5 ways to make your workplace a more enjoyable place to be
Did you know the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their life time? Yet, research has shown 85% of employees are dissatisfied with their workplace.
A business simply cannot function without employees. Therefore, to ensure good wellbeing and maximum productivity, it is crucial that they are satisfied in their workplace. The good news is, there are some really simple changes a business can make to improve the day-to-day happiness of its employees and in turn, the overall success of the business.
Encourage flexible working
Flexible working is no longer a special circumstance for some people in work. It is increasingly in popularity and there are a number of reasons why all employers should look into it other than to make the workplace a more enjoyable place to be. As Anna Whitehouse of Mother Pukka’s Flex Appeal campaign explained, “Flexible working doesn’t mean working less or slacking off, it means finding hours that suit your life and how you best work. It’s one of the few issues that both the unionists of the TUC and the employers at the CBI agree on: flexible working is better for staff, and it’s better for profits.” – A win, win for all!
Microsoft 365 Enterprise matches the desires of the modern workforce and gives employees the freedom of working wherever, whenever they want with the appropriate security and compliance measures required to ensure management maintain peace of mind.
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Flexible working can do wonders for the efficiency and overall happiness of employees in the workplace. If it is not something your organisation offers, ask yourself and superiors why.
The performance and attitude of employees can be significantly impacted by the lighting in the workplace. Scientist, Mirjam Muench proved this when he looked into the difference between having daylight or artificial light in the workplace. The outcome was as follows:
“Compared to the afternoon, people who had DL (Daylight) were significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening, and subjects who were exposed to AL (Artificial light) were significantly sleepier at the end of the evening.”
He later went onto explain that not only does it affect our ‘sleepiness’ but it causes us to be more stressed and have less ability to stabilise our energy levels. This is because our cortisol levels drop down significantly lower when exposed to artificial light.
Natural lighting is clearly not only better for you but also the best way to make your workplace more enjoyable in terms of lighting. If this is not possible, there are other options. Blue-enriched light bulbs, for example, have been shown to make employees feel happier and more alert with less eye strain.
Micromanagement can have severe impacts on employees. By definition, it is a management style whereby a manager closely observes or controls the work of subordinates or employees. The dangers that come with this style of managing include loss of trust, dependant employees, the burn out of the person micromanaging and a high turnover of staff.
It is important to give teams the confidence and creative freedom they deserve while still setting clear expectations and reasonable boundaries to ensure the workplace is an enjoyable place to be. Objective and Key Results (OKR) is a popular style of management that connects company, team and personal goals to gain measurable results all whilst keeping team members and leaders working together in one, unified direction. You can find out more about OKR here.
Consider a ‘breakout’ area
If you want to keep your employees stimulated, happy and revitalised, you should encourage them to take regular breaks away from their desks. Providing an appropriate breakout area is a great way to do this. A breakout area describes any space that is separate from your usual area of work for employees. It can be used to eat their lunch, relax, have informal meetings and much more.
When providing a breakout area, considering using a variety of types of seating (if there is enough space!). For example, canteen chairs around a table can be used for employees to eat lunch or hold informal meetings, whereas soft furnishings can be used as a place for employees to relax and take some time out from their busy schedules. If you want to take it to that next level, take inspiration from worldwide organisations such as Google and Amazon who provide a games area for their employees with table tennis and pool tables. If you are struggling for space and finding a room for the breakout area, screening can be used to section off part of an open-plan office.
In addition to the above, a break-out area will also encourage staff to interact with one another more. As a result, the working relationships of employees will improve and help them to feel more comfortable in the workplace.
Add some colour
Considering the amount of time we spend in the workplace, it pays to have a workspace that is attractive. However, it is important that is doesn’t distract and limit the productivity of employees.
There is now scientific evidence showing that colour can influence productivity, creativity and mood in the workplace. Angela Wright, an expert on colour has been researching the impact of colour since the seventies. Some of her findings on colours and where they should be used in an office include:
- Blue is an intellectual colour and should be used in office areas requiring focus and mental effort.
- Red is a physical colour and is great for areas that demand physical exertion.
- Yellow is the emotional colour and should be used in areas that you want to stimulate positivity, creativity and happiness.
- Green provides balance and has been shown to be a great colour for office that require people to work long hours since it is the easiest colour on the eyes.
Furthermore, adding plants and making sure furniture is comfortable and ergonomic will make your workplace more enjoyable. Your office is a reflection of your brand. Consequently, you should decorate your office according to your brand to ensure your employees stay in touch with it.
Through taking the time to make your workplace a more enjoyable place to be, your employees will be more motivated. Happy employees are loyal employees after all, and loyal employees are those who will work hard to help your organisation achieve its goals.