Leaders in workplace methodology are listening increasingly to staff wants. In previous times, a standard desk, chair and possibly a water cooler in the office corner would have well served the purpose of keeping staff happy. Nowadays, we look at what really boosts productivity; going above and beyond expectations to make the workplace experience one that attracts talent, improves culture and wellbeing, and gives enjoyment to the team!
This blog takes a look at 5 keys ways to make your workplace a staff-centred one:
Gym at work
We love the concept of a gym at work – where staff can sweat it out after a morning of phone-calls, bond together and grow as a team. By showing you care this directly for their wellbeing, you’ll find staff are happier (exercise is proven to release positive endorphins), more motivated and their wellness will reflect in their productivity and lower sick days. Especially in co-working spaces, a gym is a real attraction to new team members.
If the budget doesn’t stretch to a full-on office gym, why not consider:
- a designated room for exercise, but promoting activities that don’t rely on equipment. Think yoga or dance classes a couple of times a week, and maybe doubling up the space as a studio or for other classes that help the staff grow in their personal skillset
- partnering with another company nearby or those in the same building to share the gym investment – and mutually benefit
- offering gym passes to staff as a company ‘perk’
- designing your office to promote exercise e.g. a track leading around the office, and skateboards or skipping ropes on hand
Do you have a bar or canteen space in your office? An open plan teapoint is an excellent place for staff to catch up over lunch or coffee, celebrate a birthday or big win, and collaborate.
Some companies also offer a healthy range of snacks and drinks – an excellent way to show you care for staff. Office bars are also becoming increasingly popular, as millenials are shifting workplace relationships out of hours, building long-lasting links with the team or networking over cocktails. It also provides the ideal place to host events or industry talks. See our post on ‘Raising the bar’ for some workplace bar inspiration!
Ergonomics & task-specific workstations
The peak of employee health and productivity lies in the science of ergonomics. Just as relevant in agile working as a traditional sea of desks – ensure all staff’s workstations are carefully considered, desks height adjustable, task chairs comfortable etc. And, of course, that there’s an adequate space for every type of task at hand…
As we discussed in our latest blog ‘Office Acoustics: The Power of Quiet’, all humans have the basic need of privacy and quiet which is often lacking in a co-working or collaborative environment. Task-specific spaces and areas for focused work are a key part in workplace ergonomics.
In touch with Nature
Cater to the biophilic affinity within us all by including plenty of natural light, natural textures, and planting. Even scenic artwork, soundtracks or imitation planting is proven to positively benefit staff.
Many workplaces still overlook this important aspect of workplace design – but it’s proved to have huge benefits, in particular surrounding staff well-being. In a similar strain, pets seem to be finding their way into the office, and have been proved to improve office morale, absenteeism, and a promote healthy work-life balance.
Music & Arts
Resimercial interiors are still big in the workplace – promoting a relaxed environment from which to work. If you really analyse the two biggest inspirations that fuel creativity, it comes down to music and arts. They’re also a key way to bring soul to a commercial environment, alongside a ‘homely’ interior design.
To create a stimulating and productive environment takes some thinking out of the box… Quirky or meaningful artwork, in line with the team culture always brings character to the space.
How about a sound system that anyone can plug their phone into? A piano or music zone in a breakout space? Or even a DJ for company events? Be guided by your team’s interest and pastimes, bringing them into the workplace for a winning environment.
So, what’s the conclusion
You don’t need to go overboard, with table tennis, gaming stations or letting pets loose in the office. It’s really about finding the right balance for your company; taking time to learn the staff interests and culture, and what is truly important to them.
Any step towards improving their work experience will pay itself back many times. The teams’ wellbeing and productivity, talent attraction, and an excellent company culture will be the result of your staff-centred workspace!
Looking to design a staff-centric workspace?
Drop us a line on our contact page, and we’ll be right back in touch.
Image credits: Officesnapshots.com