Employer

Are you worried by your office environment? Maybe you’re guilty of the dreaded zombie workforce syndrome? There’s no denying that there is a direct link between employee satisfaction in the workplace and productivity levels. By making some small changes to your office environment your employees will be more content and as a result you can expect less clock watching and negativity! When you create an enjoyable work environment you can expect an engaged, productive bunch of employees and here’s how:

1. Supply breakfast

One of the best changes you can make to a person’s daily routine is the introduction of a breakfast option in the workplace. Eating the right breakfast will ensure that people have a steady release of energy throughout the day. To support a breakfast culture you can create an allocated breakfast club time (starting before the official day start). This will make sure people are in and ready for their working day but it will also encourage people to sit down, have a proper breakfast together and socialise. Starting the day positively will have a great impact on people’s attitude to the day!

2. Encourage exercise

Exercise has been scientifically proven to improve a person’s state of mind which in turn will have a positive effect on their concentration levels. The majority of companies now operate with flexible working hours, so why not look at allowing employees flexible lunch hours (add an extra half an hour to their lunchtime allowance if they stay half an hour later). This means they will have enough time to go to the gym and have a quick desk lunch – by going in an office group together you will also have some out of work team bonding which will help to strengthen office relationships. If these working arrangement aren’t feasible for your business perhaps you could look at supporting a cycle to work scheme or putting table tennis in the office. Employees are less likely to have a mid afternoon slump if they partake in some form of exercise!

3. Meditation

Stress is a main culprit contributing to someone having a bad day. Some of the negative effects of stress include:

  • Insomnia, which will contribute to a decrease in creativity and inspiration
  • Relationships damaged by negativity
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of clarity.

Meditation is a great stress-buster which is why more and more companies are investing into mindfulness and meditation sessions as part of a wellness programme. Whether your organisation is made up of 20 or 2,000 staff there are many benefits associated with investing. Not only will you see an increase in employees’ general wellbeing but you should also expect to see an increase in their output (studies have attributed improved memory to the practise of mindfulness).

4. Provide flexible working arrangements

Many companies now offer flexible working arrangements and it’s easy to see why! Countless employees arrive at the office stressed after a hellish commute during peak hours which will have an impact on their work – by allowing flexibility on start/finish times employees can dramatically cut down commute times and the stress associated with their travel. Equally as important, the flexibility to start earlier/later can dramatically reduce the cost of childcare for parents. Allow flexibility (where possible) and expect to see improved employee morale.

5. Keep your employees hydrated

For minimal associated cost you can purchase a water dispenser which requires minimal effort to infuse with fresh fruit daily. There’s nothing like lemon infused water to encourage employees to drink more water! The benefit to you? A study conducted by the University of East London suggests that those who are properly hydrated are, on average 14% more productive!

6. Give the office a makeover

By adding an office plant, not only are you improving the feng shui – plants also absorb carbon dioxide and in turn release oxygen – this will result in reduced air pollution and stress levels! A less commonly known fact about office plants is that they also absorb office noise. In a study conducted by Lohr in 2000 participants were found to be 12% more productive and less stressed compared to employees in an office with no plants.

7. Hold brainstorming meetings

Ultimately employees will feel more content if they believe their opinion is valued in an organisation. Give them the opportunity to have an input to the way their organisation is run by holding a quick 15-20 minute monthly brainstorm. In the session ask them for their honest feedback – what they would like to stop, start and continue doing and follow through with actions (where possible). By allowing employees to set their own incentives you will ensure that you have a more engaged workforce – if some people don’t feel comfortable openly contributing you can always add an anonymous box where employees jot down things confidentially for you to review.

There’s no denying that a happy workplace will positively impact your company’s output with a productive workforce. When you consider the cost of attrition and retention issues for a business, it makes complete sense to invest in these areas. Not only will you find yourself spending less on hiring new staff but you will also become a workplace of choice with a happy workforce culture which, in turn will result in the attraction of higher quality candidates to your business too!

About Naomi Baggs

Senior Account Executive at Link Humans, London's employer branding agency.

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