This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions. We may earn money or products from the affiliate links in this post.
A pleasant, comfortable and workspace is essential if you want a happy and productive workforce – and remember, a happy and productive workforce is going to increase your profits. On average, your employees spend around eight hours a day at work, so even the smallest of things can make a massive difference to the levels of productivity. If you want to make your workplace a friendly, comfortable and safe place to be, read on for some tips.
Make sure there is plenty of natural light
Shut yourself in a dark and dingy room for an hour and see how motivated you are to work – probably not very much! One of the best things that you can do – for health and productivity – is to provide your employees with as much natural light as possible. Research shows time and time again that having access to natural light reduces levels of stress and irritation, which is essential in a workplace, and those who don’t have natural light can be prone to seasonal affective disorder, particularly in the winter. Of course, the best option is a big window that can be opened to allow plenty of light and fresh air to be circulated, but in some workspaces, we appreciate that is not a viable option. Instead, look at bulbs which can help to mimic the daylight. It’s not quite as effective, but it is better than nothing!
Provide plenty of shelters
Following on from the previous point, it is important to give your employees some access to outdoor space throughout the day. This may just be for their breaks, but we all know how horrible it is to have to stand outside in the wet or cold, meaning many don’t bother. This can then negatively impact on productivity levels in the afternoon, so provide plenty of shelters. Whether you like it or not, some of your employees or visitors to your workplace may be smokers so that smoking shelters can be a useful addition to the outdoor space.
This is particularly important for desk workers, who may spend a lot of fo time at their desks in front of computer screens. Again, this is not great for health, or productivity reasons, so encouraging movement can help. It gives them the chance to stretch their legs, thus preventing health problems such as deep vein thrombosis, and can also give them a fresh perspective on work if they have hit a wall. Encourage movement by putting the coffee machine or water cooler, or the printer at the far end of the room, so they have no choice but to get up and move.
Make sure break rooms are clean and comfortable
Again, the office culture often seems to encourage not taking a proper break and working through lunch with a sandwich at your desk. This is not an ideal way of working, so make sure there is a comfortable and clean room for them to relax in while taking a break. Comfy chairs, basic kitchen equipment such as somewhere to make a hot drink, a toaster and a microwave can make a massive difference to the working day.