How to Make Your Office Feel Like Home
Creating the perfect office environment can be extremely tricky, which is why organizations often call in experts such as the Penketh Group.
On the one hand, the office is a professional working space. It needs to be geared up for maximum efficiency and productivity. However, it’s also important to make the workplace feel comfortable and pleasant for your employees. This is essential for staff morale and also to improve staff turnover rates.
But how do you make an office feel more like home, while still ensuring it’s a professional work space?
Here we have a few ideas for you:
- Greenery and plants. It might sound silly but it’s amazing the difference a plant or two can make to the feeling of a work space. Greenery can soften the corporate look while bringing in a natural element and a feel of the great outdoors. How green you go is up to you. Anything from a single potted plant in the break room to dozens of plants all around the office and even a weekly fresh flower bouquet in the waiting area, the sky’s is the limit. Some organizations have taken it a step further by creating roof-top garden space and green “living walls” if their office space allows.
- A comfortable, non-corporate break room. During break times, it’s healthy for your staff to feel that they’re not in work mode for a while. Workplaces are busy and it is not always possible for employees to leave during their breaks to get some fresh air. When that is the case, give them a comfortable, well-furnished and well-decorated break room. Try not to decorate it with corporate style furniture. Instead, give them sofas and chairs that feel like home. Make the space warm and inviting and see how well the employees enjoy it. Always remember to keep workplace safety in mind. In other words, don’t furnish the room with throw rugs or other things that might cause potential trip hazards. While it may not feel like a work room to your employees, you still need to remember workplace health and safety when designing it.
- A good coffee machine. Yes, this is a luxury and it does cost money – but your staff will absolutely love it. A decent coffee machine can do wonders for staff morale, showing you care about them and their comfort at work. It can also impress visitors. If you already have great coffee, step it up with a cappuccino maker. If you can’t afford one for your staff today, or you would rather create a contest for them to earn it, that can be very fun too. Give your staff a quota for the month and if they hit it, they get a new cappuccino machine for the break room. Or…if you take on 10 new clients this month or don’t lose a single client this month or…,the break room gets the machine and all the fixings. Give them attainable goals and let them have fun with it.
- Carefully chosen artwork. While I’m sure your company’s logo is amazing, having to look at corporate branding all day can get drab for some. Believe it or not, not everything you put on the office walls has to be directly related to the company. Why not hang some beautiful or inspirational artwork on your corporate walls? Something to take your employees on a quick trip to a mountain chalet or to a seaside view while they are on a short break. Believe it or not, giving employees something peaceful to look at can send them back to work with a new enthusiasm. If you have some blank wall space, ask your employees what they would most like most to see and then make it happen.
- Adjust the lighting. Finally, make sure you’ve got the lighting right. Blinding, white fluorescent lights not only make the office feel clinical and incredibly corporate, they can also affect staff morale in a negative way. Over time, this sort of lighting can give employees eye strain and headaches. Make a change by choosing a mix of overhead lights and task lighting, ensuring everything is adjustable in terms of brightness. If possible, let as much natural light into the office as you possibly can. Natural light is something most people enjoy and can not get enough of.
It may sound funny to try to make an office space feel more like home for your employees. After all, it is your office and the intent is for people to get work done and be productive. However, employee morale is important and can be critical to the success of your company. As business owners compete for the “best” employees, they should also work hard to ensure they stay on – after you work so hard to recruit and train them. Keeping this in mind, as you put together or improve your office space, might just be well worth it!