To ensure loyalty and productivity, in the long run, the people in charge should pay special attention to the workplace and how the employees feel there. It’s quite easy to neglect certain aspects of running a company and end up in a hostile environment when people don’t talk to each other and don’t even like coming into work.
Fortunately, there are many things one can do in order to achieve harmony in the workplace and below, we’ve listed ten office essentials to get you going. Take a look.
Pleasant Office Environment
The most basic thing every company should do for its employees is to provide a pleasant office environment. There are many aspects to consider here but the one that is vital is cleanliness. This needs to be tackled in two ways.
First, hire a cleaning company that will take care of all general tasks, such as vacuuming, washing the windows and cleaning the bathrooms.
Second, you need to instruct your employees that they need to keep their personal space tidy. If they eat at their desk, they should clean up after themselves and avoid leaving food crumbs, leftovers and packaging around – not only does it look bad, but it can also start to smell and accumulate bacteria.
The next thing you can do is conduct a survey to see which air temperature suits the employees and set the AC so that everyone is comfortable. A study showed that women’s productivity is affected when the office is cold and you should take that into consideration. Seeing as how the “standard” office temperature was devised so that it benefits men, this is something that needs to be adjusted, especially if a lot of your workers are women.
Last but not least, to ensure a pleasant environment, you should allow your employees to personalize their cubicles or offices. They will feel at home there and depending on what they choose as their decoration, their motivation and performance could be boosted.
Plenty of Light
An abundance of light is also necessary to ensure the productivity of the staff. The best course of action here is having as much natural light as possible. If you are lucky enough to have huge windows or a lot of them, make the most of the light that’s coming in. Try to rearrange the office so that everyone has access to outdoor light.
On the other hand, sometimes your office just does not have access to that much natural light, which is why you have to look for the best artificial options. Look for bulbs that can mimic sunlight and layer your fixtures so that every part of the office is well illuminated. You will need overhead lights as well as task lights for every employee. A properly lit space will prevent eye strain and headaches, meaning that the workers will be healthier and perform better.
Comfy and Practical Furniture
Another essential that you cannot forget about is comfortable furniture. You need to provide your staff with ergonomic chairs that will prevent back and neck pain or look into cycle chairs if you think they could be useful.
Next, you can also look into adjustable desks that allow employees to work in a sitting position when it suits them and then stand up for a while and work like that. Furthermore, there are now even ergonomic computer mouses and keyboards which aim at preventing wrist strain.
What is more, we mentioned how each employee should keep their workstation neat. A way to ensure this is to get them desks that provide a lot of storage so that they don’t have to keep various items on their desktops. Also, get them various organizers and holders where they can sort their tools and documents.
Additionally, you should look for clever storage solutions for the whole office. Sleek and easy-to-access filing cabinets and drawers will make everyone’s life much easier.
Handy Kitchen Space
While making sure they are comfortable while working is essential, you should do your best to think about your workers’ health in other ways as well. Providing them with a kitchen space might be exactly what they need.
For example, add a fridge where they can keep the food they bring from home or a microwave oven where they can heat it up. Moreover, you should familiarize yourself with all the health benefits of coffee and provide a Lavazza office coffee machine for your employees. This means that they will have coffee at hand’s reach and they can choose whichever flavors they love most. Of course, you cannot forget about tea lovers either, so make sure there is a variety of healthy beverages.
You can also look into providing them with healthy snacks and juices instead of those junk food options from the vending machines. If you don’t have a kitchen staff that makes lunch every day, you can turn to many delivery companies out there that offer healthy meals. Consider suggesting everyone eats together at lunch, as that will allow the staff to bond.
Chill Lounge Room
Another alternative for their break time is spending it in a lounge room. You can dedicate a space for some relaxation and fun by adding a comfy couch, some armchairs, and beanbags to a spare room. Depending on your budget, think about getting them a TV, a stereo, some video gaming equipment and so on. All of these gadgets can help them get their mind off work for a while and go back to their cubicle refreshed and ready to tackle new obstacles.
On the other hand, your employees might be looking for a quiet space where they can retreat if they need some alone time away from the hustle and bustle of the office. You can even make it a nap room – a 20-minute power nap will boost their energy and recharge their batteries.
