By Chen Zhan Source You’re worried about homeschooling the kids, you have a 9 AM…
In today’s day and age, it takes more than just a bare bones operation to keep employees happy. Given the humming economy and low unemployment rate, your employees have more and more employment options at their disposal. For this reason, it’s important to do what you can (within reason) to keep them happy and invested in your business.
We’ve compiled some of our favorite ways to keep and build happiness on your team. Read on to learn more!
Provide a clean and healthy office environment
One of the biggest things you can do for your employees is provide a clean and healthy environment for them to work in. Generally this includes:
- Clean and sanitary office space – Including desk areas, conference rooms, bathrooms, and everything in between.
- Pristine air quality – Cleaning your office and fresh air go hand in hand. Also, make sure HVAC systems are running on all cylinders and clean.
- Trash, recycling, and perishables – Cleared out regularly around the office.
- Adhering to OSHA standards and taking legal responsibility for providing a safe environment
While these seem like simple things to achieve, not every office cleans as regularly as they should — and a DIY approach is often even worse. While cleaning yourself can work in extremely small offices, it is not sufficient for a larger office.
Just what happens when you have a clean office? You’ll likely find your employees have…
- Better focus
- Less stress
- Increased productivity
- Less wasted time
- Most importantly, a more positive mindset when coming into the office
Do what you can to ensure sick employees stay home
While lost productivity is a concern, encouraging employees to come into the office when they are under the weather can backfire.
First off, even if an employee is in the office, it does not mean they will be productive. In fact, having to drive to the office, interact with coworkers, and sit at their desk could make them feel worse and be less productive. Secondly (and more importantly), their presence will likely make their coworkers sick as well. This will result in even greater lost productivity and even more of your employees sick.
The end result is employees who are not very happy and not very productive. We recommend that you institute personal health days or encourage employees to work from home if at all possible when they’re under the weather.
Make sure they’re comfortable
Employees spend at least 8 hours a day in your office. We encourage business owners to look for ways to make their employees comfortable while they’re under your care. This can include:
- Comfortable chairs and desk
- An adequate workstation
- A comfortable and reasonable temperature
- Ensuring bathrooms are a reasonable distance away from desks
- Ensuring employees feel comfortable with those working around them
- Limiting outside noise as much as possible
Your employees not only deserve to feel comfortable at the office, but it will increase their happiness and boost their productivity.
Snacks and beverages
Who doesn’t love a snack? Many employers are now providing snacks for their employees as a perk to fill that midday pang of hunger.
If this is something you’d like to provide for your employees, we recommend speaking with them to develop a list of snacks for the office. This can range from nuts and crackers, to more elaborate fare like popcorn from a popcorn machine.
Want to go even further and treat your employees to an end of the day treat? At some offices, you’ll find a keg of beer or glasses of wine in the kitchen. While it’s smart to ensure your employees won’t abuse this treat, if you have faith that they’ll be responsible, this is a great perk for your hardworking employees.
Nothing brightens an attitude quite like natural light. In addition to making the natural design of your space stand out, natural light brings a sense of warmth to your space that nothing can replicate.
Natural light has been shown to increase happiness in employees, productivity on your team, and genuinely make your employees healthier.
While it can be hard to find opportunities to introduce natural light to your office, adding windows, a skylight, or easier-to-manage window coverings can make all the difference in the amount of natural light in your space.
Enough space for your entire team
A common complaint we hear from employees is that they feel like sardines in a tin. While jamming as many people into an office as possible is technically cheaper (as you don’t need as much space), distractions and claustrophobia can make it difficult to work productively.
This is increasingly common with the recent popularity of open office spaces. While more closed off spaces make it impossible to fully maximize space, open floor plans often make business owners feel like they can maximize every inch of an office. While in 2010 the average office worker got 225 square feet per employee, in 2017 that number went down to 151 square feet. That is a straling drop in just 7 years!
We recommend at least 250 square feet for your employees to feel happy and not squished.
While work will always need to get done, giving your employees the autonomy to work slightly altered schedules to ensure they are living a balanced life is crucial to employee happiness. While employees should probably not be able to come and go as they please, allowing them flexibility can actually increase productivity.
For instance, allowing employees who are better at working in the morning to come in and leave early, while employees who are more productive in the afternoon to come in and stay later will result in better work. Letting employees leave for appointments or to take care of important personal matters will ensure their focus is on work while they’re at their job without distraction.
Giving your employees this freedom can unlock productivity you never knew you had!
Taking and implementing feedback on your space
Listening to your employees and taking their feedback can be crucial for making them happier.
Everyone needs to feel like they are being listened to. Whether it’s that the office is too loud, too cold, there is not enough space to work adequately, or any other issue, it’s impossible for your employees to feel happy if they do not feel listened to.
While not every employee request will be possible, make sure to provide an adequate response to requests. Even if your response is“it’s too expensive,” giving them this feedback will be more effective than no answer at all.
Give your employees a space they can feel proud of
We’re available to help 24/7/365 to help you keep your commercial space in tip-top shape. We are the city’s trusted source for building maintenance and cleaning — whether you need a one-time cleaning or an ongoing program.