More than simply working to survive, modern workers in developed nations desire to be able to take pride in their work, make a meaningful contribution, and gain respect from their peers. The journey towards achieving respect in the workplace is a very personal one, but you can help your workers to achieve their career goals by providing them with an office that promotes their mental well-being.
Luckily for business owners looking to raise company morale, small easy-to-do things can make a big impact. This means that improving the mood of your workers can be as simple as offering free coffee, vouchers, office plants, or thoughtful useful gift items. This article will address some ideas which you can use in your company to help keep your workers happy, healthy and support them to achieve to the best of their ability.
Perks at Work
Place yourself in the shoes of your employees and ask yourself what kind of working environment you are promoting. What does their average day look like and how could you improve that? These are the kinds of questions that top companies are asking themselves when they’re looking to fix their offices. Google, for example, doesn’t hold back when it comes to ensuring its workforce are well-fed, hydrated and healthy; they provide free breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as free coffee to keep the caffeine flowing. Alongside these very ingestible perks, Google recognises the negative effects that stress can have on work-output, so they also offer on-site massages.
Your company might not have the resources to feed all its workers every day of the week, but you can apply a similar mentality when it comes to choosing which perks you should prioritise.
Office pets don’t necessarily mean buying an animal for the express purpose of having it inhabit the office. Chances are, plenty of your staff have pets of their own; asking them to bring their pets to work occasionally will come completely free of charge for your business.
There are plenty of benefits to bringing staff pets to work. Dogs and cats are well known for reducing stress, so this could be a cheaper alternative to Google’s on-site masseurs. On the other hand, there’s no telling how well-trained the pet is until they’re already in your office; no-one wants dog dirt on the office carpet!
A perk that shares qualities with office pets but won’t leave poo on your floor is the office plant. As well as adding a splash of colour to what might be a monotonous black and white office environment, office plants are also known for reducing stress and boosting health by improving air quality, and helping to connect your people to nature (known as biophilia).
You can use plants to decorate your office; to fill space softening the corporate image and blank white walls, to provide privacy or break up large open plan spaces, and to improve the acoustics, which works in a similar way to using soft furnishings. Plants are living organisms, so it’s important to choose a plant that suits your office. Perhaps start with easy, low-maintenance plants to see what your office can handle taking care of in the beginning.
If you choose to have plants placed around the office at intervals, you can connect your workers by establishing a watering rota so that each of your employees is sure to appreciate the greenery and reap the benefits of interacting with nature during office time. Alternatively, you can gift each desk with an individual plant of its own to promote feelings of individuality and creativity. Planteria offer a variety of plants for your office needs, and offer a free design and quote service, plus aftercare so that all the watering and pruning is taken care of by the experts.
Another way to reduce absenteeism in the workplace is to encourage fitness training among your employees. Fitter employees will likely be healthier employees with stronger immune systems. You can encourage this by offering your workers vouchers for the local gym, or you can go an extra step and encourage in-office yoga meetings which will have the added effect of bringing your workforce closer together by exercising as a group.
Yoga is a particularly useful exercise as it encourages participants to relax and clear their minds, allowing your workforce to be able to concentrate clearly on whatever tasks follow their yoga practice, eliminating any worries and stresses experienced during the morning routines.
Office Bar Friday
Show your workforce that you also get that Friday feeling, and perhaps treat them (and yourself) to something special when Friday rolls around. The appearance of an office bar during Friday’s final working hours will encourage your workforce to socialise, which will subsequently cultivate a stronger bond between your workers, which will increase productivity. Far from being just another cog in the corporate machine, you’re showing your workers that being a team is important, and by providing the drinks, you’re showing them praise for the week’s efforts.
There are lots of ways to increase productivity and mental-wellbeing in your office, not to mention that providing office perks means that your employees are more likely to stay with your company, rather than job hopping. Indeed, the average Brit will change employer every five years on average, according to the BBC. If you want to cultivate a strong workforce that’s going to stick around, it’s vital that you think about more than your workers’ needs; you should also address what makes them happy and content. Think office food, office pets, office fitness, office parties and office plants.