As the contemporary business world shifts towards a greater focus on employee well-being, the modern office space is evolving to promote both happiness and productivity.
By Angus Ponsford
The positive correlation between employee engagement and wellness has been well documented in recent years and, as a result, more and more employers are opting to ditch the lifeless, uninspiring office in favour of a more fun and interactive workspace.
That’s why today, we’re showing you how you can foster a fun atmosphere in your own office environment, improving employee happiness to the overall benefit of staff and your business alike.
It’s no secret that an active lifestyle and a positive mindset go hand in hand – and with workspaces around the world actively promoting a sedentary lifestyle between the hours of 9 to 5, throwing out the rule book and swapping the desk and chair for something a little more energetic can have hugely positive results.
Promoting activity throughout the working day can help improve alertness, engagement and, subsequently, productivity – even if it’s just for an hour or so a day. While large-scale companies like Google have become pioneers in the active revolution with innovative integrations like a rock climbing wall in their office, smaller businesses can still make more subtle changes to their office environment to achieve the same result.
Consider designing your office to encourage walking around by placing shared spaces within a reasonable walking distance of desks – this way, collaborative work has a moveable element that will boost the engagement of everyone involved.
Spending 8 or more hours per day in an office deprives us of exposure to natural light – a known endorphine stimulus. Yet as humans, we also have an inherent desire to connect with nature (also known as ‘biophilia’). This desire extends to the workplace, proven by a survey from HR advisory firm Future Workplace in 2018, in which employees ranked access to natural light and views of the outdoors as the most important attribute of the workplace.
With this in mind, look to implement aspects of the outdoors into the workspace wherever possible. Hosting outdoor meetings or even incorporating large-scale windows into your workplace design are surprisingly effective ways of doing this, boosting your employees cognition and improving their happiness in the process.
Focus on flexibility
Ideally, a fun office space can offer anything and everything – you only need to look at Google’s workspace to prove this! But, of course, small businesses can’t be expected to offer the same amazing perks as large-scale companies – unless you’re smart with your office design!
Where possible, try to keep flexibility at the forefront of your office design. This way, with a little reorganisation, you can still offer employees fun initiatives and perks. Have a dedicated space with removable furniture such as beanbags and versatile occasional tables, acting as a functioning area in its own right that can quickly be transformed into an array of additional fun spaces. For example, add a fold-away table tennis table that can easily be pulled out to form a games room, or bean bags and hammocks that can be quickly be assembled to form a fun ‘chill-out zone’.
Fostering a fun workplace environment can be easier than you think, and by following these tips you’re sure to create an inviting workspace that keeps employees happy, to the benefit of both your staff and your business.
Angus Ponsford is the Director at Ponsford Ltd, an independent, family-run furniture retailer that boasts a huge selection to suit every style and budget.