If you're feeling like your office environment is a bit gloomy, you aren't alone. More than half of all workers say that they are unhappy in their workplace and that their productivity suffers because of it. The reasons for this range from a lack of appreciation for work done to inadequate work supplies and commodities. Employers are looking into creative ways to increase worker satisfaction. There's no shortage of ideas to go around, but knowing how to implement these changes can be difficult.
Use time tracking apps to boost efficiency
The workday only has a limited number of hours and work is constantly piling up. It's difficult to keep track of the many priorities you have around the office. Some teams probably work on several different projects at once. This can lead to issues with deadlines and client demands.
Time tracking apps are a great way to help your team with their project management. Specific projects and tasks can be assigned to individuals so that they know what to do first. These apps can also be useful for tracking worker progress on projects because they have URL tracking and random screen capture.
Upgrade seating options
The importance of proper seating in the workplace can’t be overstated. Good chairs do more for productivity than you might think. Ergonomics play an extremely important role in the well-being of workers. It’s estimated that the average office will have workers sitting on their chairs for at least three or four hours at a time. If your workers don’t have adequate seating, it’s inevitable that they’re going to end up with back pain and work fatigue.
Repetitive strain is one of the most common causes of workplace injury in the office. You don't have any dangerous elements that can harm workers directly, but over time you'll still end up with worker injuries. High-quality chairs can help prevent this phenomenon.
Let’s not forget the prestige that comes with having a very nice chair at your own desk. It can be a huge morale boost for workers.
Invest in good sound systems
Speakers aren’t going to be the first things on your list of office priorities. After all, you’re running an office, not a club. However, research has shown that playing music can have a substantial effect on worker productivity and it can influence mood.
Music isn’t just reserved for energetic and collaborative office environments. Every workplace can benefit from a little ambient music. Even if the only sounds you usually hear in the office are shuffling papers and light chitchat, a change of pace could increase productivity.
Low-quality sounds don’t exactly stimulate the mind You don’t want to listen to static all day. You need some good speakers to be able to enjoy music throughout the office. It’s important to get the specs right as well. Before you get any speakers, you need to take a look at your office configuration. If you work in a very large space, you will probably want very powerful speakers. If there are a lot of twists and turns around the office, you might need several smaller speakers. Either way, good speakers are a relatively inexpensive luxury that can make a huge difference.
Make collaboration on projects easier
Teamwork is as much of an art as it is a skill. Employees aren’t always exactly sure where to start with a project which is why the manager is there to guide them during work hours. There are some tools which can make managing a team and their projects much easier.
You should consider using apps like Basecamp to help you assign projects to individuals in the office. If the management aspect of your job is made easier, you can spend more time and effort on your creative side to help make the projects more complete.
Add plants for a natural feel
Nature is something most offices don’t have an abundance of. Spending time indoors is a relatively recent phenomenon for humans. Most of history has been spent within nature and the occasional hut. The concrete jungle that surrounds your building makes for a very efficient environment for work, but humans still require some greenery to feel at home. Plants are the best way to bring in a little nature to your office.
Being around plants has quite a few positive effects. Having a couple of potted plants in key places around the office can give off a calm vibe. Workers report lower levels of stress when they work near plants. Research even suggests that plants have a positive effect on productivity. There’s something about natural green colours that help stimulate creativity and memory formation.
Help make it easier to stay hydrated
Most people don't drink their daily recommended amount of water. In fact, most people come close. To stay properly hydrated, you need to consume at least a litre and a half of clean water a day. This doesn't even take into account the fact that we lose a lot of water to sweat during the summer months. Not being properly hydrated can lead to a drop in concentration and a weaker immune system. These factors can negatively impact productivity and attendance at work. As an employer, you can give your workers a little helping hand in convenient hydration.
Water coolers have long been staples of the modern office. They are a convenient way to get a cup of water while chatting with your coworkers. You can control the temperature of the water which means that you can stay comfortably hydrated in every season.
Water coolers often come with a lot of plastic cups which aren’t very good for the environment. If you’re trying to make your office an eco-friendly workspace, you could give every employee a refillable water bottle. This would be a great way to cut back on plastic waste.
Show your employees that you appreciate them
A nice word or two can really go a long way. Good employers make it a habit to talk to their employees and show them that they value their work. You should look into different ways to celebrate a good day at work. If your team worked on a huge project and it turned out great, you should take them to dinner or for drinks. It will show them that the work benefits everyone in the office and that their hard work is much appreciated.
Make an even bigger step by including your compliments in direct reports. Showing your workers that you value them won’t just make them feel good about themselves, it’s been shown that a positive outlook can increase retention rates. A great majority of workers that decide to quit their jobs ultimately do it because they feel that they are underappreciated in the workplace.
Consider making work more flexible
The eight-hour workday is something that has been ingrained in popular culture around the world. There are three shifts to choose from and a majority of jobs start at nine and end at five o'clock. Whether you're working in India or New Zealand, most jobs will look like this. Recently, there has been a lot of research into more flexible work hours.
Many younger professionals say that a flexible work environment is something they look for when searching for employment. Still, employers need to see consistent work done every day, it wouldn’t do them any good if people decided not to work on Mondays because they don’t feel like it. Start by allowing earlier or later starts in the morning. If someone stays the full eight hours, it shouldn’t matter when they began.
With the many advantages of the internet, those who work online often opt to do their job from home. This lets them finish their work in a comfortable environment where they can get the most out of their time while not disregarding other duties. If you have any workers that could stay at home while working, you need to consider the advantages that go with it. For starters, they won’t have to waste hours during their commute. As long as the work done is up to par, you shouldn’t have any issues with this change of pace.
Provide quality energy to the office
There are lots of office “hacks” that advertise being able to keep you awake and concentrated for longer. None of them compares to the stimulating effects of coffee. Half the world indulges in this wonderfully toasted bean and just about every office has a machine dedicated to it. Caffeine is caffeine, but every coffee doesn’t taste the same.
Picking the right kind of office coffee for work is crucial if you want people to stay awake and alert during work hours. If your coffee maker is on its last legs, it’s probably not giving you the product you crave. Upgrading your coffee maker could make all the difference in that early cup of coffee.
People like having milestones on the road to success. Even if it’s just a small gesture, any kind of small gesture is going to be adored by your employees. If people are working on a large project, make sure that every big step towards completing it is adequately rewarded.
The rewards don’t have to be physical or monetary. They can be sentimental gestures. The most productive worker could get a plaque on the wall for the month. It will help build a competitive environment and people try much harder when competition and rewards are on the line.
If you have a positive work environment where every worker feels like they’re making a difference, productivity will rise. Any positive effects that you see on workers will be reflected in their work and projects. A lot of managers feel that it’s a waste of time and money to focus on small and trivial things. Instead of looking at it as more effort, you should see it as an investment in a better workplace. If you take all the necessary steps and precautions to make sure workers feel appreciated, it’s going to ultimately increase your bottom line substantially. After all, workers are your greatest investment and keeping them satisfied is a step in the right direction.
About Emily Wilson
Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing is her favourite thing to do. Besides that, she loves animals, music, and travelling.