The role HR professionals play in many organizations is changing. As companies have become increasingly aware of this transformation, HR managers and their teams have begun spending more time working with management and executives to make the kinds of decisions not typically associated with HR’s duties in the past.
Often, this involves discussing office upgrades and design ideas. After all, the right working environment is key to boosting and sustaining employee productivity, engagement, and overall satisfaction.
Are you moving to a new office? Redesigning your current one? If so, keep the following ideas in mind, and be sure to discuss them with the major decision-makers at your company. These simple changes could give your organization a competitive edge.
Include More Greenery
Research shows that people have a desire to spend time in the natural world. Spending just a few minutes in a green space can boost mood, reduce stress, and even lead to productivity gains.
While adding some real plants to the office decor is certainly a good idea, you can simply hang a few posters or pictures of forests, waterfalls, and other relaxing scenes. Looking at a picture of nature for less than a minute can have a measurable effect on a person’s stress levels.
Make Space for Socializing
The outdated notion that too much socialization in the workplace is bad for productivity has been disproven time and again. Researchers have found that employees who have active social connections with their coworkers are actually more productive than employees who don’t socialize.
That’s why your office should have dedicated areas where socializing is encouraged. Making it easier for employees to forge connections helps you to take full advantage of the benefits socializing offers.
Make Space to Move Around
Employees are more productive and satisfied when they have opportunities to take breaks from work, meaning actually getting away from their work area. If an employee’s “break” involves sitting in front of the work they still need to complete, odds are good they won’t truly disconnect from their responsibilities.
With that in mind, you can make sure there is space in the office for workers to move around during breaks. Along with boosting productivity, there’s also reason to believe this will lead to greater on-the-job creativity. Simply walking around can give employees new perspectives or ideas that might not occur to them otherwise.
Offer a Range of Working Environments
People have differing opinions on working environments. Some people feel more engaged and productive in dynamic spaces where they’re surrounded by coworkers, while some work best when they have privacy. Others may desire both, depending on their mood.
To accommodate every type of preference, your office should offer multiple seating and workspace options. Cubicles, open office layouts, and private rooms will ensure everyone will have a place to comfortably work.
Managers will need to make sure their workers know they’re allowed to make use of different workspaces (depending on the duties expected of them). In general, you want them to feel comfortable moving about the office as they see fit.
Make It Comfortable
Because employees spend a lot of time at the office, it needs to be a comfortable place to be if they are expected to remain engaged with their work.
Don’t overlook the importance of simple office changes that can yield major results.
Invest in comfortable desk chairs, ergonomic wrist rests and keyboards, and couches for lounging on during break times.
Engaged employees feel a connection to their organization’s value and mission. Make sure employees are frequently reminded of the company’s goals by including branded imagery throughout the office. This shouldn’t be restricted to logos. Instead of generic inspirational posters, consider decorating the walls with custom posters featuring quotes from the company mission statement, the CEO, or any other relevant source.