In order to be productive and efficient, employees need equipment that will work smoothly. A broken piece of equipment can result in a lot of downtime and frustration. Therefore, business owners need to dedicate a part of the company’s budget to getting the latest equipment and keeping it running smoothly.
Ensuring their computers are performing well, without lags, that the software is updated regularly and that there is high-speed internet is essential.
Furthermore, if they need silence to work, employees should be given noise-canceling headphones. In addition, don’t forget about various other equipment they might need, such as printers, copiers, and scanners. It’s easy to find all-in-one models that serve several purposes.
Flexibility and Remote Work
There will be days when your employees really need you to meet them halfway. For instance, maybe they have a family emergency and they need a few days off. You should do your best to help them out as this will show them that you really care about their well-being and they will be even more loyal. Another thing you can consider is a flexible work schedule.
Some people simply don’t work too well in the morning and they know they are more productive in the afternoon or evening. You should allow these people to create their own schedules as long as they can ensure all the work will be done properly and on time. Plus, if your office is well-lit, there should be no problem with them working late into the night.
On the other hand, there will also be instances where your employees have to take care of their kids or are feeling sick and don’t want to risk infecting other people by coming into the office. Some people simply work better from the comfort of their own home and in relative quiet without the noises of a common workplace, and others are actually distracting their coworkers from doing their job. In all of these scenarios, you can consider allowing remote work. This way, you prevent arguments and low productivity.
Besides allowing them flexibility and remote work, there are so many other benefits you can provide your employees with. For instance, why not offer them certain courses they can take to improve their skills? Furthermore, these classes don’t even have to be related to the job they do. Getting them a mentor, sending them to seminars and inviting speakers to the company all to work great for boosting motivation and developing their expertise.
Then, in addition to bringing in healthy foods and beverages, you can also offer other wellness benefits. If you have enough space, you can add a gym to your office. One room with some essential equipment should be enough to keep them in good shape. If your employees are not fans of the gym option, you can go for something like an indoor ping pong table or a mini-golf course.
Moreover, if your office has an outdoor area, you can install hoops and let them blow off some steam. Last but not least, even if none of these options are viable, you should look into getting them free gym memberships or at least one with a discount. Alternatively, you can encourage fitness by giving an award for most steps walked during office hours – for example, send them to a spa for a day. Furthermore, look into bringing doctors into the office and offering preventive screenings and flu shots on-site.
Your best approach here might be asking your staff which benefits they would like to have. Some might suggest a casual dress code while others will want to bring their pets to work – see what gets most votes and ensure everyone is okay with it.
While playing hoops or mini-golf in the office are great activities, you can also take it up a notch. Have you considered organizing your own softball team and joining a league? You can do the same with bowling or any other sport your employees love. Other blood-pumping activities include paintball and laser tag games.
other valuable tips:
However, these activities don’t have to be sport-related. For instance, taking a trip together to a new city to go sightseeing will be super fun. You can also try room escape, go on a scavenger hunt, have a karaoke night, join a cooking or painting class and so on. Last but not least, why not do something good for the community and volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen?
The best way to have a harmonious office and make the workers feel safe is to promote equality in the workplace. Ensure there is no mobbing or harassment happening and take prompt action if you see anyone behaving in a discriminatory way. Have certain rules and policies in place which will protect your staff and nip all inappropriate behavior right in the bud, and make sure all employees know them and abide by them.
Finally, encourage your workers by letting them know that they can talk to you or your HR team whenever they have a problem. Being aware that someone is on their side will make them feel much more pleasant and respected. This does not go only in case of harassment – take their opinions into consideration no matter the subject. Who knows, maybe they’ve come up with a great way to solve an issue you’re currently racking your brain over.
In order to have harmony in the workplace, it’s vital to make sure your employees are satisfied with their job and the environment they work in every day. These ten office essentials are going to help you achieve just that.
So, check with your staff what they would like most – whether it’s a fully functional kitchen and a comfy lounge room or the ability to work from home and experience various wellness benefits – and do your best to provide that for them. By paying attention to them and their needs, you will ensure their loyalty and therefore, the success of your business.
Image credit: office essentials by Pixabay
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