5 Ways to Show Employees They Matter Through the Art of Office Optimisation
Improving office culture and making it a better place to be is an important process for all businesses to take – after all, happy employees means increased productivity and employee engagement. While this can be done by changing various policies at a social level, there are plenty of physical office additions and optimisations that can be done to help your staff reach their true potential.
In this post, we’ll take a look through a number of these different strategies for office optimisation, explaining how business owners could improve their workplaces through thoughtful interior design.
A changing room and shower area
Valuing an employee’s personal development is one thing, but their physical health should also be held in high regard by employers. Optimising the office to include a changing room and shower area that makes it easier for workers to cycle or run to work is a step forward in this regard.
While many companies sign up for measures such as a cycle to work scheme, having a physical space that is dedicated to making sure workers are comfortable after a sweaty cycle is a much savvier step to take to show that you value their wellbeing.
The room itself should include secure storage lockers for cycling or gym equipment, an easy-to-clean shower and plenty of comfortable touches to make it feel less sterile and more personal.
The right treats to boost morale
This might seem like a cynical ploy, but it only really comes across this way if the office atmosphere has a negative cloud hanging around it. Treats shouldn’t just be calorific cakes and beers on a Friday afternoon – while these are great, they shouldn’t be seen as the only thing you can do to reward staff. Instead, treats should be functional at heart – think fresh cafetiere-brewed coffee and a selection of tasty herbal teas to aid productivity, or free at-desk massages once a month from licensed professionals.
You could even reward employees with the gift of time if feasible. An early finish on a Friday if set targets or deadlines are met or a paid day’s leave on their birthday can also be a brilliant way to give back to staff in a meaningful way and be a valuable incentive to employees.
Implementing suitable treats will have the dual effect of raising morale while keeping productivity at a desired level – which is no mean feat, particularly in a large, high-energy office scenario.
A true breakout room
Space where employees can blow off steam and disconnect slightly from work is vital in any size office. Whether you go for a more fun ‘games room’ setup with a football table, table tennis, and a video games console, or opt for a more cerebral area filled with sofas and books, you need to spend some time thinking about this space and how it can serve its purpose correctly.
That might mean imposing a ban on laptops and work smartphones in the room to make sure that it’s truly an oasis of calm. This will put an end to workers doing extra work through their breaks, a practice that is linked to instances of burnout, especially in high-pressure working environments.
A comfortable seat
It’d be dangerous for this blog post to paint in broad brush strokes about what would improve an office environment and help staff feel valued. Sometimes, you need to go right down to the basics – and ask each staff member if they’re sitting comfortably, literally.
Poorly set up office chairs can contribute to back and neck pain, which is something no business owner or manager should want for their staff members. To combat this potential problem, it pays to invest in quality desk chairs. Ergonomically designed, the simple addition of new chairs can go a long way in demonstrating you care about your staff’s wellbeing and comfort – making them feel a whole lot more valued and more productive in the long run.
Spontaneity (at the right times)
Being spontaneous in the workplace with regards to implementing early finishes, treats and team building days can help staff members feel valued in the workplace – just be sure to get the timing right. Marching in and announcing an early finish Friday just as one department is mid-way through a crunch project and needs every hour it can get, for example, can breed resentment.
Instead, a type of organised spontaneity is key. Plan surprises at the right time, either at the end of high-pressure periods or during lulls in morale – you’ll reap the benefits of such a policy as a result.
Of course, every office is different, so these tips will either be more or less applicable to your own enterprise depending on a number of factors. However, we hope you’ll keep them in mind the next time you’re searching for ways to make staff feel more valued.
Tom Brialey is the Founder and Director of Action Lockers, which adopts his philosophy that, in addition to the highest quality products, you must also provide the highest standard of service to your customers in order to succeed. That’s why it’s Tom’s mission to provide expert support 100% of the way.