Create an Inspiring Workplace with These Practical Ideas

So, you’ve hired or bought yourself a new office space and want to make it an inspirational, creative, and productive space for you and your employees to work in. You might find that a complete redesign is unnecessary and that you can easily work with what is already there and just need to add a bit of branding and spruce it up a little.

Whether you are a freelancer or the CEO of an emerging business, your office and workplace is key to your work. Here are some quick tips on how to create the workplace of your dreams.

Be comfortable

Sofas, armchairs, and beanbags are great but can cause havoc over long periods of time hunched over a computer or with a laptop on your knees. You don’t want your PR team to be signed off with bad backs, do you? Allow your employees to work how they want, all with comfortable and supportive furniture.

Some people like to stand and work; others like to sit, so be sure to cover all bases so that your team are productive! Informal breakaway areas are also a good idea, as this gives people the option to talk through projects and ideas without sitting in a stuffy meeting room.

Invest in security

You will want your business and office to be secure, so it is important to spend some time and money research and business security systems. If you have an office in a block of other businesses, a security package may be available as part of your space, but if not, you will need to strike out and do your own legwork.

Keep it light

Natural light is important in an office space, but if you do not have that luxury, then you will need to make sure that everywhere is well lit and that your team won’t be straining their eyes. Natural light is especially important in the winter when most people hardly see the light of day outside of their lunch breaks! Make sure the walls in the office are light too, as this will allow any light to bounce around.

Green space

Plants are good for the soul and good for your health, so fill your office with greenery and let them do the talking. Living walls are an excellent way to fill a space, and also create a good talking point for visitors or potential clients coming in to see you.

Think about noise levels

Different people work in different ways, and if you have a big team, you will need to think about how you are going to keep everyone happy and cater to all working habits. Sometimes, people would much rather plug into their own playlists and block out the rest of the office.

Others would prefer to listen to a communal office radio so that they are always open to being approached and to engage in office discussions. Talk to the people that work for you to find out what is the best solution – happy employees make good workers!

Make Your Business the Place to Work

You’re staring down the barrel of a recruitment crisis!

As a small business owner, it can be a real challenge to find the right staff, and keep them motivated and enthusiastic. The irony, of course, is that as a small business owner it’s far more important to you than to the big businesses that you’re able to recruit skilled, motivated and happy staff who turn up to work with a smile every day.

These are the people who’ll help your business stand out against your competitors and grow from strength to strength. These are the people who are going to make your life easier so that you can spend your time planning and strategising without having to micro-manage them.

While a few painfully dull interviews may lead us to believe otherwise, these candidates are out there. How do you find them? By making your business the place to work so that applicants are clambering over each other to join your team.

But how do you do that? Well, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But by adhering to these principles you can make your workplace a desirable and productive environment that attracts new staff and keeps your existing staff happy and on-point.

Image Credit: Pexels

Your environment

I don’t just mean recycling your waste paper (although that’s very important too), I mean making sure the environment is a productive and enjoyable one. There are many cultural and practical factors involved in doing this, but each is vitally important in ensuring that your workplace is as attractive as it is productive.

Ensuring that you use janitorial services to keep your environment clean and safe at all times is vitally important as cleanliness and tidiness are always conducive to productivity.

There are, however, many other factors that can make or break the effectiveness of your working environment.

  • The ambient temperature (33% of workers attribute the temperature of their workplace as a factor that contributes to their productivity).
  • Daylight and view (believe it or not a workplace with a view results in a 10-16% increase in productivity).
  • Background noise (30% of workers find background noise such as co-workers conversations distracting).

Candidates want to work in a comfortable environment where they have the tools and resources they need to do their job well readily at their disposal.

But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Read: 6 Rules For A Happier and More Productive Workplace

Your culture

Your business culture and values will go great lengths to ensuring that you and your potential new recruits are ideologically compatible. A high-performance culture is essential in motivating staff and attracting candidates who are self-motivated and strive for excellence.

Valuing high performance doesn’t need to make you a slave driver, though. Show your employees that you value them as often as you can, rewarding achievement and reinforcing positive attitudes.

You shouldn’t be afraid of distractions. Indeed, you should embrace them. Make sure staff have opportunities to take a break from long or difficult tasks. Ensure that all staff have a work-life balance and the means to manage their personal commitments. Allowing some members of staff to work from home, or providing flexi-time allowance are great ways to do this

You should also ensure that your staff have access to exercise facilities, even if it’s just an after work running club, to show that you value their physical well being and give the energy of the place a boost.

Employees aren’t robots and will often come to work with some emotional baggage on their shoulder. No matter how dedicated they may be, some tears are bound to slip out sooner or later and it’s vital to create a culture that’s supportive of emotional wellness.

As well as creating an environment where employees can do their jobs well, the best employers are supportive and encouraging when it comes to upskilling and professional development. Make sure all employees have access to the means to learn, improve and progress in their career (even if that means you eventually have to let them fly the nest).

