It’s an exciting time to get back to the office. As Americans return to work, it’s important to remember that an office can provide the comfort, stability, and positive atmosphere essential to take your business to the next level. Whether you’re just returning or never left, it’s never a bad time to work toward a better workplace environment.
If you’re looking for ideas to improve your workplace, this article will take you through 7 of the very best options.
Every office is different, but this guide will explore actionable measures that could benefit nearly any workplace. From increasing communication to prioritizing comfort, you’re likely to find a whole list of simple improvements for your business. Read on to find the best ways to make your office into a place your employees are proud to work.
#1. Show Your Appreciation
Let your team know you care. According to a recent survey, 82% of respondents consider recognition an important part of their happiness at work.1 That’s a large group of workers eager to know they’re valued.
There are several ways to show your appreciation and communicate your respect to your team, including:
- Bonuses – Completing a major milestone or hitting a long-term goal deserves a valuable reward. While cash bonuses are one option, you could also consider purchasing lunch for their team, offering free parking, or giving them a bonus paid day off.
- Personalized gifts – Consider something special for your top-performing team members. You can be as lavish as the situation calls for. From a commemorative watch to a thoughtful gift card to their favorite restaurant, a personalized gift is a kind way to show appreciation and connect on an individual level with a team member.
- Company-wide recognition – Offer recognition, both personally and publicly, for employees who have gone above and beyond their job responsibilities. You can show your appreciation and admiration with industry awards, corporate parties, or company-wide announcements.
You can celebrate major and minor accomplishments, but it's important that no team member feels excluded from opportunities for festivities. Ensure that when elevating an employee, you don’t denigrate another.
#2. Refine Your Office Culture
A positive work environment is about more than the office itself. It’s also about nurturing a workplace culture of respect, courtesy, and thoughtfulness. Building a place where people want to work means cultivating a positive atmosphere and making each day in the office enjoyable and satisfying.
Consider prioritizing the following aspects of your organization to deepen your office culture:
- Communication – Create a space for open, respectful dialogue. Let your team speak their mind, share their ideas, and offer their perspectives and expertise. By encouraging active communication as well as active listening, you might be able to mitigate problems and create a culture of empowerment and freedom.
- Conservation – Eliminating office waste can have a positive effect on the environment as well as your bottom line. Position your office as an eco-friendly workplace by reducing paper and plastic waste and encouraging the use of recyclable materials. You may find your team excited and proud to work in a place that supports environmental conservation.
#3. Upgrade Your Furnishings
When it comes to long days in the office, comfort is a major factor in employee satisfaction and productivity. Extended time in a less than pleasant physical environment could harm concertation and office morale, so you might look to upgrade your office space with an eye for inspiring decor and enhanced comfort.
Look for ways to improve your office space, including:
- Seating and desks – From ergonomic office chairs to standing desks, a range of furniture options can provide the physical support your team needs. Consider meeting with individual team members to find out what their furniture preferences are, and work to find options that fulfill their needs without compromising your budget.
- Lighting – It may seem small, but lighting can greatly affect employee performance and attitude. Overly bright, fluorescent lighting may be fatiguing on the eyes, while underlit areas may lead to strain and exhaustion. Look to efficient, cool lighting options and utilize natural light whenever possible, and never underestimate the power of natural lighting.
- Office decor – Today, it's easy to spiff up a dreary office environment with plants, art, and lively decorations. Whether you’re interested in a modern, minimalist palette or a striking, bold look, you can find a wide assortment of items to accessorize your office and accentuate your chosen style.
#4. Prioritize Accessibility
No one wants to feel like their office is a convoluted maze. As businesses expand and office spaces fill with busy employees, accessibility may become more limited. Fortunately, you can turn the tides and reinvent your office design to prioritize accessibility that serves your entire team.
Looking for a few ways to increase the accessibility of your workplace? Consider the following:
- Develop a smart floorplan – Minimize your office clutter and create a space where team members feel comfortable moving around. Whether you have cubicles, focus pods, assigned desks, or an open seating arrangement, consider rearranging to enhance the flow of your office space.
