Are you providing your staff with the best possible work environment? Research shows that good work environments improve productivity and put workers in the right frame of mind to get things done. Many small businesses can’t afford all the benefits and perks that larger competitors do, so at the very least you want to provide a pleasant workspace that takes your workers’ basic needs into account. Here are five ways to improve your workplace and raise productivity:
1. Offer better break rooms.
Workers need to have an area they can go to de-stress and re-focus. Break facilities offer just such a place. Many employers forgo even having an area, which often forces staff to eat at their desk, a habit that can actually lead to a reduction in productivity. Instead, offer an area that is separate and only dedicated to breaks. Make it inviting and calming and staff will feel re-energized after their lunch or short breaks.
2. Get the temperature right.
One big complaint by many workers is the temperature of their office. By setting firm policies about where the temperature should be kept, employees will know how to adapt over time. Instead of trying to guess if they should bring a jacket or not, they’ll know exactly how the office will be. Research has shown that this should be between 70-73 degrees Fahrenheit (21-23 degrees Celsius). This temperature range provides the perfect ambient environment for most employees to not worry about being too cold or too hot.
3. Use anti-fatigue mats.
Employees who have to stand for long periods of time can often suffer from sore knees, feet, and backs. However, anti-fatigue mats, like those from www.cannonhygiene.com, can fix this issue by giving cushioning and support to these employees. Providing mats for each employee who stands for long periods will help minimize health issues before they start.
4. Let natural light in whenever possible.
You can’t knock out a wall just to add a window, but what you can do is encourage and use the natural light that is available. For example, don’t cover up any windows with blinds, or cut out light with high dividers. Instead, let the light in! Even if the window is across the office, natural light helps people feel more at ease and enables them to focus more. Another trick you can try is to add a mirror or two throughout the office to reflect any natural light, creating the illusion of more space. This will help diffuse what light you have to work with, even if it’s not much in the first place.
5. Have better washroom facilities.
Making sure that your washroom facilities are clean is only the start. These areas are about basic employee needs, and any neglect sends a signal that your staff just isn’t that important. Make sure that soap dispensers are kept full, hand-drying facilities are in place, and each area is wiped down regularly to ensure cleanliness. In addition, having a dedicated staff member check the washroom facilities on an hourly or bi-hourly basis will ensure that it is kept at its best.
Implementing these five steps will help make your workplace better for your current employees and will also send a strong message to potential employees who come in for interviews that you care about your staff.
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