Working in the same office for eight hours a day, five days a week can wear employees down over time. Tired, unhappy employees are less efficient, less creative, and are likely to leave for a change of scenery at some point. Improving your office space, making it a special place to work, is a brilliant way of re-energising your employees, retaining talent and improving your company culture. Read on to discover three great ways of changing your office space, providing positive knock-on effects to your business as a whole.
Improve your coffee facilities
Most office work is utterly reliant on workers getting their morning mug of Joe or cup of tea. And some workers drink inordinate amounts of coffee throughout the day. If you aren’t already offering free coffee and tea to your employees, then this is the place to start.
The only negative of supplying employees with all of the tea and coffee they could ever want is that this sometimes encourages procrastinating employees to drag the coffee- and tea-making process out as long as possible. One way to combat this is to install a special tap that boils water instantly. This saves a lot of time when you consider it takes 2-3 minutes to boil a full kettle. It also saves money when you consider that you will only be boiling the water you need.
However, many people complain that the water from these taps is stale and not good for either tea or coffee. If you have many coffee enthusiasts in the office, then this will not go down well. The alternative is more expensive, but should definitely provide a return on your investment: lease a coffee machine.
Rather than buying a little filter coffee machine or a cafetiere, a proper coffee machine is quick and easy for employees to use and it will produce beautiful coffee that will make your staff happier and more productive than ever. It’s the appreciation, productivity and time-efficiency of leasing coffee machines that makes them the perfect investment for any office. We provide specialist office coffee machine leasing services, so have a browse, read our leasing FAQ, and talk to a professional on the team if you have any questions about it. The major benefit of leasing the machine is that you can upgrade to newer, better models in the future, as they arrive, and usually for little or no extra cost.
Fit an office gym
Fitting a gym is very expensive, so this option simply won’t be possible for small companies. But medium-sized companies and up stand to benefit massively. It’s well documented that exercising energises people and causes them to produce serotonin, the happy hormone. Having happy, energised employees will obviously improve their performance efficiency and improve the overall ROI of your business.
But why not just pay for a gym membership for everyone in your office? You could do this, but it also sends a strange message to your staff. Also, fitting your own gym might end up around the same price, or cheaper over time – as long as you take good care of your equipment. Fitting the gym in your office will also make it easier for employees to exercise before the working day – which has been proven to vastly improve workplace productivity. You can read more about the health and workplace productivity benefits of exercising before work here.
Another benefit of fitting an office gym is that working out reduces stress significantly. Anyone who has ever worked in an office will understand how stressful it can get, and stress has a negative impact on the immune system (think sick days), psychological heath (even more sick days), and general office atmosphere (think loss of productivity and teamwork).
Lastly, installing a gym in your office will also make it so much easier for your employees to get to the gym from work. This is a huge benefit to people who want to work out but cannot usually find the motivation to get to the gym. Providing employees with this service can (and will) instil a sense of gratitude in your employees, encouraging them to work harder for you.
You may like to source second-hand gym equipment or to lease a variety of machines and free weights from a specialist company. The benefits of leasing are the same as with coffee machines: you get to update them as and when they wear out or when better versions become available.
A comfortable, inviting dining area
This advice might not seem as exciting or as unconventional as the other two, but it is very important. They say an army marches on its stomach, and an office definitely follows suit. There are various other benefits to ensuring your staff are well fed and have a nice place to go during their breaks.
Some employers move in the opposite direction, providing meagre dining areas so that employees are encouraged to eat at their desks, forcing them to work a little (checking an email or two) over their lunch break. But this is a false economy, because people can only stay focused for short stints of time (the average is about 20mins between individual tasks) and encouraging employees to take a break from work can vastly improve productivity.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate the benefits of taking a break is to look at working hours and the efficiency of workers who typically work less hours. This Guardian article looks at ONS findings that show a very significant increase in workplace productivity in countries with a lower average weekly working hours. We’re not suggesting that you lower your weekly working hours for your business, but providing a pleasant dining area and a slightly longer lunch break is a fantastic way to improve productivity in your office. In a way, leasing a coffee machine is an extension of this idea, as it improves moral by making employees happier at work. Things to consider when renovating your dining area:
- Lighting – make it bright and inviting
- Seating – comfortable seats around large tables encourages social interaction
- Toaster – providing a toaster for employees allows them to make a quick bite to eat in the morning in case they missed their breakfast. Installing two or more toasters will help avoid queues at peak times.
- Enough microwaves – microwaves are fast and perfect for employees who need to heat up last night’s leftovers as well as prepare their supermarket ready meals. Installing two or more microwaves is a great way to keep your employees happy and it also help reduce queues during peak times.
- Soundproofing – as you’re trying to encourage your employees to unwind on their lunchbreak, it can be important to sound proof your dining area. This means that staff aren’t encouraged to keep their conversations down for fear of distracting other people working in the office. You want your staff to be able to laugh and recharge before getting back to work.
And that’s it: three big changes you can make to your office to make your business a better and more productive place to work. There’s so much more you can do to improve your office, but these three strategies are a great place to start.