The workplace is influential to the success of your business, particularly in the case of your employees and any clients you invite to the premises. Having a great work environment can improve productivity levels, employee engagement and an excellent impression for new clients.
In this article, you’ll learn about all the ingredients required, to create the perfect recipe for improving the workplace.
Why should you focus on improving the working environment?
As a business, it’s essential that you’re making use of the time you have with your employees. They’re critical to the growth and success of your business, so keeping them happy in their workplace is necessary. Companies with happy employees will outperform their competition by 20%.
With a focus on improving the working environment, it shows to your employees, that you value their surroundings. Providing the right setting can help bring out the best work from those who work for the company. It creates a level of respect and appreciation that can often be hard to achieve.
The working environment contributes a lot to the productivity of your staff and how well they work with the time they have.
Six ways to help improve the workplace
So what’s the secret recipe for success? There are plenty of suggestions to help improve the workplace. Here are six ways that can prove fruitful in making the workplace a better environment for both your employees and anyone who visits the premises.
Invest in the layout and design
Visually, the way your workplace is designed and laid out can be helpful for your staff. Remember, this is a place that they’re coming to regularly and that will make up a significant part of their daily life.
On average, US workers will spend 1,757 hours of the year in the office. That’s a significant chunk of time for your staff to spend in the same place. Dressing the work premises correctly is something to be attentive to.
When considering the layout, think about opening the workplace up so that it’s more of an open-plan space. Of course, offices and meeting rooms are important to have for confidentiality and privacy. Open-plan spaces are proven to provide a number of benefits:
Collaboration is important for your colleagues, especially when working between different departments.
An open-plan space can be useful for communicating and helping to share ideas when working together on projects.
The atmosphere you create is important to a lot of your employees with 33% of employees being happier at work when there’s a strong office design. Open-plan spaces can help contribute to a more relaxed atmosphere.
Useful for those workplaces that have hot-desking or co-working spaces, an open-plan environment can be good for those who are looking to network with like-minded individuals. Networking is a critical part of business and who knows who you might meet when opening up the floor to other individuals and organizations.
When it comes to design, think about incorporating natural light and consider how color can influence your company’s general mood. For example, warm colors like red, yellow and orange can evoke feelings of passion and happiness.
Warm colors like red, yellow and orange evoke higher arousal emotions, such as love, passion, happiness, and anger.
Gather suggestions and feedback
Your employees can prove to be a helpful source of information when it comes to improving the workplace. Just like you would conduct a problem solving assessment for new hires, you can also take the same approach when improving the working environment.
You may want to create a focus group within your organization to report on improvements that need to be made to the premises. This could be conducted in the form of a meeting on a monthly basis. Alternatively, you could distribute feedback forms or place a suggestion box within the workplace for staff to submit suggestions anonymously.
Getting your employees involved in this process can make them feel more valued and that they’re actively contributing to their own working environment.
Provide your employees with all the tools and equipment they require
83% of professionals depend on technology to collaborate and it’s no surprise that many organizations rely on tools and software to improve productivity in the workplace. The right software and tools given to employees can also put them ahead of the competition whilst streamlining work processes to fit more into the working day.
There are two types of tools, physical ones and those that exist online such as SaaS. For physical tools, it’s all about investing in the right IT services and support, as well as having the right devices and machines available.
Old computers that take a lifetime to load in the mornings are going to cut productivity levels and frustrate your staff. Assigning a budget to update your technology when needed is going to maintain productivity and happiness in the workplace.
When it comes to online tools, there are lots of different options to choose from. It’s worth looking into what your competition is using, whether it’s social media tools like Hootsuite and Google Analytics to design tools like Canva and Adobe Photoshop.
Incentivize and reward your staff
Many employees will be driven by incentives and rewards. If they’re seeing other staff members receiving rewards for their hard work, it’s going to inspire them to work harder too. Employee engagement tools like Perkbox are a worthwhile investment to give back to your staff for putting in the work and driving success for the business.
Regardless of how small or large their contributions are to the business, providing incentives shows your willingness to improve your employee’s working life. When there’s career progression and recognition for all those in the workplace, it benefits the organization as a whole.
There are plenty of ways to incentivize and reward your staff, so here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Throw a party when the business achieves a milestone.
- Say ‘thank you’ when employees go out of their way. A handwritten card, a bouquet of flowers or gift cards are welcomed.
- Recognize hard-working employees publicly.
- Give out extra vacation days.
- Paid bonuses and pay rises.
- Create competitions to get your employee competitive.
- Have a company away day.
Going out of your way to reward your employees isn’t something that needs to be particularly expensive. Even as a small business, you can find affordable ways to give back to your employees for their hard work.
Offer flexibility and remote working
The workplace as we see it now goes beyond the office itself. Since the pandemic, 48% of employees will continue working remotely as a result of COVID-19. Whilst it forced many organizations into a way of working that was new to them, it’s become an accepted and preferred norm for many.
As a business, it’s worthwhile thinking about how much flexibility and remote working you’ll offer to your employees. Improving the workplace can often be helped by providing more flexibility in how often they work in the office and how often they work from home. For many roles, there’s not so much of a need to work in the office itself.
However, for those businesses that rely heavily on collaboration, particularly in the creative industries, working in the office will continue as normal. It’s all about finding the right balance and that means considering what your employees want too.
Remote working offers more flexibility for your employees, so if you’re able to provide it, then it’s worth doing so.
Communication is key when it comes to improving the workplace. If your staff aren’t communicating properly, then that’s going to lead to real problems both presently and further down the line. Department will naturally collaborate together but working across departments is where communication can get lost and mistakes can happen.
With that being said, introducing communication tools like Asana, for example, can be a great way for employees to converse with one another. As an online platform, it can be accessed from anywhere, so long as the employee has an internet connection.
Tools like Asana can be great for teams who might not always be based in the office but are needing to connect to collaborate on projects.
Some of its features include assigning tasks to an individual or multiple staff members. This can be handy when there are employees from different departments working together. You can set deadlines, project manages your clients separately and shares calendars to keep everyone on the same page.
What makes Asana and platforms similar to it, so beneficial is that for the most part, it’s free to use. This makes it a cost-effective tool to implement into your business and a no-brainer considering it’s free to use.
Spend time on improving your workplace
Being attentive to the needs of your employees in the workplace can pay off greatly. Spend time on improving your workplace, whether that’s investing in technology and equipment to rewarding your employees for their hard work.
About the Author: Freelance writer for many clients across multiple industries. Natalie has two years of copywriting experience. Natalie has a wide range of experience copywriting for web pages for businesses across many industries. She’s also an owner of two blog websites and a Youtube content creator.