Many people in Australia and around the world have a lot to say about their working environment, and it’s not always positive. Some people are very lucky to have a workplace in which they feel totally content, but many of us have ideas on what could be changed.
Below are some simple ways for any company or employee to start using that will improve their working environment and make it a place they want to be. It’s any employer’s interest to keep people happy with positive changes, as it can reduce workplace stress, and improve employee attendance.
Change 1: Embrace Change
A diverse and flexible work environment is the first and biggest key to improving the workplace for employees and managers alike. The best way to create such an environment is to first open oneself up to the changes that are needed. If you are set in your ways and not open to the idea that things can be improved, then nothing will get better.
Change 2: Let There Be Light
Do everything you can to maximise natural light into the workplace. There’s nothing more depressing than sitting all day under fluorescent lights while the sun’s natural light is blocked out. More natural light brings numerous benefits, including health benefits according to Harvard Business Review. Research shows that more natural light is clearly linked to greater employee well-being. What’s more, it will help with the greenery in the next change.
Change 3: Boost the Greenery
Increasing the amount and tailoring the types of plants that you have in your office space can do wonders for the atmosphere in which people are working. There are plants that will naturally oxygenate the room, remove bacteria and pests, as well as create natural scents that are both pleasant and invigorating. When one can breathe deep and easy, work gets a lot easier.
Change 4: Encourage Idea Sharing
Teams in your organisation might get together weekly to share ideas on marketing, advertising and product development, but how often does the team in your office get together to talk about workplace problems? To create that diverse and flexible workspace, the office needs to be an open forum for people to share their ideas on how to improve it. You’ll be surprised how many game-changing ideas come from a simple suggestion from a humble team member whose voice has not been heard yet.
Change 5: Build Camaraderie
One thing that will not only boost employee morale and attendance, but even allow your company to retain more talented individuals, is a focus on team-building and creating a sense of belonging. A little interdepartmental rivalry goes a long way to boosting productivity, for instance. You could offer incentives, bonuses, rewards of time off or gifts, and that’s just for starters.
Another good idea is to get employees together solving problems. The feeling of working together to overcome common issues, be they in the company, or in the wider community, is a terrific way to build cohesion and solidarity. If you have the resources, investing in corporate retreats, away days and recreational activities is also a great step.
Change 6: Tidy the Office Together
Your office might have a nightly cleaning crew who come in to vacuum carpets, wipe down surfaces, water the plants and whatnot, but a very positive move is to encourage all staff toward the end of each work day to come together and tidy up the office space. It can be as simple as asking everyone to tidy their own desks, or work to clear up common spaces. Leaving each day and coming back the next to a tidy and orderly workspace is a huge positive for everyone.
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