It can often be hard retaining the engagement of your staff all through the year – and what better to time to shake things up and improve their productivity than at the beginning of a new year? Here, we explore some of the measures you can employ to help boost the morale of your staff – from a simple new lick of paint, to more radical flexible office space solutions.
Is Your Office Bringing Your Staff Down?
It’s fairly common for people to start the new year suffering from an acute case of the blues – as the food, fun and festivities of Christmas fade from view and all those resolutions to spend more time in the gym start to slide. It’s little wonder then that January has traditionally been one of the busiest times of the year for businesses to lose staff as people begin looking around for a brand new job for a brand new year.
However, it’s not just staff that you could lose to an uninspiring workplace – the productivity and engagement of your remaining staff could also take a serious hit, with dramatic results. The surroundings and environment we spend our day in have a significant impact upon our mood and performance, and it has been estimated that UK businesses lose millions of pounds every single year to poorly designed and uninspiring office.
Here’s What You Can Do
Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to help tackle the New Year’s blues of your workforce – and the first could be as simple as redecorating and reorganising your office. Drab, lifeless offices might be sucking all the productivity out of your staff, but conversely, researchers from the University of Exeter’s School of Psychology have found that employees who work in ‘enriched spaces’ were around 17% more productive.
An ‘enriched’ space is, quite simply, any working environment that is decorated, laid out and designed to be more aesthetically and visually appealing. This could involve anything from introducing wall art or more plants into your office to make it lighter and brighter, or it could mean undertaking more significant rearranging of how you utilise the space you have. Reorganising the layout of your workplace could be the perfect opportunity to fostering collaboration between your staff on work projects, as well as encouraging them to take a greater level responsibility for their own workload – both of which have been shown to improve employee performance.
A greater focus on collaboration and a more flexible working environment have also been some of the driving factors behind the rise of coworking. Abandoning dedicated offices or corporate headquarters in favour of a London coworking space might seem like an ambitious option for changing your working environment, but it’s one that has its own distinct benefits. What was once associated with entrepreneurs, freelancers and startups is now a popular option with many major companies – global giants like KPMG and Microsoft have made headlines after moving large numbers of employees into coworking spaces in the hope of capturing some creative spirit.
When it comes to making workplace changes, perhaps the most telling factor is that the same study linking productivity and enriched spaces found that engagement could be raised even further when staff were involved in making the decisions.It would seem that when it comes to giving your workplace a New Year’s makeover, the surest way to keep your staff engaged and on-board is to make sure it’s a makeover that works for them – whether that’s more leisure areas and better facilities, or a preference for coworking.
By Guest Author: Daniel Moore