How You Can Improve Your Workplace Environment

When it comes to the workplace, one way to make sure that your office is much more productive is by improving the environment that everybody works in. This could be by making sure that the physical office space is as great as it can possibly be, or by making moves to ensure that the atmosphere of the office is as cheerful and friendly as you can. Here are some tips on how you can get that done…

Lead By Example

First of all, leading by example is absolutely key. If you want to have an office in which nobody discusses anyone else behind their backs, make sure that you don’t participate in any conversations like that – and remember that standing silently by means that you’re quietly condoning them. If you feel awkward and you aren’t sure what to say, a quick “I’m not sure this is appropriate to discuss in the office” is perfectly sufficient. If you’re the boss or the manager of the office, it’s absolutely imperative that you do this and that you don’t indulge in any petty office gossip: it’s so easy to get drawn into these things but doing so will both undermine your authority and make it clear to others that such behaviour is acceptable. Being open and honest about any issues is vastly preferable.

Provide Opportunities For Development

In your office, it’s vital that you provide ways for people to develop, to learn and to better themselves. Chances are, most of the particularly great people that you hired over the last couple of years are ambitious and they don’t want to end up stagnating in one job in which their responsibilities have been the same for a while, so if you want to keep them and their skills at your company, it’s important that you make an effort to extend those skills. There are plenty of training workshops where you can send people, but first of all, take a seat with them and make sure that you discuss what exactly their career goals are and what they want from the company. You should remember that if their roles are extended and they learn extra skills that the business can utilise, you should reflect that with a raise or a bonus – you can heap people with praise and appreciation, but that won’t pay their rent.

Improve Your Office Decor

A great way to make everyone a little more cheerful at work is to improve the general ambiance of your office. Of course there are ways to do that simply by spreading a good mood and cheerfulness, but the office itself is also key. Make sure that you clear it of clutter and that it’s entirely safe for employees to use – for example, there shouldn’t be anything in walkways, especially not cables, which are extremely easy to trip over and injure yourself on. Make sure that you keep the blinds open and that the office is lit with natural light as much as possible: artificial white lighting often reflects off computer screens, giving people headaches and potentially even eye problems further down the line. Provide comfortable chairs with footrests and ergonomic cushions for people who ask for them, along with specialist keyboards. Humans are not really designed to sit behind a desk for eight hours a day, so you need to make sure that people are comfortable and happy while they do so.

What About Safety?

It’s impossible to work as well as you possibly can if you don’t feel completely safe in your office environment. In physical terms, many businesses in larger buildings install security companies at the front door – they can check IDs and ensure that nobody who enters is doing so under false pretences. If that isn’t possible, why not install an intercom to ensure that everybody gets met at the door and issued with a visitor’s pass? As for people who already work in the building, a name badge with a photo is the best way to make it clear that they’re supposed to be there. You should also make sure that you listen carefully to anyone who comes to you with a complaint. Sexual harassment in the workplace is still a very real thing and if someone has a complaint about the way that a co-worker has been treating them, you should have a very specific procedure that you’re ready and very willing to follow. Remember to believe people, and not to belittle their lived experiences. Finally, you need to make sure that you’re also safe online. Install a great security system and firewalls to make sure that nobody is able to hack into encrypted customer data – you want them to trust you, which means you need to keep their information strictly under lock and key.

Promote Achievable Targets

In an office, no matter what team you’re on, it’s important to have targets. Much of the time, a boss or a manager sets those targets, which means you need to carefully consider what they actually are. Firstly, talk to your employees so you can check out what exactly they think would be a good idea and what they think is feasible. If that seems right to you, set your targets – or extend them a little if you think that they could be doing even better than they are already. The thing to remember is that the targets you set should be achievable. There isn’t any point in having them if they’re so hard to hit that it never actually happens – this is very disheartening and terrible for morale. When people manage to hit those targets, make sure that you praise them and that you celebrate! A pizza party at lunchtime never hurt anybody.

Ditch The Paper

These days, more and more people are focused on the importance of being environmentally friendly at work. On a personal level, you may see employees using less and less single use plastic, and on a wider scale, consumers and clients are often picking businesses partly depending on their eco policies. That means that if you don’t have one already, you need to develop one – and fast. Easy ways to do that are by discouraging the use of plastic in your office – why not hand out company branded reusable coffee cups and water bottles instead? Another way to do that is by cutting down on the amount of paper you use. Make notes on laptops and tablets instead of notepads, think hard about whether you need to print as much as you do, and start to store documents on the cloud instead of in filing cabinets. That’s useful because it’s also a whole lot more safe and easy to protect data. Provide bins so that people can ensure that the paper they end up using is carefully recycled.

Work From Home

Finally, consider allowing your employees to work from home. An incredibly easy way to make them happier is to place your trust in them to do a good job no matter where they’re working from – and you might just find that if you employ people whose schedules need to be flexible, such as parents with young children or people who have caring responsibilities for other relatives, you’ve got a wider field of excellent potential hires. Working from home means that people are spared the time, energy and expense it requires to travel to work, and it’s extremely easy to keep in touch and communicate through the day via email and phone.

Improving your office environment is more about attitude than money. These tips should make it the best place to work in no time.


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