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10 ways to create a better workspace
27 January 2015
Written by Gareth Jones
If your workforce are happy, half the battle is already won when it comes to the productivity and performance of your business. However, if you have a lackluster, tired and unhappy team (which, no one likes to admit), the impact, both immediate and long-term could put your business at danger.
Take a look at our 8 key tips that you may want to think about executing if you have a team that you believe could be working better, together and individually.
No one in the history of the office has ever said, 'Wow, I just LOVE working in this dull, bland environment'. It just doesn't happen. However, you probably don't want to be making a working office environment that looks like Joseph's Technicolour Dreamcoat, thus, it's probably good to stick to some kind of strategy when it comes to adding a splash of colour. Here are two ideas that businesses usually take on board when they are procuring their office furniture from us:
Above photo is example of an office environment utilising our HD Colour (Blue) Desk Range
a) If you are a small business, one great way to add colour to your office is by matching your companies brand colour scheme, or utilising good cross match colours.
b) If you are a large corporation and more specifically, have multiple departments, you may want to think about other ways to incorporate colour, other than, for example, if you are the Coca Cola brand, you probably wouldn't want a vibrant red everywhere. A good way to break this brand colour up would be to have department specific colour schemes.
Now, let's think about the different ways in how you can add colour to the interior of your office:
- Furniture. If you are a new start-up business, or looking to upscale your office environment, you may want to think about kitting out your office with desks, storage systems and seating that match your colour requirements. We've create colour specific desk pages that incorporate our 'HD' (business desk range) and the UCLIC (home office desk range), which can be found in the following colours:
Red | Yellow | Orange | Green | Blue | Black | Burgundy | White
Please note; while the UCLIC range is dubbed as the 'home office', this has also turned out to be a key range for new business start-ups!
Often, in the office environment, people don't get away from their desks often enough - especially when it comes to taking their designated breaks. Many times, this could be because the business doesn't have a social area, especially in smaller businesses, where this is seen as an expense, with our any benefits.
However, contrary to popular belief, investing in a good breakout area for breaks could be incredibly important to your staffs morale. An example would be to have a daily competition - perhaps create a league table and every day, for 5 to 10 minutes, a game of 'round robin' pool or snooker is played. In this time, people are having to communicate with others that are not in their immediate vicinity/department, which should hopefully create new lines of communication and break the ice between departments and staff that don't usually talk with each other, but probably should (fact: the vast majority of people have been found to only talk to those in their immediate working area).
Meeting rooms/board rooms (bored rooms) are not typically places that are full of joy and excite people. In fact, the typical way that meeting rooms are created, can cause undue stress and confrontational environments, purely because of the arrangement of chairs and the places in which people sit.
Creating meeting break out areas is, exactly what it says - it's about getting people away from their own desk, stopping disruptions outside of the immediate conversation due to people in the work area. Break out meeting areas take people away from the desks and get people talking from across departments in an area that is calm, comfortable, a place where notes can be taken and doesn't come with the challenges of a 'normal' board room environment.
We'll keep this one short. If your business doesn't already have one, you may want to consider the investment of a designated lunch area or cafeteria. People who eat their lunches at their desks are more likely to get ill due to picking up germs at lunch time than those that break away for 30 minutes or an hour to have a good break and eat lunch.
Not ideal for all scenarios, but great value can be gained from key departments, if allowing some flexibility in their working hours. For example, take IT professionals. While you can't really allow for much flexibility for those who deal with infrastructure, IT developers, creating new websites, platforms and apps, etc, should be given some leeway when it comes to working hours.
If you are an employee located in the UK, you should take a look at this page on the Government website, which also includes a flexible hours application form that once complete, you should give to your manager/HR department.
Your head of company IT may be overly cautious of who, how, when and what people access on their computers and the internet, but sometimes an overly secure internet network can cause members of staff to not be able to complete even the smallest of tasks.
Typically, social networks are blocked to stop employees from accessing their personal profiles during work time, but it this a security issue, or just trying to ensure your staff are working? Studies show that you can leverage additional business opportunities by giving all members of staff full access to the internet and especially to social networks.
One way of tackling this is of course by making sure members of staff have KPIs to achieve - this means that it shouldn't matter if you see someone on Facebook, as long as they are getting their job done in a timely, efficient manner. But also, you could dangle a carrot and making members of staff aware that access to social media websites is allowed (given targets/KPIs met), but where possible, you'd also call on members of staff from time to time to have some input on the companies social media presence. However, before you unleash the entire business to work on your companies social media presence, make sure you have clear guidelines in place for social media activities.
While pay rises and Christmases bonuses are great (and often seen as mandatory by many employees) it does however, now bring your members of staff together. By offering to pay for your employees lunch, this can often be a greater morale booster overall than and encourage people to get away from their desks and communicate with others (as per point 3 and 4).
With all the cheer that can be brought in to the office due to creating a more colourful environment, or creating break out areas, there's no better feeling than being outside in the open. If your businesses IT infrastructure can cope (enough laptops for members of staff and a good wifi signal strong enough for outside), you may want to consider allowing your employees to break out from the boxed in office environment and get some fresh air.
Want some examples of going to the extreme? Check out these top London tech company offices.
Have you tried any of the above points, or perhaps you have some other great examples in making members of staff happy? Discuss below in the comments section, we'd love to hear it!
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