Nine to five and five days a week – the true adult’s habitat is one of deadlines, a chair on wheels and courteous office greetings. It may not seem like the most exciting of places, especially with the label “work”, but office environments can be happy and exciting ones. There are just a few things employers can do to ensure their employees’ happiness and, ultimately, their productivity. No one can produce quality work in a dull environment.
The first step to a happy environment is showing appreciation for your hard working employees. Not every day is as productive as the rest. Let’s be honest, Friday’s are pretty much half days on the side of productivity.
Spreading the love and rewarding or mentioning company goals that have been reached or employees individual achievements via a “send to all” email or during a morning stand up before business talk begins, really makes people feel good about their role in the company. Especially in larger companies where it’s easy to feel like just a number, you need to acknowledge the people you work with and they’ll be in a better mood for the rest of the week.
A happy office environment is a comfortable one. Comfortable in style, but mainly in communication. Employees who feel comfortable have no hesitations to get up from their desk to go to the toilet, make some coffee, warm up their lunch or head over to another department to ask work-related questions.
Not feeling free to move around and talk to anyone else in the office makes for a stressed and anxious employee who is too focussed on how they’re going to approach their line manager to ask the simplest of questions in order to produce their highest quality work.
On the topic of comfortable communication for work-related issues, there’s also a need for open overall communication. Otherwise, you’ll sit at your desk all day, not saying a single word to anyone (other than “good morning” to the receptionist as you walk passed) and your mind will be short-circuiting from lack of communication and social interaction.
Employers need to encourage office chat and casual conversations while still making sure that work actually gets done. It will make your company feel more like a team and when it comes to working together there won’t be social anxiety over awkward silences and not knowing what to talk about.
Not everyone is perfect and a happy office environment is a safe place for improvement. There’s nothing worse than messing up, knowing you’ve messed up, trying to explain yourself to your manager and being called incompetent or a colourful array of terms. To keep employees encouraged and to build their motivation, you need to work with constructive criticism.
Let them learn from their mistakes and grow. It’s only human to make a mistake and everyone should be able to learn from it and try again. Unless it was something illegal… then you’re dealing with something else.
An office environment that is flexible, not necessarily with hours because work still needs to get done, but with being able to run an errand, make an appointment or work from home if the circumstances are substantial.
This freedom allows you to do what you need to do and get through your work. Which means you’re a happy employee who can go out to have their ears pierced, come back and get back to work.
This plays on the comfortability factor of a happy office. Employees who feel comfortable to take short breaks and run their errands are more likely to come back to work and be more motivated to meet their deadlines and motor through the time they “missed”.
Smiles all around
Happy people smile. If everyone in the office is friendly and smile at each other, it will start a trend. Not to mention that the act of smiling has the power to change a person’s mood.
No really knows what it is about new stationary but it really does make people happier and if you ever want to spark excitement in the office, have new pens or notebooks laid out on everyone’s desks to surprise them in the morning.
An office that is up-to-date with the latest industry and business news makes for a happy employer. The boss is a huge part of the office environment and if they’re happy then everyone else can be!
Organise staff or business training courses to get everyone involved (and comfortable – are you catching on yet?) and you’ll all also learn something new to add to your CVs and skills. Boasting about that kind of thing always makes people happy.