workplace improvements
Business colleagues with hands on heads in office

By Jeriann Watkins

With unemployment going down and a renewed public focus on work-life balance, employers who want to keep employees have to keep them happy. This means showing employees they are valued and creating a healthy and pleasant work atmosphere. Below are some ways that business owners can do this without breaking the bank.

Providing Personal Space

Everyone needs a space of their own. This is easy if your employees are at computers. They each get a desk and/or office of their own. For retail and restaurant employees, however, this is less common. If your employees don’t work in a personal space, you can still give them a space of their own in the building. This can mean cubbies, baskets, lockers, somewhere where they can keep personal items. It’s even better if they can personalize their space. Baskets and cubbies can be purchased in bulk, and you can find lockers for sale online at very reasonable prices.

Promoting a Healthy Environment

Healthy employees are happy employees. There are many simple steps you can take to make your work environment healthier for employees. If your building is of a certain size, you’re already required to have a drinking fountain. But you can go above and beyond and put in a filtered water tank with both hot and cold water, so employees can make their own tea and warm beverages, as well as have easy access to good-tasting water to keep them hydrated.

But drinking water isn’t the only way to reap its benefits. Being around running water has been shown to improve your mood and wellness. Here are 3 types of fountains that are perfect for businesses.

You can also improve your office air quality by keeping plants throughout the building. Here is a guide for integrating plants into a workspace. Plants not only filter air, but they are shown to reduce stress and improve moods as well.


Employees want to be empowered to work how they work best. Giving employees the autonomy to succeed at their job is the best way to keep valuable employees. You can provide this autonomy by being flexible in the workspace requirements for employees.

For example, if your employees work online, it’s possible they could complete portions of their job from home. Allowing remote work, even once a month, can go a long way to making employees feel trusted. It also saves employees some gas money and gives them the ability to complete that work on their schedule, not on an arbitrary work-place timeline.

For customer service employees, hours and attendance is naturally stricter, but you can still allow employees to pick their preferred hours. You can also be open to relocating employees to other locations when necessary. There are 3 main benefits of relocating employees, the main one involving employee satisfaction being the idea of upward mobility and the option to advance and work elsewhere within the company.

Analyzing these three categories will help you to find affordable ways to improve your business for your employees. Happy employees are more productive and profitable, so taking these small steps now can open up the option for creating a higher entry level wage, or adding benefits like student loan refinancing later.

Do you have other affordable workplace improvements? Share in the comments below!

Jeriann Watkins is an entrepreneur and blogger at As an avid follower of the Human Workplace mindstate, she has helped build several employee incentive programs for companies she’s worked for. To learn more, check out her blog or follow her on twitter @JeriannWatkins