eating and social interaction between your employees. Your workplace is one giant team, so all the pieces need to fit and work well with each other, and improvements to the office should enable this.
Fine, I’m Sold! so What Can I Change?
I’m glad you asked! Here’s a collection of tips, tricks, and items you can buy to improve your office so that everyone enjoys coming into work. Keep in mind that a lot of these will cost quite a bit of money, so treat these as investments to improve your business instead of pampering your workers.
Improve the Lighting
Lighting has a big effect on your concentration during work. A huge bulb blazing into your eyes is not good, and a dim overhead light doesn’t do much to improve the situation. Make sure that lights above your employees are nice and bright so that it brightens up the office even when it’s dark outside. Next, install adjustable lights to each employee’s desk. This could be as simple as a lamp. If you’re feeling fancy, you could install adjustable mood lights that can be personalised by your workers to their desired colour and strength.
Clear Up the Air
If you’ve got loads of computers running every day then your office is going to get dusty and stuffy. Install some air purifiers, such as the ones from Healthy Office World, and clean up those nasty smells and improve the horrible air quality. Your employees will love you for caring about their health, and you’ll notice the effects as well!
Decorate The Office
There are so many choices for decorations that it’d be almost impossible to list them all. Something as simple as some flowers to add colour to the office would be a great start. Unless you want to assign someone to water them all (and potentially frying electrical equipment if they’re not careful) then fake plastic plants are good enough. If you have budding gardeners in your workplace, then allow them to bring in their favourite plants and have them take care of them. Large plants are also great to put in the hallway and around the office, just not on top of desks!
Motivational posters and quotes might be tacky if they’re not controlled, but no doubt they add some charm and personality to your workplace. Allow your workers to stick notes and print-outs across their desks, walls, computers, and give them some creative freedom. Of course, don’t let them stick things on your desk or office!
Another great motivational boost for your employees is to let them add family pictures and personal belonging to their desk. You want to make the office feel as homely as possible, and nothing feels as homely as your own personal items. Just keep an eye on what they bring in and make sure it’s not distracting them from work.
Add and Improve Seating
If the only chairs in your office are the ones at the desk, you’re doing it wrong. The staff kitchen should have chairs, there should be chairs around the office away from desks, and there needs to be seating areas near the reception area. Add comfy sofa areas for your staff to rest and relax, and you’ll see they get less fatigued and they’ll be more productive throughout the week.
In addition to adding seats, make sure that your desk chairs aren’t broken or tacky. Your staff are going to spend a lot of time sitting in their seats, so respect their bums and make sure you invest in some good office chairs for them to sit on.
Knock The Walls Down!
This is a long-term investment, but an open-plan office is a great way to make the office feel larger and promote social interaction between employees. It’s also a great way for you to monitor all your employees without walking around corners and spying on them!
You’ll need to hire contractors to carry out this kind of work for you, but you’re guaranteed to have some walls around your office that just aren’t needed. It’ll free up more space in your office, you’ll feel like the place is bigger, and it doesn’t cost all that much.
Build a Relaxation Room or Area
If your office has enough space, then designate a room or area to relaxation. Throw in some comfortable sofas, a pool table, a coffee machine, and you’ll have the perfect hang-out spot for employees to relax between work. It’s even better if you connect it with the staff kitchen, so your staff can hang out and also cook meals while they socialise.
It’s a surprisingly effective way of cheering up employees and keeping their morale up. They can head to the relaxation room for a bit of peace and quiet, they can challenge a co-worker to a game of pool or darts, and they’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next work assignment on their list.
Improve your bathroom
The restroom is an area of an office that often gets overlooked, however it can play a big part in the overall comfort of your workplace. Your staff shouldn’t be forced to cope with a smelly, dingy, dilapidated bathroom. Consider investing in the help of a washroom specialist to redesign your office bathroom. Changes to make could include replacing old worn fixtures, adding extra lighting and possibly adding inclusive features for those with disabilities. Try to design your bathroom so that it’s easy to clean and consider ways of keeping the air fresh such as adding an extractor fan and using automatic air fresheners.
Play Some Gentle and Soothing Music
It doesn’t have to be extremely loud, but a couple of speakers and a music system that can be controlled by your employees is a great way to reduce stress and increase productivity. Music has been proven to increase concentration, and you can utilise it across your entire office.
Just don’t let your employees fiddle with the volume settings to blast their favourite pop tunes to everyone in the office. Quietly playing some soothing music throughout the office is a great way to set the mood for your workplace.
Ready to Impress Your Workers?
Of course, you won’t need to apply all of these tips. Your employees will love that you’re taking steps to improve their working conditions, and no doubt they’ll stay around for longer because they know you appreciate them, which is the important message you’re trying to get across.