If you're working full-time, no one needs to remind you that you spend an enormous amount of your waking hours in the office. It can feel as if that's all you do. If you have to devote that much of your time to your job, it might as well be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Work will never be great all the time; it is work, after all. However, sometimes it just takes a little thought and creativity to create an office environment that's not only conducive to productivity but also friendly and welcoming. So, how do you create an office space that is enjoyable for everyone?
Part of staying motivated is keeping your mind fresh. An occasional short break can get your team members away from their desks for a few minutes to focus on some fun. Create a break area where your employees can go for a 10-minute quick recharge. Some of the most successful companies have common areas that include things such as ping pong tables, pool tables, sofas, bean bag chairs and the like. Your company may not be able to go all out financially, but short term business loans are great for financing renovations such as these. With a common area, workers who want to get up and recharge or just need a change of scenery can move to this area. It'll give them a chance to relax and chat about projects with co-workers or sit on a beanbag while working on their laptops. Taking short breaks like this can actually increase employees' overall productivity.
Genuine workplace friendships can significantly benefit employees, and ultimately the company itself. People who have at least one good friend at the office tend to be much more engaged employees. A workplace of friends also creates a culture of compassion. Walking into an atmosphere of kindness each morning can lead to better teamwork, higher job satisfaction and even fewer sick days.
Regularly going out as a team is a great way to form friendships outside of work. Going to work is much more tolerable when you're there with friends rather than co-workers who are simply acquaintances. Employees who socialize outside of work tend to collaborate more in the work setting. Getting to know one another as people allows for better communication and more trust and loyalty. Go out for a drink after work. Get your team together on a Saturday for a fun escape room adventure or a hike. You could also have a family picnic day so your employees' families can get to know one another.
The appearance of your office space reflects who you are as a brand. It can make a significant difference to the employees themselves, even if customers and clients never visit. Decorate your office in a way in which your team will stay connected with the company's values and mission. Ensure that the office space is clutter-free (clutter can cause anxiety), conducive to productivity, interesting and pleasing to the eye. You can even get the team involved in brainstorming decorating ideas so they'll feel some ownership. Encourage your employees to decorate their workspaces in a way that's pleasant for them, as well.
Research shows that having a dog in the office can reduce stress, increase employee interaction and boost productivity. If you work in an office full of animal lovers, a canine colleague could significantly affect workplace morale. You or one of your colleagues may already have a dog that they'd love to bring to work every day. Of course, you want to make sure that it's a well-trained dog and not too energetic. You could also consider adopting a rescue dog from your local animal shelter. A dog would relish in all the attention, and your employees would feel special whenever the pup decides to visit their workspace.
No one completely understands your work and each day's goings-on like the people who are working alongside you on the front lines. Peer-to-peer feedback can boost job satisfaction and productivity. Someone in management may try to be helpful but may not completely understand the goings-on in certain aspects of their employee's day-to-day work. Getting positive or constructive feedback from a peer who actually views business from the same perspective can feel more relevant. This feedback can also help with boosting collaboration and building closer relationships between employees.
Everyone wants to feel that they have some kind of purpose. Participating in meaningful work helps people feel like they're making a difference. It doesn't even have to be something drastic; simply helping a customer find the product for which they've been looking can give your employees a sense of pride. Small achievements lead to larger successes, so they should always be celebrated. Studies have shown that finding meaning in your work is the most significant influence on happiness and productivity in the workplace.
Just because you're all on the same team doesn't mean you can't have a little healthy competition around the office. You can set goals each week or even for a day and give an incentive to whoever meets the goal or completes the most work. A little recognition and praise go a long way in motivating the winner to keep up the excellent work. It can also inspire others who don't always strive for success to step up their game. Everyone should celebrate their teammates' successes. After all, if one team member does well, the whole team ultimately profits.
Your employees may feel like they're always at the office, so encourage them to bring pieces of their personal life to work with them. Sharing photos with one another is a good way for people to bond. Even if their relationship is nothing more than acquaintances, it gives colleagues a chance to view glimpses of their lives outside of work. Encourage everyone to show photos of their children or pets, or the snapshots from last weekend's family adventure. Everyone loves a cute picture of Fluffy or Fido. Besides, research shows that looking at photos of team mates adorable babies, animals and vacations can increase productivity and brings teams together.
Almost everyone has some kind of hobby. It's also easy for anyone to experience burnout during a long day or week on the job. Allow your employees to spend a few minutes each day or an hour or two each week (maybe Wednesdays or Thursdays when those sluggish feelings start setting in) working on their hobbies and sharing them with one another. This can create friendships through shared interests, and it can also relieve stress. Whether it's drawing, knitting or playing guitar, it'll give your employees a chance to show off their non-work skills and recharge their batteries a bit.
Life at work doesn't have to be a drag. In fact, if a little fun is added to the environment, people will be in a better mood and the workday will go much faster for everyone. A positive attitude can make for a more energetic and productive atmosphere. Allowing for some elements of fun each day can keep your employees' minds from going stale.
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