Your USP (unique selling proposition)

You know your business better than anyone and so you’re ideally placed to let prospective candidates know why your business is the right place for them. Make sure they know all about your strengths, your accomplishments and the things that make your business unique.

Your values should be an intrinsic part of your brand identity and you should lead by example by living and breathing them in your workplace, but establishing these to people outside of your workforce could be more challenging.

Why not put this into the wider world with your own content? Social media posts, blogs, and YouTube videos are a great way of establishing your identity to the world at large and making your appeal clear to prospective candidates.

Three Steps to Properly Motivating Your Employees

Motivation — it’s something that comes in many shapes and forms, from gentle praise to cracking the proverbial whip. Keeping colleagues motivated isn’t just about one specific tactic, it is about a combination of efforts, and it all begins with you, the leader.

If employees disengage with their work, you can blame them for not working hard enough, which is the easy option, or you can take some appropriate steps to reset the balance.

Figure Out How to Improve Their Wellbeing

So many companies have things like a “relaxation station” or offer meditation classes or yoga.

But with the ongoing deadlines and amount of stress that people feel, a one-hour class isn’t going to cut it. And wellbeing is a term associated with things like mindfulness or enlightenment, but the real method to instill any sense of wellbeing in your workers is to give them a sense of purpose.

You’ve seen the type of person that clocks in and clocks out, they’re only there in body. Instead, you need to reinforce the difference someone is making by just doing their job. You can start workplace support programs or think of some employee recognition gift ideas to hand out on occasion.

A little way of saying thanks out of the blue will help to keep some morale up. And if you combine that with assigning duties that help give your employees a greater sense of purpose within the business, it will completely change their attitude.

Read also: Three things to consider when creating the perfect workplace

Inspire

Simple, right? If they feel inspired, they will work better. But how do we go about doing this? From your perspective, it’s about leading by example.

Studies have shown that leaders who act in the interests of the team, instead of themselves, will inspire workers to become more trusting, cooperative, and committed. It’s all about being fair, and if you have previously operated with an iron fist, you may want to think about changing your leadership style and start off with a clean slate.

And when you’re acting in the interests of the team, make sure you work with them. Doing this as much as possible, either on a daily basis or a weekly basis will help to bridge the us and them-type gap that can occur in large organisations or places that lean towards an antiquated style of hierarchy.

Splitting the Work/Life Balance Properly

Something that German companies are very hot on is banning work emails out of office hours (except for when there’s an emergency), and this is one simple way of making sure that work life doesn’t spill into home life.

It’s not just as simple as banning emails, but you need to create a work culture that embraces the work/life balance. You may wish to start the day on a positive note with a bit of exercise.

It can raise some eyebrows, but if you prioritise looking after yourself in the workplace, not only does it benefit everyone from a health standpoint, but their productivity will increase dramatically.

It’s very simple, but hard to implement. Yet it’s not impossible to achieve.

Outsourcing: A Genuine Path to Success in Business

There’s a fairly pervasive attitude among a lot of business owners that they should be able to do everything themselves without ever leaning on anyone else. A lot of this comes from the idea of the “self-made man” or any other ideas of total and complete independence.

Of course, it shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise that this attitude is pretty much completely useless. The idea of trying to do everything yourself might be rather romantic, but it almost ends badly as Romeo and Juliet’s story.

Instead of making a business that you can take total credit for, it usually creates a business that it barely held together and it pretty much doomed to fail. If you really want to succeed in business then you need to reach out to other people with one of the most effective approaches: outsourcing.

Outsourcing is one of the beneficial things for both you and your business and here are just a few reasons why.

Image Credit: Pexels

It frees you up to focus on other things

Everyone has certain things that they’re more interested in than others. Because of that it’s pretty much guaranteed that there are going to be parts of your business that are simply outside of your particular expertise.

By outsourcing those things to other people, you’re able to focus all of your energy on the aspects of your business that you’re really good at. If you’re fantastic with numbers but connecting with customers isn’t your forte, then outsourcing your marketing might be the best bet.

If it’s the other way around then bringing in a forensic accountant to handle the numbers side of your business might be a better idea. Think about where there are gaps in your skills when considering what to outsource and what to deal with yourself.   

Your business is in the hands of the experts

One of the best things about outsourcing certain tasks is that it usually involves companies or individuals who are specifically skilled in certain areas.

That way you can be sure that any aspect of your business that you’re outsourcing is in the hands of well-trained and highly competent people who are going to be able to bring the best possible work to your business as a whole.

Image Credit: Pexels

You’re far less likely to become overworked

Overworking yourself can be dangerous at the best of times. It can leave you exhausted, unfocused, and it can have a seriously negative impact on your health. Things get even worse when you’re running a business since so many things depend on your ability to work and function.

By outsourcing certain tasks, you’re able to avoid overworking yourself so that you’re always in a position to take better care of your yourself and your business.

If you collapse from exhaustion then not only does that impact your own life negatively, but it also directly affects everyone else involved with your business.

It’s far better to put certain parts of your business in other people’s hands so that you don’t put your health or your business in danger. After all, health is wealth.

 

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