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Beanbags sound like a great idea, but are your employees really comfortable at work?

It should come as no surprise that happy and engaged employees make for a more productive workforce, but what does that actually mean? Forget the ping-pong table and beanbags in the staff room, because none of this matters an ounce if you haven’t got the basics right.

You can take your staff on kayaking trips, buy pizza for every meeting and pay for the Christmas party, but you’ll still end up with a demotivated workforce if you can’t make them comfortable in the office. Here’s how to create an office environment that they’ll simply love to be in every day, and which trumps all the free pizza you could ever dish out.

  1. Make it easy to be more organised

Minimalism is great, but if your workers don’t have anywhere to store their files and folders in an organised fashion, you’re making it hard for them to do their job. Nothing is more de-motivating than having to spend half an hour looking for a file that has ended up buried with all the other junk. Office furnishings should come with enough storage to make it simple to stay organised.

  1. Think ergonomics

Staff are quickly going to lose their enthusiasm for work if they’re in pain at their desk. Think about ergonomic furniture, and additional office furnishings to make them more comfortable. Things like footrests, wrist rests and back supports cost your business pennies, but can come with huge rewards in terms of productivity and employee happiness.

  1. Let staff take ownership

Giving employees a say over their working environment can help to ramp up the engagement stakes, and can help them feel more connected to the business. Research by the University of Exeter found employees were around a third more motivated when they were asked to be involved in business decisions, so whether it’s buying new office furnishings, choosing artwork or developing policies, having as much employee involvement as possible can bring big benefits for your business.

  1. Make coming to work optional

That might sound a bit radical; obviously you can’t be paying people to take duvet days. But why not consider a more flexible attitude to working, which can help employees develop a better work-life balance and enjoy their jobs more? Can you allow people to work from home some of the time, or drop burned out employees down to a four-day work week? Giving people more options can help them balance work and family life, and ensure they stay with you for the long haul.

  1. Invest in people

Nothing says you care about your employees more than when you put your hand in your pocket. This can be something as simple as improving your office furnishings, or something more complicated like offering a bike hire scheme. Don’t assume that a weekly bottle of wine award will do it though; modern businesses are much more ambitious than that. McDonald’s, for instance, run their own Hamburger University, where staff can learn new skills, get better qualifications and develop their self-confidence, all in work time.

Creating a comfortable workplace is about more than just buying new chairs. Helping your employees to feel happier in work will bring huge benefits for the business, so take the time to choose office furnishings, working practices and employee perks that really create value for your staff.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 31, 2018 at 10:59 am