People have started returning to work after lockdown, at least for a few days per week. Some of them have been understandably nervous about their return while others couldn’t wait to get back into an office environment after the solitude of working from the kitchen table or spare bedroom. Now that your employees are back, keeping them happy and healthy is no easy task. With budgets being tight following the pandemic, it isn’t like you can just throw money around to improve employee morale. So, we have put together nine ways to improve the office environment without breaking the bank.
This is otherwise known as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration and more office wars have been started over these issues than anything else in the history of business. It works like this. Employee A is always too cold, employee B is always too hot, and employee C works down the other end of the office and thinks they work in Siberia. All three employees are unhappy and taking up their team leader’s time griping about the HVAC-R systems.
You will never be able to please everyone, especially in a large office. However, getting on top of your HVAC-R system maintenance by using a reputable supplier like McCombs Supply Co. Inc is a good idea. The company has been in business since 1953 and they are experts at sourcing and supplying heating and air conditioning parts to replace those that are not working. This will certainly stop your employees from complaining quite so much. It will improve the quality of their office life and enable your team leaders to get back to the job at hand.
Cleaning has always been important in an office — who wants to work on a dirty desk and not be able to see out of grimy windows? A well-cleaned office has always meant a happier, healthier workforce but, post-pandemic, this is even more important. Cleaning now needs to be done with more of a view to sanitizing and disinfecting rather than just getting rid of dust and loading the dishwasher and you should make sure that this is evident to give your staff peace of mind that the office environment is a safe place to be.
Offering sanitizer dispensers in various different places around the office or building will keep your staff healthy and reassured and cleaning staff need to increase in efficiency to keep the premises as germ-free as possible.
Although you want the office to be tidy and look professional, many employees like to have a few of their creature comforts around them during the working day. This makes them feel more comfortable and helps to motivate them. Incorporating plants, family photos, and small decorative items is a good way to make the office environment look comforting, and it creates a family atmosphere that visitors will love.
You don’t have to go mad providing state-of-the-art leisure equipment but a space where staff can hang out during their breaks or eat their sandwiches at lunchtime means that they take a proper break from their desks and computers and refreshes them ready to get some more hard work done. Paint the room a vibrant color so that it makes staff feel energetic and a games table such as football or table tennis will go down well too and help them to let off steam during a difficult day.
Most workers have had the experience of trying to get an important report finished while their phone is ringing off the hook. Trying to multi-task like this means that the report may not be done as well as they would have liked and the customers on the end of their phone don’t receive the same level of service that they might otherwise enjoy. The solution to this problem lies in creating a quiet space or room in the office where there are no phones and staff can go if they need to get work done without distractions. They can’t be asked questions by their colleagues and the answerphone can take their calls.
This will lead to the report getting done well and the employee returning calls when they have time to do so, meaning that your customers receive better service too. It also stops the employee from getting stressed and frustrated and bringing down the mood in the office and affecting an entire department.
Meetings are a necessary fact of working life. However, many employees get disgruntled if they have to go to lots of meetings, and sometimes it can even seem that there is no point to a meeting or that they are there to discuss having another meeting in the future. This is a waste of productivity when employees could be getting on with other things that will earn the company money.
Limiting meetings means that everyone can get on with the job at hand without becoming frustrated. There can be better ways to communicate such as by e-mail or an office group link that will get the same point across in a fraction of the time.
You may not be very popular if you suggest a weekend of camping during the middle of winter, but a monthly trip to a restaurant or a pizza lunch for those that have met their targets will go down well. This shows that the company cares about its employees and it gives the staff a great chance to bond. Great ideas are often dreamed up with a glass of wine in hand and employees will feel more relaxed and able to share their brainwaves without fear of being ridiculed if they are not being put on the spot in the office. This can work wonders for team morale and although it may cost you a few dollars it is certainly worth your while.
You may not have space to install a gym in the office, but you can still offer wellness initiatives such as free fruit or an incentive for those who walk or cycle to work. This will improve company morale; after all, who doesn’t like getting free stuff? It will help them to keep fit healthy and motivated and best of all it will give them the energy to give the company 100% during working hours.
Many companies run a hybrid system which means that employees can come to the office a couple of days per week and work from home the rest of the time. This makes it easier for employees to create a better work/life balance, increases their loyalty, and encourages them to work for the company. This means that you have more choice over who you hire as well as being able to retain great staff.
This incentive saves rather than costs the company money as it means that you won’t need as much office space, and it will reduce the cost of your utility bills.
Use these tips if you want to create a workforce that is likely to stay happy, healthy, and loyal to your company. They won’t break the bank and they could even end up saving you money as you will be able to keep great staff for longer.