- Advance your mobility assistance – Ensure your entire team has full access to every part of the office by investigating ways to assist those with limited mobility. Upgrade your ramps, elevators, entryways, and restrooms to accommodate those with mobility issues. It’s a compassionate way to provide a welcoming environment to anyone who walks through your doors.
- Rethink your amenities – Does your office space have a shared kitchen, breakroom, or underused conference room? Make the most of your shared spaces by making them accessible and available to your team. This can involve a quick redecoration, appliance purchases, or even minor renovation.
If you are looking to change up your office space, Juniper can help. With our design services we can help you plan out a space that is both efficient and inviting.
#5. Encourage Health and Wellness
Keep your team feeling their best by doing your part to encourage their physical and mental wellness. Team members spending their day in the office should have healthy options and outlets that support their wellbeing.
A few simple ways to work toward better office health include:
- Food and snack options – Healthy food can be a major incentive for those spending significant time in the office. Consider providing nutritious vending options, healthy team lunches, and water stations throughout the office.
- Opportunities for exercise – Sitting all day at a desk can leave employees feeling unenergized and sluggish. Consider supporting exercise breaks to get your team moving or even connecting with a local gym to hold exercise classes for your employees. Even a simple walk around the building could do wonders for overall health.
- Health screenings – It’s not always easy to get to the doctor for an annual checkup, so why not bring the doctor to the office. Organizing a yearly in-office health screening could save your employees a trip to their healthcare provider and make staying on top of their health a little easier.
#6. Enhance Your Tools
If your team is frustrated with slowdowns, unintended malfunctions, and annoying errors, it might be time to enhance your digital infrastructure. Whether your team is using a clunky inventory system, outdating accounting software, or buggy hardware, a tech reset could help make everyone’s day better.
A few areas to consider upgrading include:
- Telecommunication tools – It’s important to keep your team in touch with collaborators, stakeholders, and customers. If your telecommunication systems are lacking, they may be costing your team valuable time and resources. Take the steps to elevate your tech and ensure the lines of communication are always open.
- Laptops, desktops, and tablets – The tools of the 21st century need regular upgrading to stay useful for your business. A new computer could be an inspiring addition to your team, providing them with the adequate tech to get their work done faster and more efficiently.
- Printers and copiers – Jams and errors are common with printers and copy machines, but they don’t have to be. Waiting around for important documents is never a good use of employee time and energy. Opt for equipment that will leave your team ready to take on any task.
#7. Find The Right Work-Life Balance
Recent surveys suggest that 72% of Americans believe a work-life balance is very important when considering a job.2 As your team puts in their hours at the office, don’t forget to encourage them to lead full and productive lives.
Explore the following ways that you can help your team achieve a better work-life balance:
- Flexible hours – While some employees function best on a standard 9 to 5 schedule, others may prefer slightly more flexible hours. Offering flexible office hours could increase employee performance, and providing a little wiggle room could help you attract a new range of talent for your business.
- Mental health days – Stress can lead to mental fatigue as well as physical health problems. Prioritize your team’s mental health by offering them time to focus on de-stressing. This could be a full day, a free Friday afternoon, or an open morning for relaxing and resting.
- Team building and retreats – Get your team together for fun with team building and work retreats. These are occasions where employees can come together to engage in non-work-specific activities. These activities allow them to share their interests and passions that build stronger bonds and lead to increased team productivity.
Craft An Unparalleled Office Space with Juniper
While working to build a better workplace, always lead by example. Let your team know you’re working hard to make the office a better place, and stay open to suggestions. If you’re ready to uplift your office, the furnishings are a smart place to start, and at Juniper, you can find everything you’ll need.
From lounge tables to desk chairs, discover a world of office furniture designed for the modern workplace. With more than 100 years of experience in the industry, we’re confident you can find the pieces that accentuate your style and provide a new level of comfort for your employees. Visit us today to explore everything we have to offer.
- Survey Monkey. Can employee recognition help you keep them longer?. https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/employee-recognition-and-retention/
- Statistica. Importance of work-life balance among employees in the U.S. in 2018. https://www.statista.com/statistics/916521/us-economy-importance-work-life-balance/
- Indeed. 20 Ways To Improve Your Work Environment. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/improving-the-work-environment