By: Kevin Gardner
Your employees’ productivity relies more heavily on their environment than you probably realize. It may seem obvious that a safe work area is essential, but many simple hazards are easily overlooked, even with the best of intentions. You need to make sure your office space is efficient, but you may accidentally be setting up barriers to efficiency without even knowing it. Finally, you may not spend much time considering the aesthetics of your building, but they have a considerable effect on the quality of your team’s work, even if it’s subconscious. Here are some key factors that don’t require much money or effort, but can lead to a safer, healthier, happy staff.
Understand the Value of Sunlight
You don’t have to hold advanced science degrees to understand that humans need sunlight. Vitamin D is important for our mental and physical health. Portable offices for sale are a wonderful way to allow workers to get direct sunlight, which is of course best. However, a modular warehouse office, or even portable office booths are practical for every business. Outdoor walking areas on campus are great, but they only work during half of the year if you live and work somewhere with the full force of the seasons. Positioning employees near large, unobstructed windows is the best alternative to direct sunlight. Of course, you may not have control over your office design or floor plan. If this isn’t an option, do your best to allow staff to take breaks outside or near windows. If you have no windows, consider acquiring some blue lights for employee’s desks, especially during the winter.
Give Your Staff Variety
Nothing stifles creativity like a cubicle. Even if the nature of your company’s work is methodical and routine, workers need to be able to problem solve and “stretch their brains.” While many positions require being anchored to a desk and computer to a point, it’s important for employees to be given a little free reign to get up and move around. Beyond coffee breaks or laps around the hallways, try to conduct meetings and brainstorming sessions in open, common areas as much as possible. If there’s a way you can allow your team to use laptops or tablets securely and plug into your network at different places throughout the building, go for it!
Follow Basic Safety Protocols
Most basic workplace safety is obvious. If you work in a factory office with a more complex set of protocols, hopefully you’ve received extensive training and drilling on them. Beyond that, common sense of reporting accidents, spills, or broken glass usually covers most office issues. There are, however, two that many people working in an office booth or cube may overlook. First, personalizing your workspace is a wonderful idea, and many people like to have it smell a particular way as well. It’s best to accomplish this with either reed diffusers or free-standing air fresheners. Scented candles are a leading cause of workplace fires, and even hotplates that melt the candles from the bottoms can be problematic. The other hazard many people don’t think of is using too many power strips, even those with surge protectors. If you must plug in many electronic devices, ask for a UPS unit that will keep your devices and workplace safe in the event of a power outage or electrical surge.
Aesthetic Odds and Ends
Here are a few more simple tips to brighten up your office and make your employees healthier and happier. Try to avoid fluorescent lights as they can have energy draining effects on people. If you cannot control your overhead lighting, invest in safe, soft floor lamps. Also, having some real, live plants strategically placed will not only freshen the office’s smell, but promote the circulation of clean air. Finally, learn about office color theory and consider painting if your scheme is too dark or too aggressive.
Your business’ bottom line is, understandably, your top concern. Productivity and profitability can only be strong, however, if your staff is safe, healthy, and happy. Use these tips to help build these attributes in your office!
By: Kevin Gardner