“When people feel uncomfortable in their surroundings they are less engaged — not only with the space but also with what they do in it. If they can have some control, that all changes and people report being happier at work, identifying more with their employer, and are more efficient when doing their jobs.” said Dr. Craig Knight from University of Exeter who observed over 2000 office workers in a series of studies looking at attitudes, productivity and design workspace. Some things to think about when opening up your office:
A phone system
Every office needs a good business phone system. The phones will be how your clients contact you as well as how you contact other people within the organisation when you need them. Phones are such an important part of office life and it is important for you to invest in a good phone system that is able to handle conference calls and has up to date systems.
A coffee machine
If you want to be popular with your employees, make sure that you bring a coffee machine with you into your office when you open it up. After a tough commute into work every morning, people will want nothing more than a hot drink to wake them up and get them ready for the day.
Coffee seems to work its magic in teams by making people more alert, said Amit Singh, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in marketing at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
“We found that increased alertness was what led to the positive results for team performance,” Ohio State University’s post doctoral author Amit Singh who studied caffeine in and productivity in group settings.
People who drank caffeinated coffee were more likely than those who drank decaf to say they would be willing to work with their group again.
“Even though they are talking more, agreeing and disagreeing, they still want to work with them again,” Singh said. “Coffee didn’t seem to make group discussions too uncomfortable and disagreeable.”
It is incredibly important as a business owner to consider the health and the well being of your employees. One of the ways to do this is to provide fresh cold water to your employees that they can drink throughout the day to stay hydrated and healthy. Water is crucial and by encouraging your employees to drink more of it, they will be healthier and in turn they will be happier.
Plants are not just a fun design feature for your office, but they’ve also been scientifically proven to increase productivity. Following on from previous studies that found plants to lower physiological stress, increase attention span and improve well-being, Marlon Nieuwenhuis, from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, found that “Simply enriching a previously Spartan space with plants served to increase productivity by 15% in previously conducted laboratory studies. This conclusion is at odds with the present economic and political zeitgeist as well as with modern ‘lean’ management techniques, yet it nevertheless identifies a pathway to a more enjoyable, more comfortable and a more profitable form of office-based working.”
Computers will be the most important investment you make for your office and it is crucial that when choosing a computer system you go for one that has the capacity to house documents and software and ones that won’t become quickly overwhelmed when working. Invest in the best computers you possibly can because this will make it easier for your workers to do their jobs and you won’t have to deal with loading times or crashes.