A report by Steel Case revealed that only 13 percent of the global workforce is highly engaged and highly satisfied with their workplace. However, with the advancement in technology, workplaces are becoming more flexible and comfortable, and if this continues, the number of productive and happy employees will grow. If your employees are working in a boring office setting, they likely won't be motivated or creative, and this will negatively affect the overall performance of the company.
Research done on 1,614 North American employees revealed that the most desirable attributes of an office space were availability of natural light and access to outdoor views, ahead of other features like fitness centres, onsite cafeterias and day care facilities. Aside from employee preferences, exposure to natural light not only improves overall health, but also greatly impacts focus and creativity, hence boosting overall productivity. If it is not possible to improve on your office's lighting through windows, there are other alternatives. Using blue-enriched light bulbs is highly recommended because they help in reducing fatigue and increase work productivity and creativity, especially when used in brainstorming rooms. In meeting or relaxation rooms, you can use warmer tones in order to create a sense of calmness.
Many top businesses invest strongly in relaxation areas in order to attract more potential employees. For example, Under Armour's office has a full-service gym and even an on-site basketball court. Yelp's Scottsdale office has game rooms, beer stations and spa-like relaxation rooms. A few ideas you can try in your office are to fill spaces with inviting furniture such as sofas, hammocks and floor pillows, or create a games room with a sound system. In order to create the best relaxation areas, you can give your employees the freedom to customise their own spaces. When it comes to refreshments, it may help to create a snack station in the office. You can install an office coffee maker at the station so that your employees can enjoy brewing their own coffee. Also, when stocking refreshments, the last thing you need are snacks that inhibit the performance of your team. Avoid sugar-filled snacks such as candy, oily foods and sugary drinks, all of which can cause sudden weakness and drastic change in mood. Instead, opt for snacks that are high in protein, low in sugar, and are made with healthy ingredients.
Spending more than seven hours a day indoors can deprive your employees of natural elements. Research has shown that biophilia, which refers to humans' impulse to connect to nature, increases work productivity by 15%. There are also studies that have proven that plants lower workplace stress, and people who work in offices with green plants have better concentration while working. Introducing plant life into the office has strong health advantages, too. Researchers have discovered that connecting workers with the natural environment leads to fewer work days missed due to sickness. And it goes without stating that healthier workers are more productive workers. Employees working in plant-filled offices also report better air quality. You can add plants such as the jade plant, peace lily and snake plant that are resilient and easy to maintain. Apart from making staff more comfortable, a study by Harvard showed that enhancing air quality resulted in drastic rises in mental cognition. On the other hand, poor ventilation increases concentrations of carbon dioxide, which can impair cognitive performance and dampen mood.
Offering a workplace that incorporates the needs of your employees is a valuable investment since it will be repaid in the form of employee productivity. You should also get to know your workforce to find out which changes will make them satisfied and engaged.