If you watch The Office, American or British version, and find yourself laughing so hard you almost cry, or worse, just cry, without the laughing part, because you relate to it so well, you may want to forward these tips about improving office atmosphere to your management. CC the appropriate parties, of course.
Or if you’re already the boss, thanks for stopping by! We’re glad your here, and so will your staff be if you implement these ideas in your workplace.
Comfortable seating: Ergonomic office chairs are a must. Sitting puts continuous pressure on the lower back muscles and disks. Make sure your staff has chairs that support the length and width of their backs, with adjustable armrests and seat height. Remind everyone to get up regularly and stretch, as well as shift their sitting position at least once every 30 minutes.
Encourage regular breaks and lunchtime walks: Don’t create an atmosphere where your staff feels pressure to skip lunch or that they’re slackers if they take breaks. Much better than a non-stop working machine, since your staff, we’re assuming, is human, is for them to take pleasure in head-clearing exercise and a break from their tasks. Many non-smokers don’t feel like they have an excuse to leave their desk, and this is a real shame. Make it clear to your staff that you value their mental health.
Clean air supply: You may not have thought of this one, but it makes a real difference, especially in offices without windows–or even in city offices where windows afford a view, but are never opened. Don’t let germs and toxins float around your office space. Get an air purifier and place plants around the room for fresh air and cheer.
Climate control: Don’t freeze them to death. Ever notice how many employees keep a sweater at their desk? Offices need to be kept cool in the warm months (and warm in the winter), but most workplaces tend to go overboard.
Comfortable lighting: Your employees eyes strain enough, staring at a computer screen all day, don’t let harsh lighting add extra strain. Moods brighten with better lighting, too. Depressing lighting is often cited when office workers unite to complain.
Don’t hover: Studies show that performance drops in employees who feel (or know) they are being closely monitored by bosses. Make them feel trusted, and they’ll rise to the occasion.
A streamlined office phone system: Dropped calls, missed calls and wrongly directed calls are frustrating and a waste of time. A streamlined office phone system is a sign that you take communication seriously and value your staff’s time.
Water cooler: Promote hydration in the office with a water cooler. Just like the old cartoons! It’s a place to socially congregate, hydrate, and cuts down on the waste of plastic bottles.
Coffee: It doesn’t exactly hydrate, but your staff will love you for it. Rather than famously bad office coffee (burnt, cold), spring for a good machine, a grinder, and stock fresh beans in the mini-fridge. Otherwise they’re just going to run out for better coffee, anyway. The cost to you is much less, proportionately, than buying an individual gourmet coffee is to them, especially for your entry-level employees. It’s such a lift, they might even give you a call on the fantastic new office phone system to thank you.