If you manage to strike the right balance, you could find yourself on the fast track to success, particularly if you can help your staff members to develop and grow with the company as a whole. Creating this productive working environment is just one step to success, but if you want to create an office which strikes the perfect balance between fun and productive, read on for our ideas.
Defining the ‘Work Space’ and the ‘Break Space’
Make sure everyone knows that there is a clear divide between workspace and break space. Workspace should still be relaxed and laid back so as to avoid the build-up of stress, but not necessarily filled with lots of distractions. The break space should be used for breaks in work and group discussions, and can be much more entertaining. The idea is to get people looking forward to coming to work rather than distracting them from their work all day.
Any social space should be bright, colourful and should take into account the interests of your team. Some offices opt for video games consoles, whereas others prefer table football or pinball machines. Some others may just prefer going out for a walk, or sitting quietly with a book. Tailoring your ‘break space’ to fit the needs of your team is essential, and is the mark of good care in an employer. Make sure there is also enough seating for people to congregate and talk comfortably.
Comfort is Key
The furniture you choose can be modern and quirky or classic and stylish; what matters most is that it is comfortable. Nobody will be happy about working if they’re uncomfortable or in pain, and the wrong sort of furniture can cause long-lasting health problems for your staff. It is also important to consider that people will have different preferences. If you have the budget to spare, or if you are able to tailor your furniture needs to meet each employee, it is a good idea to do this. They will feel more valued as a staff member and you will also improve relations between your colleagues by being able to identify them as individuals.
You can also help contribute to an overall more positive work environment by laying out your furniture in a more appealing way. By creating a dynamic office design, you start to help break the mould of what a productive office ‘should be’ and start working towards making your employees feel comfortable and at home. When they are in a relaxed environment, people often feel happier and more productive.
Setting Clear Boundaries
It is vital, however, that everyone in the office knows the boundaries. If you’re going for a relaxed vibe in your office, don’t let this override the work. Make it completely clear that while everyone should feel comfortable and happy, the work still needs to get done, and there will be consequences if this isn’t the case. You can be a friendly and firm employer when the time needs it, if your subordinates are hardworking and happy, you shouldn’t have much of an issue.
However it can sometimes be easy to get complacent, particularly if your employees work in teams. Try to make sure that you are aware of what each employee brings to the table, and quietly call them up on it if you think someone isn’t quite pulling their weight. The thing about a good environment is that you need to work hard to reap the benefits of such an environment. If someone isn’t willing to put the work in, you may be better off simply letting them go. At the end of the day, there should be no shortage of eager candidates looking at getting a chance in your office, particularly if you’ve managed to create an encouraging and helpful working environment.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the supplies industry – working with a small number of companies including Kent-based office furniture specialist Whiteleys Office Furniture, who were consulted over the information here.