By Jerry Mooney
Your people are obviously the most important asset your business has to use. So why do so many companies stuff them into uncomfortable, dull, and unhelpful spaces? Smart employers do not do that. They make spaces that make it easier to do work. Spaces that people are actually happy to spend their hours in. In return, they get a lot more back from their employees.
Keep it simple and bright
Here, we’re going to tell you some no-no’s to avoid. For one, avoid fluorescent lights that make the place look like clinical. Then avoid sticking people into tiny cubicles that only create a claustrophobic mindset. Instead, let in more natural light and use warmer tones for the walls and carpet. Choose bright, clean office tables that are easily organised. If you have to use partitions to give them privacy, at least space them out so they don’t dominate someone’s work area.
Add a bit of life
It’s a very simple piece of advice, but it can do wonders for the office. Put a dang plant in there. Plants do more than just add a bit of an organic feel and a bit of colour. They’re good for health, physically and emotionally. They improve air quality. They’re shown to be good for fighting stress and anxiety. They can even make workers more likely to take better care of their environment. There are a lot of easy-to-maintain houseplants that could fit just as well in an office.
Make sure your people have a break-away space
No amount of greenery is going to stop that pressure from building up on a hard day. People need a place to get away from their desk. You can’t not offer that freedom. You can maintain a good workplace morale by giving them a space inside the office to do it. That way, they can spend their downtime communicating with employees and enjoying the office space. A good break space has to be comfortable, open and looked after with care. Have seats and tables. Offer more than just a sink and a small counter to make tea on.
Give them what they need
Of course, let’s not ignore the fact that they have to get work done in their space. So they need a space that actually helps them do work. Like we said, finding the line between privacy and claustrophobia is important. So is making sure the office has the little extras that can boost their productivity. Communicative tech like a phone system can take a good amount of time out of their tasks. A big blackboard wall where you put down the tasks of the day can keep people committed. Think about what could actually help them get their job done easier.
It’s all about their needs. Not just the actual kind of space they need to get their work done. But simple needs like a bit of light and a bit of warmth. A place where they can relax once in awhile. If you’re not fulfilling their needs, don’t expect to have yours fulfilled either.
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney