11 Ways to Keeping a Happy Office
People are what make a business develop and thrive. No matter how good or modern your products and services are, how fresh and practical your ideas are, you will, as the owner, still end up depending on your staff.
The careful selection of the employees is utterly important for any job but what's even more important is managing to keep them within your company and keep them happy.
A happy employee is an effective and productive employee. People won't give their 100% if they feel they are not getting something in return or are not being appreciated.
The working climate and atmosphere hugely contribute to the level of efficacy and productiveness among the staff. Your job, as the owner, is to do anything that's in your power to create a lively, welcoming atmosphere where all the employees feel comfortable and inspired. To do that, follow these tips.
1. Make the room transparent and light
It's trendy to remove the borders between working areas in a big office but still maintaining a clear definition of designated areas. By lowering the walls or making them transparent, you are allowing for more light to enter the room, creating an airy and open atmosphere.
You could install full glass as the room partition, thus also visually enlarging the room. If you think full transparency is a bit too much for your line of work or taste, then consider the following:
- install full glass with opaque in the middle
- install full opaque partition
- use Smart Glass technology to manually set the level of opaque.
2. Incorporate harmony and unity
Creating harmony in a workplace is a great way to help your employees feel relaxed so that they can be optimally productive. Harmony is achieved when you create a sense of unity in the workplace through careful utilization of various decorative items and furnishings.
Everything is important - the colors, the shapes, the textures, even the materials. You could go for the monochromatic look, which is visible in the wall coverings, furniture, flooring, as well as textiles.
The easy way to achieve the monochromatic look is to focus on a single element in the room and use it as a source of inspiration for the rest of the decor. Pick out a small item, like a patterned cushion, and take it with you when you go shopping for other items. That way, you'll be able to tell immediately if they will be a good match in the office.
3. Touch of nature
Nothing is more relaxing and inspiring than nature. Most of us don't spend enough time in nature, and it's where we get our energy from and relieve stress. Spending too much time in a closed space can seriously affect the motivation and productivity of the employees, so bring then closer to nature in the following ways:
- the simple approach: place potted plants on the desks, or create a wooden shelf specifically for the potted plants;
- stepping up: create a desk divider from a long strip if potted plants. Interchanging this plant divider with a glass divider will create a lovely and pleasant working atmosphere.
- advanced approach: consider creating a corner in the workplace where you could create a vegetation wall or even a small Zen garden. Use wood planks for the flooring, and you'll instantly have a tiny part of nature for relaxation right in the office.
Keep in mind that picking the right plants is also important for the decor. Some of them are great at soaking up the noise, while others are excellent at purifying the air polluted with cleaning chemicals and electrical appliances.
4. Yin and Yang approach
This approach is based on the idea of the formal and the informal part of the working place. As much as you want your employees to feel happy and comfortable in the workplace, you still want to maintain a sense of professionalism and hard work.
The contrast of black and white that comes with the Ying and Yang approach allows you to create balance in the workplace between formal and informal space. The contrast could lead to shaping your employees' behavior, depending on what area they are in. However, its intention is not to divide.
The brighter shade, namely white, can be used for the area intended for collaborative, inspirational work where new ideas and projects are created. Bright-colored furniture is the easiest way for the white to dominate the space and incite creativity.
Darker shades (not necessarily black) can characterize the professional area where your employees can connect to clients and where you show off your company's straightforwardness and boldness. Meeting rooms and receptionist areas are perfect for these shades and the style.
5. Add instances of art and home elements
Some employees find it relaxing to be surrounded by art or family photos. Don't be afraid to use oversized statement art pieces to decorate the walls of the workplace. Also, grouped family photos framed near an employee's desk can mean a lot. The personal touch in the office is what makes it more humane and warmer. Your employees shouldn't feel like they are forced to be in a cold, lifeless place but they should constantly feel connected to their loved ones and the beauty of art.
The use of artwork combined with coloring is a way for many companies to brand themselves, too, and to case show their personality. Here are some suggestions on how to implement artwork in the workplace to make it productive and reflect your business image:
- small paintings in a frame that matches the style of the office is the simplest approach. Make sure that the choice of the artwork also matches the style and use of the room. Alternatively, inspirational quotes can be a strong incentive for the workers.
- create a mural of everything that is hung on the wall. It's an unexpected move but quite inspirational.
