When you first run a business, chances are, you take the bulk of the work into your own hands, outsourcing tasks that you may be unable to complete to freelance third parties or agencies. However, as your company begins to make sales and experience more success and demand, you’re going to have to look into taking on staff. Many hands make light work and it’s impossible for one person to build a large and successful business alone. Not only can employees take tasks off your hands, but they can bring expertise and experience to their role. All in all, as long as you choose the right individuals, they’re a great benefit to you and your company. Of course, taking on staff does come hand in hand with responsibility. You’re going to have to make sure that you treat your staff well and provide them with everything they need to complete their work safely and to a high standard. There are countless steps that you can take to achieve this, but a particularly important area to focus on is creating a comfortable and productive work environment for them. Here’s some more information on the subject to get this venture off to the best start possible!
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Why Focus on Working Environment
Chances are, your staff work for you in your office space for nine hours a day, five days a week. This is a lot of time to spend in one place, so the more appealing the space is, the more likely your staff are going to enjoy working there. Creating a positive working environment can:
- Draw in quality staff
- Improve staff retention
- See an increase in productive
- Create a more positive working environment
The Basics: What Do Your Employees Need?
There are certain basics that your employees will need when you create a work environment for them. The following questions will help you to determine whether you’re meeting basic requirements.
Your staff need enough space to complete their work without encroaching on someone else’s space. Each team member should have their own desk at least. This should, ideally, be separate from someone else’s desk, with enough space for their computer or laptop, space to take notes and enough space to stretch out without knocking into anyone else. It’s generally recommended that each employee has at least 100 square feet of space to themselves to work from.
Of course, not everyone needs their own room with closed doors. But some elements of privacy can be important to employees. Do they have a space where they can hold meetings that are private, for example, confidential meetings with line managers or HR to discuss personal matters? It’s generally recommended that every office has at least one meeting room that allows for this. If possible, make the walls to the room glass, so that people can’t listen in, but there’s also no fear of being shut in a room with someone with nobody else able to see.
Spaces for Breaks
Your staff should also have room to take a break away from their desk. This can help them to break up the working day and can encourage them to get up and move around a bit rather than being tied to their workspace all day. Generally, a break room is recommended. This should have comfortable seating and other amenities to make their break more comfortable. This could include a kettle or coffee machine and a fridge where lunches can be stored. You may even want to add in a radio or TV for lunch time use.
Ensuring There’s Plenty of Natural Light
Now, natural light may seem like a bit of an odd area to focus on. Of course, every office needs light for staff to work by. But what’s the difference between natural light and artificial light as long as the staff can see? Well, the answer is that natural light can create a much more productive working environment. Believe it or not, natural light does a lot more than simply make an office space look nicer. While this is true, and staff are likely to prefer a naturally lit workspace than one with artificial, dim, sterile lights, there are other benefits too. A significant number of studies have been conducted into the effects of lighting on people’s productivity and the results have gone to show that harsh, bright, artificial lightscan generate feelings of stress and depression amongst your workforce. Natural light, however, was found to improve clear thinking and staff levels of productivity. When you look into the reasons behind this, our bodies and sleep cycles are regulated by our circadian rhythms. Naturally, we perk up when exposed to natural light, as our bodies can feel that it is daytime and that we need to be up and busy. With artificial light, we don’t experience the same effects and our bodies can begin to wind down, ready for sleep. So, maximise natural light in your workspace. Choose an office with large windows and plenty of light flooding through. If you’re already in a contract with an office with little natural light, you could consider some renovation work. You can have large windows put in, or, if appropriate, skylights.
Managing the Temperature
Everyone’s familiar with how hard it can be to work productively if you’re too hot or too cold. So, make sure that the temperature in your office is manageable. Ensure that there are both heating solutions and cooling solutions. High Elevation Heating & Cooling can help with this. You may also want to implement rules in the office about changing the temperature to reduce disputes between individuals who want individual suiting temperatures that clash.
Providing Ergonomic Furniture and Equipment
You also need to make sure that your staff are comfortable and safe while working. Sure, office jobs may not seem like the most dangerous positions. But there is potential for injury or chronic pain if the right measures aren’t taken. This is where ergonomic furniture and equipment can come in useful. This type of furniture and equipment is specially designed to reduce strain and injury and can prevent long term conditions like repetitive strain injury. There are countless types of ergonomic products to choose from, so browse the market. You’ll be able to find everything from desks to chairs, keyboards, mice and more.
This may all sound like a lot, but each of these steps can help significantly improve your office space for your employees. Deal with the essentials first and then you can get onto more benefits!