Bland, uninspiring workspaces are so common that many employers don’t think twice about their office design. But a drab workplace can wreak havoc on employees’ mental health.
Instead of the typical cubicle walls, a lot of new startups are opting for open floor plans and bright décor. But these big changes aren’t the only way you can improve the look and feel of your office space. Matt Ferstler, CEO of Firmspace, has four fairly simple office changes that can make a big difference in your employees’ attitudes.
1. Bring in natural light
The majority of office workers spend all day under fluorescent lights, which can give the space a dingy feel, and even strain employees’ eyes. Studies show that more natural light, and the vitamin D exposure that comes with it, can improve workers’ mood and productivity. Because of this, many new office buildings are opting for floor-to-ceiling windows. To optimize sunlight in your current building, you can remove blinds, face desks towards windows, or remove cubical walls that are blocking that natural light.
2. Have areas for privacy, collaboration
While cubicle walls can feel too isolating, open office spaces may not offer enough privacy. Almost every employee needs both a place to collaborate, and an area to work undisturbed. To help with this, you can offer your workers designated rooms meant for individual work, and common areas used for team projects. This way, no matter what an employee is working on, they have somewhere they can go.
3. Provide access to fitness facilities
There’s no doubt that active people are healthier and able to focus better. Many employers are starting to offer their workers discounted gym memberships or free exercise classes, which is a good option. An even better one is providing on-site fitness centers. With busy schedules, a lot of employees don’t have time to head to the gym. But with a gym right in the building, workers are more likely to use it and experience the physical and mental benefits.
4. Encourage some fun
Having a way for employees to de-stress at work can do wonders for their attitude and performance. Encourage them to have some fun by providing entertainment or game rooms. Employees can go there and unwind when they need a break, without disturbing those who are working.