How to create a more inspiring work environment
On average, Australians spend 40 hours each week at work. That's almost a quarter of all the hours in an entire year. So, as an employer, you should aim to create a workplace that your people enjoy getting out of bed for. Here are seven tips and tricks to help you create a more inspiring work environment.
1. Provide stimulating and comfortable workspaces
Many offices have declared a war on walls, exchanging cubicles for open plan designs and hot desks spaces (sit anywhere, no assigned seats). Of course, each option offers pros and cons.
Open-plan offices are said to increase productivity, strengthen team relationships and encourage creative collaboration. Hot desks can help people feel fresher and more motivated while reducing general office clutter. Designated cubicles, on the other hand, allow for more privacy and silence.
2. Encourage staff to style their own space
Another easy way to boost morale and productivity is to encourage staff to spruce up their workspace.
DIY office space styling gives employees:
- a sense of ownership of their area
- a reason to think about the best system of working
- a greater desire to show that they're choices can benefit the business.
And it's proven to work. A study by Exeter University's School of Psychology found that employees in the UK who had control over the design and layout of their workspace were overall happier, healthier and 32% more productive.
3. Get back to nature
Just the thought of the outdoors makes people feel peaceful and refreshed. It's something scientists call biophilia - our innate desire to connect with nature. Even recruiting a few friendly pot plants can have a tremendous effect on your people and office atmosphere.
A UTS study of office workers in Sydney found that adding office plants eases tension and anxiety, reduces depression and improves alertness. Plants are also said to reduce symptoms of illness and boost creativity and productivity by cleaning the air and muting office noise.
4. Decorate your walls
From sculptures and installations to paintings or custom prints; artwork has the power to relax your mind, unlock creativity and motivate people to express their opinions. So, why not invite some of your more creative staff members to put some ideas forward
You could also add a few strategic pops of colour to your office walls. Warm colours, such as reds and yellows stimulate enthusiasm, cooler colours like blue can calm the mind.
5. Lighten up!
The right lighting in an office space can lift your mood and help you think more clearly. Of course, the best light in an office is the natural kind. So, you should try to unblock all windows and position desks near them. What's more, lighter wall colours reflect the light and make the whole office appear brighter.
If you have to resolve to artificial lighting, choose a warm, yellow-cast tone and install task lighting on desks. You could even try daylight simulation bulbs.
6. Host events and workshops
Hosting workshops or events at your office means more than just upskilling your employees. It refreshes the mind and broadens the horizon.
Depending on your business, your audience (your staff) and your budget, there are many different events you can host. Examples include brainstorming sessions, 'lunch and learn' academies or yoga and meditation classes.
7. Welcome four-legged friends
Over 62% of Australia households own pets. So, it's likely that several of your employees have fur babies. And with many millennials choosing to have children later, younger employees are increasingly looking for pet-friendly workplaces.
While it may not be possible to let everyone bring pets into your office every day, research shows that dogs in the office boost well-being and productivity. They also spark conversations between colleagues.
Your staff spends a lot of their time each week at your office. Taking some of these steps to create a more fun and inspiring workplace can show your staff that you understand and appreciate them and their needs. After all, a more stimulating work environment is good for your people, your reputation and your bottom line.