3 tips to give your workplace a new lease on life

Don't be afraid to add personality to your office space by using bold colors and artwork.

Don’t be afraid to add personality to your office space by using bold colors and artwork.

By M. Zahid Rafiq

Your workplace is a dump. It’s home to moldy walls, dilapidated ceiling tiles, desks that could be knocked over by a steady gust of wind, and radioactive hygiene levels that would panic a Geiger counter.

If you recognize this description, it might be time to make a few changes. After all, a poor office is known to reduce employee productivity, which in turn reduces profits and threatens to send your business into a sea of debt.

An office that’s been poorly crafted – referred to as a “sick workplace” by sociologists – will lead to depressed employees who are less willing to work. This will mean poorer hygiene levels, creating an office environment of the perpetually ill.

Sick people, poor lighting, mountains of mess and financial troubles – these are supposed to be the problems of the Depression era, not a growing company.

The reasons for renting a dodgy office are obvious – they’re cheaper and don’t require much maintenance – but they’ll cause many more problems in the long run.

So what do you need for an ideal office?

First stop to hygiene

Invisible microbes are everywhere – and some are trying to infect you. Their modus operandi? Lurking around workplace washrooms. Their preferred mode of transport? The filthy hands of the great unwashed.

The less appealing your washroom is, the more likely infection will be. Just think about it – would you feel particularly inclined to wash your hands in a place that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since the ‘70s?

A high-quality washroom requires these basics:

  • Hand dryers
  • Powerful sinks
  • Toilet brushes and other cleaning instruments
  • A fresh lick of paint
  • A cleaning rota

Most of these can be bought from a company like Initial, which specializes in washroom supplies. Without them, your employees will be dropping like the flies floating in your toilet bowl.

Open plan

Despite its detractors (and it’s got many detractors), the open-plan office is a simple way to make your workplace more communicative and friendly. Be gone with murky cubicles! Tearing down those pointless walls will let in more sunlight, oxygenating the space and creating a happier environment – all for free.

Some have argued that open-plan offices actually inhibit productivity, but they’re always worth a try, especially in workplaces where brainstorming meetings are a regular occurrence.

This time it’s personal

Most offices are so worried about offending clients that their workplace paintings look lobotomised. Serene meadows, anonymous city scapes and faceless corporate structures – they’re the acceptably bland face of the business world.

Make your office stand out from the crowd. Purchase paintings and ornaments that fill it with life, as though a master painter had daubed their brush over it to turn it from dark grey to bright red.

With an extra injection of personality, clients and staff members will feel more comfortable in your workplace, and understand that you’re a business willing to go out on a limb.

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M. Zahid Rafiq is a professional developer and business analyst. He loves to follow business/technology blogs, tech news and blogging on top blogs. http://www.zahipedia.net

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