The office isn’t exactly the comfiest space, yet we stay there for the majority of our day. We tend to get our work done in a cold, stoic office, which does not necessarily cultivate creativity, well-being, and organization. Here are essential aspects of your office that you can improve on to create a more productive and wholesome atmosphere for everyone:
1. Water: Be Water Wise and Conserve Water
Being water wise can save millions of gallons of water per year when we conduct water-saving practices around our homes and offices. With fresh water getting more limited in quantities, we are experiencing a world-wide water shortage, and that does not connote a healthy living environment. Practice water conservation in the office in efforts to save water.
Being water wise also means to provide your workplace with safe, clean water for washing and drinking. Water coolers often have filtered water safe for drinking, and can be tempered hot or cold to the drinker’s preference. Having access to drinking water gets employees drinking more, hydrating themselves, and staying overall healthier.
2. Fire: Keep the Office Warm for Productivity and Focus
While a cool environment may feel comfortable, we tend to lose productivity and get sleepy in a cold office. In the cold, our bodies instinctively use up additional energy to keep our temperature warm, using up the energy we could have processed for doing our daily activities. As a result, we tend to feel tired and out of it easily.
Warm, but still cozy, workspaces actually increase productivity flow and focus, and get us to work on the tasks we need to accomplish for the day. Keeping warm in the office is a matter of turning the cooling system down, creating an agreeable yet energetic environment for employees. Make sure the office is not too hot, which will decrease productivity.
3. Air: Improve Air Quality around the Office
Improving office air quality should be a priority around the workplace, as allergens, viruses, and dust float around the air and can make people sick. Having HVAC air purifiers help in keeping small spaces free from dust and pollen, while air conditioners should have their filters cleaned regularly for cleaner airflow.
By improving the air quality around the workspace, the office encourages healthier breathing, and prevents the spread of airborne diseases. The clean air also feels lighter, as there are less amounts of heavy particles circulating around the office. Employees can focus on their work unhindered by sniffling and sneezing, as well as dust that settles on desks.
4. Earth: Add Lush Foliage and Plants
Lush foliage and plants add a refreshing and natural feel to the space, making the office more energizing and fresh. Live plants also contribute to the air purification around the office, providing employees with ample amounts of oxygen throughout the day. Plastic plants may get that lush, natural feel, but do nothing in the sense of cleaning the air.
Live indoor plants, like mint, lavender, and citronella, have pest-repelling properties as well as invigorating scents that both keep people calm yet productive. Offices that have incorporated live indoor plants to their interior design have reportedly been more focused, and employees are overall happier around offices with live plants.
5. Wood: Wooden Furniture increases Mental Well-being
Similarly to the addition of plants, using wooden furniture and accents around the office helps to maintain the mental well-being of employees. Wood adds a natural element to any space, and its soft, mild aesthetic keeps a stress-free environment for everyone. Wood is a calming element that brightens up any room, and is commonly used in modern interior design for its aesthetic.
6. Metal: Keep your Space Organized
Cluttered workplaces show cluttered business operations. Make use of those metal filing cabinets, organizers, and storage shelves to properly organize your files and items. When your workspace is organized, you can easily find files that you need, and keep your head clear from all those distractions on your desk.
Office organization does not have to be done daily. Admittedly, we sometimes have little time left over after a busy day to reorganize the entire office. Doing a weekly office cleaning and organization can help keep track of your work essentials, and the use of temporary storage is helpful in tracking your files during the week.
7. Head: Provide Firm Leadership to your Employees
Good leadership is at the head of any organization, and the office is no different. As an office manager, you have the responsibility to guide your employees in the right direction. An indecisive and illogical leader does not promote a healthy working environment among employees, as a leader must know how to collaborate with their employees.
8. Heart: Listen, and Sympathize with Employees
Mental health has come a long way since its priority position two decades ago, but we continuously look for ways to improve how we treat our mental health, and how we affect others’ mental health as well. The workplace is a known stress-filled environment, as work can often lead to stressors like clients, deadlines, and performance reviews.
Besides improving your office physically, your workplace should also nurture good mental well-being for all employees. Listen to what they have to say, and collaborate with them on how they think the office practices can improve. You may be surprised to hear some innovative ideas spring up, or even special skills you never knew a worker has that could be useful at work.
Keep it Healthy
On a final note, keeping the balance between health and work is key to improving your office for the sake of the business and its employees. Happy workers make for higher efficiency, as employees become more passionate about their work, and can work unhindered by distractions.