You juggle a lot of different plates to keep your business running like a fine-tuned machine. You have to make sure you stay on top of marketing, hire the best employees possible and train everyone in your procedures. Worrying about your office space may be one of the last things on your mind.
If you want your employees to remain productive and satisfied, your office setup may be one of the most significant changes you make this year. In a study about open designs, 29% of workers say there is too much distraction, and it reduces their productivity.
Whether you have large, open spaces or not, there are many other things you can do to ramp up employee happiness and keep your top workers with you and focused on the task at hand. Here are some of the leading office space improvements your business should make this year.
1. Reimagine for Post-COVID
The pandemic changed the way most businesses operated. Many of your employees may now work remotely. The convenience of not commuting and the savings on gas and clothes is something most people won’t want to give up.
Do you need the same amount of space if a percentage of your staff prefer to work at home most of the time? What special equipment might you need for digital meetings?
2. Quiet Things Down
Is your workspace loud? Many people can’t focus if there are distractions around. For some, this means a co-worker who talks to customers on the phone a little too boisterously. Some employees get distracted by movement.
The human ear takes in 100,000 pieces of information every second. What can you do to make things quieter? If you don’t have space with doors that can be closed, can you add some tiles to help the acoustics sound better? Can you lose some of the echo?
3. Add Some Art
Is your office space just a little blah? No one wants to work in a location where they stare at a blank white wall day after day. Think about how you can inexpensively add some interest to the walls.
Allow local artists to display their work, offering it for sale. Add some motivational vinyl sticker sayings. Hang up posters you let your employees choose. Think about the things that inspire those around you, and get worker input on what they’d like to see.
4. Create a Professional Look
When clients come to your office to meet with you, do you present a professional appearance? Even small changes, such as adding a fresh coat of paint and repairing any worn pieces of flooring, can make you seem more reliable.
Among the challenges small business owners face, gaining the trust of new clients tops the list. Where do people wait to meet with your sales staff or CEO? What impression does the area create?
Desks should be neat and uncluttered. Pack away anything you aren’t using and train your employees to do the same. This will help workers better focus on the tasks at hand
5. Add Social Areas
People enjoy the ability to have face-to-face conversations with co-workers, especially after the restrictions of COVD-19. Since many people desire the open-air office dynamic, do away with the cubicle farms.
Add small seating areas where groups can brainstorm or catch up on where they are on a project. You’ll also want small breakout rooms where teams can use a smart board and share insight into progress on a project.
6. Improve Team Unity
Revenue from global collaboration software will hit $13.58 billion by 2024. More companies see the importance of working together and with those not in the office at any given time. In addition to investing in better software, you can improve team unity by rearranging your office space so it works for your employees.
Meet with department heads. In every company, some people don’t get along. Others are too friendly and thus don’t work well seated close to one another. Talk about how different departments should be arranged. Does it make sense for marketing and sales to be right next to one another, for example?
7. Add Features to Enhance Health
Making sure your employees are comfortable and healthy is vital to a safe work environment and retention. There are many factors involved in improving your office space.
First, look at the lighting. It should be adequate enough for workers to complete tasks. You should also consider if there is any natural light or how you might add more.
Bringing in a few plants can improve the aesthetic and help employees feel more at home in their space. Could you add a rooftop garden so people can get some fresh air when feeling overwhelmed? Other healthy options like wellness rooms, standing desks and ergonomic seating.
Outside of the design, encourage frequent breaks and outside meetings. Your company culture should always seek to make your workers happy and consider what stresses them out. Happy employees have a nice balance between hard work and play.
Make Small Changes
You don’t have to spend a fortune to improve your employees’ workspaces. Little changes, such as beautiful artwork, make a big difference. Create a list of the things you’d like to improve, and go in the order of least to most expensive. Over time, you’ll have a comfortable and professional environment.