Tips for Improving Your Office Environment
Your work environment can have an effect on everything from employee morale to profits, which is why it is so important that you establish an office environment that is healthy, inspires creativity and encourages growth. If you sense that your workspace is less than ideal, or that your employees just are not happy, here are a few tips you can use to improve your office culture and create an environment in which people are happy to be in:
Communication is key, and without it, you will never know for sure how your employees feel working for you (or with other employees). Encourage open communication and take all complaints and other feedback seriously. If you want to show your team members that you care about what they have to say, start with the little things. If you overhear an employee say that they wished there was hazelnut creamer in the office instead of Irish cream, go out and buy a bottle and place it in the fridge. If one employee throws out an offhand idea during an office meeting, chances are it wasn’t “offhand,” and that they wish you would consider it. Ask him or her to expand on the idea and give honest consideration and feedback. By taking these small measures, you can create an office environment in which people feel comfortable.
This may be easier said than done, but by taking your time to hire the right people, you can significantly boost the mood in your work environment. While skills and qualifications are important, you also want to pay close attention to a person’s personality and ask about their values, ideals and priorities. There are several hiring questionnaires out there that are designed to vet out the bad eggs and to ensure that any new hires will mesh well with existing team members.
On the same note, don’t be afraid to let any bad eggs go. If you’ve noticed that there is one or more team members that seem to bring down morale, give them a chance to correct their behavior, and if that doesn’t work, let them go.
Create a Comfortable Environment
Most people in the U.S. spend a majority of their lives in an office, so chances are, they’re going to seek out offices in which they at least feel comfortable. Create a break room where people can relax and socialize, and not one that feels like a hospital cafeteria. Build a gym, make hours flexible, do away with the cubicles and create outside workstations. Little measures like this can go a long way towards boosting employee satisfaction.
If you sense that your work environment is just not working, take measures to change it. Start with improving communication, making smart hires and creating a comfortable workspace.