How to Improve the Atmosphere at Your Office Space: NJ Real Estate Firm Shares Tips
In order to boost productivity and keep up employee morale, it’s important to make sure that the environment at your workplace is pleasant. If you have employees working in a drab, depressing building amid blaring background noise and pollution, their productivity will obviously be low. You’ll be likelier to have a high employee turnover rate, and your workers won’t feel motivated to do better or to take initiative.
While money is a great incentive, it’s not all people need. So in today’s blog post we’ll talk about ways to improve the environment at your office space in NJ, with the pros at Blau & Berg sharing their best tips.
1. Make sure there’s plenty of light
Working in a dimly lit office will not only cause eye strain, but it’ll also cause a dip in your mood. We feel cheered when we walk into a brightly-lit place, and at work, where you’re supposed to concentrate for extended periods of time and either work on a computer or handle paperwork, good lighting is all the more important. Make sure the lighting is bright and cheerful at your office space.
Here’s some excellent advice from Business News Daily: “Lighting plays a vital role in workers’ performance and attitude. An article by MBA@UNC, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler’s online MBA program, states that exposure to natural light improves mood and energy, greatly impacting focus and productivity. But according to a survey by Pots Planters and More, nearly half of office workers said there is little to no natural light in their office.
If it’s not possible to incorporate natural lighting through windows, there are other options. Blue-enriched light bulbs may reduce fatigue and increase happiness and work performance, according to the article. Use this type of lighting in brainstorming rooms. In meeting or break rooms, use warmer tones to promote calmness and relaxation. In conference rooms, use middle tones that welcome workers while keeping them alert.”
2. Work on improving communication
Miscommunication is a major problem in workplaces. It wastes time, causes delays, and adds anxiety and paperwork. As an employer, you should make sure you’re communicating effectively with your staff, and that there are no misunderstandings. Unnecessary meetings are a major time-suck at offices. Make sure you only ask people who’re needed to attend a meeting. This will make meetings more productive, encourage greater participation, and waste less time.
As the boss, you should also observe how you interact with your employees. The boss-employee relation is a key factor in influencing employee satisfaction. If you want your office space in NJ to be cheerful and productive, spend some time analyzing your behavior towards employees and figuring out how to improve it. Open communication offers many advantages – we’re sure you’re aware of them.
If you need to critique someone’s work or offer feedback, do so tactfully. While honesty and frankness have their upsides, since you are in a position of power your words may be misconstrued as negative. So handle things tactfully, and start with the positive. For example: “I really enjoyed your design for the boating magazine, but I think if you brightened up the colors to match this month’s theme a little better it’d be perfect. Good work!”
That doesn’t feel like criticism. Instead, it tells the employee that their work was great, but here’s something that will take it a notch up and make it perfect.
3. Encourage your employees to take breaks
It might sound counter-productive, but the science behind it is clear. When you take a break, your mind can relax and come back to the task with renewed focus. On the other hand, if you work for a couple hours straight without taking a break, you’re likely to experience fatigue. Encouraging your employees to take small breaks (10 minutes every hour) will increase their output significantly. You can also introduce the Pomodoro technique to your staff.
From Business Insider: “Take 10-15 minutes for yourself — whether it’s meditation, taking a walk, stretching, listening to music, or tuning into Brain FM. Allowing yourself more “you” time can help you feel more grounded and excited about work, as well as less stressed.”
If your employees have been getting burned out, this is a great way to help them recover. This will also show them that you care – which is in itself a great way to boost employee morale.
4. Ensure your employees are comfortable
As you probably know, bad posture can have adverse effects on your health – as can being stuck sitting in a chair for hour after hour. So make sure your employees don’t encounter these problems. Encouraging breaks will give them the time to walk around and stretch a bit, which will improve blood flow and mood. However, you also need to make sure that your office space in NJ is comfortable. Are the chairs too hard? Do the desks chip or dig into people’s arms? Is the keyboard rack positioned too high?
From Business News Daily: Working in a clean, attractive office can have tremendous effects on co-workers and manager relationships, said Mike Canarelli, CEO and co-founder of Web Talent Marketing.
Give your employees the flexibility to choose to work where they’re comfortable, including comfy chairs or a choice of whether to sit or stand at their desks. According to the Pots Planters & More survey, people who labeled their work furniture as “bad” are three times more likely to consider their environment as less productive, and two times more likely to find it “depressing.”
“Make it easy for [workers] to purchase things like exercise balls and plants on the company dime,” said AJ Shankar, CEO and founder of litigation software company Everlaw. “We also trust our employees to manage their own time. They’re free to take breaks to play games or just recharge as necessary.”
When employees choose a space that makes them comfortable, give them the freedom to customize their area, as everyone works differently, said Josh Turner, CEO of user feedback platform UsersThink. He suggested getting rid of the “same-issued everything” and giving everyone a budget to customize their own setup.”
5. Introduce white noise to the workspace
Unless your office is in the city outskirts, you probably have to deal with some noise pollution. Downtown areas or places close to major roads have awful noise pollution, with cars honking and people bustling around the city. White noise refers to repetitive, soothing sounds such as rain or waterfall sounds. You can play these in your office space in NJ to help your employees focus better on work.
Chron.com says, on the subject: “White noise gives employees a consistent, calming noise to focus on while working. The effect allows them to concentrate better and reduces the anxiety that is associated with constant interruptions. The noise will cover distractions quietly and allow employees to build an audio comfort zone that will help them better enjoy their work environment. The better the concentration and the happier employees are, the more productive they become.”
In addition, studies have found that white noise helps improve your mood at work. So if your workplace is a little dull and employee morale is low, they will get you off to a good start.
6. Reduce visual clutter
The term visual clutter refers to any clutter that’s visible. This could mean an untidy desk, an overflowing ‘in’ tray, a dusty shelf, or a filing cabinet stuffed full with papers (and disorganized). Visual clutter adds a lot of stress, and causes undue anxiety. If you’re sitting in front of an overflowing in tray, for example, you’ll constantly be reminded of the dozens of letters that need your attention. Some of them needed to be read yesterday, and some others were due a reply today. You feel the clock ticking; reading through the letters is a point in big, bold letters on your mental to-do list.
There are several ways to battle visual clutter. You could encourage your employees to keep their workplace tidy, and educate them on how to create an effective short and long-term to-do list. You could introduce a minimalist theme in your office space in NJ. Minimalism is aesthetically pleasing, and it tackles the problem of visual clutter directly.
You could also encourage your employees to tidy their desk before they leave for home, or to clean up their cubicle on a particular day of the week. How you tackle it would depend on your budget, preferences, and the industry you’re in.
Finding the perfect office space in NJ
Finding the right place is almost as important as having a good team and a good workplace environment. If your office is located in a bad neighborhood, in a polluted area or if it is badly in need of repair, you will have a bigger problem on your hands than can be solved with minimalism and white noise. So get in touch with Blau & Berg today for the ideal office space.
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