- 3D art is a big hype right now, especially because you can use various materials to create it. You can blend it with the existing furniture or you can be bold with and unexpected scheme and colors - it's up to you.
6. Enlarge the workplace
People don't like feeling caged in small places, so you should use various tricks to make the workplace at least visually larger. When not feeling confined, people are more productive and effective.
It's challenging when you have a small workplace and you want your employees to move freely around it. A couple of these decorative tips could work:
- paint your walls in white, choosing between enamel or acrylic paint, and use big patterns if you are also applying a wallpaper. Stick to large patterns on the flooring, too;
- get metal-frame furniture, for example, on the tables or chairs because it would visually enlarge the workplace. Metal furnishings can also be applied to the lighting in case you have a high ceiling. If you install a lamp with a long, thin rod, which will hang, it would also open up the room.
- let the layout be minimalist because the floor won't be stuffed with too many items.
7. Rustic but highly modern
Interior rustic style has been popular in recent years. It's a great way to show how lovely repurposed materials can be. You can even add futuristic elements which, believe it not, greatly complement the rustic style.
You can repurpose old wood into custom-made furniture and combine it with modern appliances that should come in black, such as computers or beautifully designed workplace coffee machines. Alternatively, you can switch from the repurposed wood planks for the wall to the concrete.
8. Break the monotony with textures
Never stick to the same materials and fabrics throughout the whole workplace. This could lead to a monotonous atmosphere and a lack of inspiration among the employees. A mixture of textures will give personality to the workplace and make it warmer.
Be creative with natural fabric textiles, various patterns, and accessories. Of course, you shouldn't go too far and make a mish-mash out of the office but variety leads to inspiration. Stick to repetition to some extent, whether through colors or shapes but also add some pops that differ in some aspects.
9. Power of colors
Colors have incredible power over our mood and the level of motivation. To brighten up the atmosphere in the office and incite productivity and inspirational ideas, choose the colors very carefully.
If you want to apply several colors in the workplace, choose an exact color palette that you'll stick to. Many online articles can help you decide what palette would be the best choice for your workplace. It's also important which feelings you want to evoke in your employees. Some colors relax and sooth, which is very important in high-stressed workplaces where everything needs to be rushed. On the other hand, creative jobs need to be done in places that are painted in colors that boost energy and inspire creativity. Some businesses will get most from sleek, elegant colors that don't attract too much attention.
If you need the discussion room, you can opt for a single color for the room, which will differ from other colors in the rest of the workplace. That way, your employees' mood will change the moment they enter this room and their mindset will switch to a different state.
10. Let the light in
It's important to maximize natural light going into the workplace. If you are lucky enough to have space with a wonderful view of the skyline, roadside or a group of trees, your only obligation is to arrange the inner space so that it doesn't hide the view. This view will be a wonderful change from staring at a computer screen most of the working hours.
However, what should you do if you are left with small windows? What should be the arrangement of the room in that case?
- create a retreat area that's closest to the small windows. The fact is not every employee will have direct access to the windows, so it's best to make it an area that can be used by everybody when they feel the need.
- arrange the desks, electrical equipment, and decorative items in the way they don't block the view.
11. The use of artificial lighting
As space in many workplaces is becoming more open and without too many boundaries, the use of artificial lighting in it has become equally important. It adds to creating wonderful aesthetics, as well as proper and effective illumination.
Lighting can affect employees' moods and influence creativity so mind its arrangement and the type.
Recessed lighting is good for the walls and the ceiling because it will make the room look larger and airy.
Oversized lighting fixtures are great for offices with an open-space layout and a high ceiling. They will fill the voids and shed enough light so that workers can do their jobs under proper lighting.
If you want to spice up the room, add pop-of-color pendants in the collaborating areas. Not only do they light the space well, but they also bring a bit of fun into the room and break the monotony, thus enhancing inspiration.
Creating a happy office takes time and careful planning. You need to consider your employees' needs and predict potential problems. The way you arrange and decorate the workplace will prevent some of the problems and help your employees do their best every day.
Not a single thing you do regarding the workplace that is supposed to make your employees feel better will be in vain. People react positively when they see they are appreciated and that their comfort and happiness matter. They will give something in return – they will be more hard-working and more motivated to make true effort. So, don't hesitate to do your best, too, to make your employees happy. Happy employees create a happy environment and vice versa. It’s a circle that, once created, can only lead to a thriving business.
Video On Business Office Decorating Ideas|Small Office Design