For every successful entrepreneur, there is going to come a time when you need to hire more staff and have a location to put them in. Although working from home is entirely reasonable in an age where we have so many ways to communicate, with an office based environment it is possible to implement more shortcuts to productivity. It also allows you to monitor the morale of your staff closely and provide perks that wouldn’t be possible if everyone was scattered. Although the basic requirements of an office seem obvious, some tips might help you improve efficiency, productivity and staff morale. Making efforts to make sure your staff’s working environment is a pleasant place to be can ensure their happiness, and a good business leader will work hard to keep their staff motivated and content.
Don’t fill the space
Clutter is not helpful for creativity and is one of the main causes of wasted time. If you can streamline your office, you will find that you will naturally produce better work results, simply because the distraction caused by unnecessary elements in your environment will vanish. Sometimes, decluttering your workspace is as simple as having a brisk tidy-up before the working day starts, but more often it’s a case of not having unnecessary items in the office to start with.
It might seem redundant then to suggest scattering color around the office in the shape of flowers. The effect plants have on the people around them is well documented, with different colors producing different moods. Surrounding your workplace with red flowers is likely to boost productivity, whereas blue flowers are known to produce a calm state of mind. Depending on your work methods and business style, you can tailor the colors of your flowers to different areas of the office, further adding that individual touch to the environment.
It’s all well and good to declare yourself a paper-free office, and it is certainly a worthy target to aim for. However, paper is a useful thing to have close to hand for those times when you need to make a quick note. Useful for during phone calls, and if you’re adept at shorthand, then paper becomes a vital resource for when taking minutes of meetings or simply doodling during a brainstorming session. Doodling on a notepad is proven to be conducive to cognitive activity, so make sure that pen and paper are available to all of those that need it.
Having a water cooler isn’t just about giving your employees a place to stand and discuss the latest episode of Game of Thrones. A water cooler is considered a vital piece of office equipment, especially if you live in a warm part of the world. Keeping your staff hydrated is good for work reasons, but also helps to reduce the sugar intake of everyone. People are less likely to crack open a can of soda if there is cold, fresh water close to hand. Having a water cooler in the office is easy to arrange, and no matter where you are in the country, it’s easy enough to get a water delivery San Diego, New York or the middle of nowhere.
With iPads and projectors so prolific, you might think that the humble whiteboard has no place in the modern office environment. They are more useful than you think though, as they can transform any part of the office into a meeting space. They can start at someone’s desk, then be moved into your manager’s office, then moved down the hall (stopping on the way to show a passing member of staff the latest brainstorming results). The simple whiteboard is handy to keep everyone in the office focused on specific tasks which can then be physically wiped away once completed. The fact that they can also double as a screen for your projector is simply a bonus.
A gloomy work environment is going to kill your productivity rates faster than someone bringing a baby into the office. At all possible places, you should use as much natural light as you can, utilizing windows and mirrors to reflect all the ambient lightings. If that is simply not an option, then you need to make sure that the artificial lighting is as close to natural as possible. Overly harsh lighting and unnaturally gloomy lighting is going to have an effect on your employees and office morale, which will ultimately affect your bottom line.
Monday mornings can be so much more productive if you don’t start the day off with a bag of candy and a can of soda. Having already discussed the importance of water, fresh and healthy food being made available to staff is a huge boost in every area of office life. A study showed that staff members who were offered the option of healthy food and snacks were up to 16% happier than those without. Millennials especially have proven to be very responsive to free food, as more and more offices adapt to the changing status of the workspace.
These tips and suggestions are just the start of the changes you can be making to your existing office, or a good starting point to bear in mind when you are considering leasing your first business premises. As an entrepreneur, it is up to you to work out exactly what you need, while balancing it together with what you feel your staff needs. The ever constant battle between profit and expenditure is one that you have to work out and clarify. It can also help you to work out what kind of business you are going to be, and further create your own brand identity that will be seen by staff and clients on a regular basis. Considering the importance of brand identity to a start-up or new idea, it is vital that you give it serious consideration before starting off incorrectly and buying the first things you see.