Too many owners of small businesses overlook the importance of the office. Usually, they put a lot of time and effort into the running of the business, but not the day-to-day details. You see this all the time – a young business, with superb operations, and an office which is falling apart. The truth is, the office space is really important for a number of reasons. If you staff are comfortable at work, they are more likely to be happy in their job. When they are happy in their job, they do it better. And that is good for business. It is a good idea to make the office somewhere people want to be. Otherwise your people – and your company – will suffer. Not to mention that there are some basic health and safety laws which must be adhered to. You might be surprised at how many offices are closed every year due to breaches of this nature! Make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.
If you have recently set up a business, and you’re starting to think about office space, then read on. Let’s look at some of the things you can do to ensure the workplace is somewhere your employees want to be:
Make It Bright.
A bright, well-lit office does wonders for staff morale. You want to ensure that you are using the best lighting you can afford, and enough of it that nobody has trouble reading anything! But you also need some natural light in the office. Only having computer screens and strip lighting can wreak havoc on people, even causing migraines in some cases. The best offices have plenty of windows, and the best windows to have are ones which take up a whole wall. Also make sure that people can open them whenever they like!
Make It Comfortable.
Don’t be one of those managers who considers comfort to be a luxury which needs to be earned. In this day and age, such a position is completely untenable. The truth is, comfort is a necessity! The kind of offices which house successful employees are always those which are as comfortable as possible. Don’t be afraid to spend money getting your office to that point. That’s exactly what you should be doing. Treat your staff to: comfy chairs, chair mats, ergonomic computer equipment. And sit back and watch productivity rise.
Make It Varied.
A good office is one which has varied kinds of space. Open plan works very well for encouraging open discussion, which can be useful. But it isn’t always ideal, and not everyone works best that way. Offer your staff a healthy mixture of open-plan, cubicles and separate rooms. More importantly, give everyone the opportunity to work wherever they like. There is no need to enforce a seating plan in a modern office – unless you want to treat your employees like children. Plenty of employers do this, but the results tend to be poor.
Make It Theirs.
Finally, be sure to ask your staff for feedback on the office – and act upon the things they don’t like as much. Far and away the best way to make your people feel valued is by being democratic in your decisions. So seek their feedback, and seek it regularly!