Some startups may get off the ground in a basement or garage, but once your business is big enough to have an office, it’s important to not just toss together a bunch of desks, chairs, and computers. Your office is where your company makes its money, and the office should be a comfortable, welcoming environment.
Want to make your office a happier place for your employees? Whether you have cubicles or an open-plan office space — both of which have their drawbacks — or private offices for each employee, there are ways you can make your office more comfortable. After all, happier employees are more productive, take less sick leave, and are more committed to their jobs.
1. Make the office comfortable
Look into ergonomic chairs, lumbar cushions, and standing desks for those who want that option. Flexibility allows individual employees to choose what works best for them; don’t force all employees to use a standing desk just because it’s trendy.
2. Create quiet spaces
If you have outdoor spaces where your employees can go to get some fresh air, set up some picnic tables so they can sit outside for if we minutes. If not, have some spaces in the office where they can breathe, meditate, or even take a short nap when they need to unplug.
3. Add decorations
Perhaps add some splashes of color to relieve the monotony of white walls. Add some artwork; not those cheesy inspirational photos you see in many offices, but real art. Find some local artists or photographers and support them, and change the artwork every few months. And let your employees weigh in on how they want the office to look.
4. Offer break room amenities
And be sure to have a big enough refrigerator (or multiple refrigerators) so they can all store their lunches or break food.
5. Make it shine
The best option is natural light, but you may not have enough windows for this. LED lights are cheaper and have a better color temperature than other types of lights, and also give off less heat. Make sure everyone has an LED desk lamp for when they need extra light.
6. Add plants
There are plenty of plants and even trees that can live in an office, but make sure you choose plants that won’t bother those with allergies. Let employees take care of watering them, perhaps on rotation, so they feel more involved in maintaining the atmosphere.
7. Provide books
8. Offer storage space
But make sure there’s enough storage for all the stuff that piles up in your office, from stationary to toner, from mailers to cartons.
9. Optimize temperature and air quality
Also, use HEPA air filters to keep the air clean. It’s not just people with allergies and asthma that suffer when the air is full of pollen, dust, and volatile organic compounds, everyone is affected and may get tired from dirty air.
10. Make the office optional
What are some things you have done to create a human-friendly office? Did we miss something? Have a question or other feedback about this story? Drop us a comment below.