Keeping employees happy is an important part of any company’s overall success. Employees who are content have better attendance, stay in your employ longer and work hard to achieve company goals. They experience less stress and become more creative, they are healthier and even live longer.

Many employers don’t consider how they can make the workplace happier and more productive. It goes beyond encouraging employees to stretch every hour or providing them with standing workplaces. There are physical changes you can make to your entire office space that will improve employee satisfaction. You can also engage employees with unique opportunities to socialize. Here are some novel ways to improve your working environment.

Physical space

It’s time to look closely at the physical surroundings of your office space. Is it cold, clinical, and devoid of personality? Is it cluttered and disorganized? You can take steps towards a happy medium to make all your employees feel comfortable in their workspace.

Open space environments can be great for fostering communication, collaboration and team-building. On the other hand, employees with private space can be more productive because they have fewer distractions. As an employer, you can provide spaces for your employees to have privacy when they need it. If there is no available space, consider putting higher walls on one or two cubes, where employees can go to work or simply take a break. Another option is to offer employees the chance to work from home, or work flexible hours. Your employees will appreciate your efforts, and you may end up creating more private spaces for in-house staff.

Aside from the benefits of Vitamin D, having access to the sun and views of the outdoors can lift spirits and reduce stress; however, glare in the eyes and on computer screens can be distracting. Try to encourage the use of natural light, and access to natural light. When it gets too bright, you can bridge the gap between not enough and too-much sun with elegant window shutters. Aside from improving office aesthetics, shutters give you great light control because of their louvres. Shutters also create natural noise barriers, which help create a calm working environment.

Another great way to make the office space more appealing to employees is to make small changes to the interior. You can bring nature indoors with some live plants. You can bring in a colour scheme or decorations in tune with your employees’ talents and tasks. Different colours promote different moods. You can paint walls, or install carpets or chairs with shades of green to foster feelings of calm and balance. Posters that promote strength and creativity can be inspiring, and allowing employees to make their own space personal with photos can be a touchstone for positive emotions.

Other ideas

How about some tea? Many Brits love the ritual of stopping during the day for a cuppa, with sandwiches and biscuits, before continuing on with the day. How about taking employees out for afternoon tea? Larger companies can take teams out on different days, and smaller businesses can take the whole crew. The adventure and fun of it will build morale and promote better relationships between employees.

How about engaging in an outside activity that builds camaraderie and teamwork? You can sponsor small teams to take a cookery class at Eckington Manor, for example. Maybe the more adventurous would enjoy a Tree Top Adventure, where they can encourage each other to climb rope ladders and grapple with zip wires.

Your team building activities can be in-house as well. Many companies sponsor monthly birthday parties, which is a simple but fun way to bring employees together. Consider using this group time to acknowledge employees who not only have contributed to the company’s growth through their work product, but also through their actions that create a better working environment. For example, is there an employee who consistently cleans the break room? Does one of your employees mentor new hires without being asked? Thanking employees for these small courtesies can definitely strengthen your office atmosphere.

You don’t have to go to great lengths or great expense to make your work place a happy place to be for your employees. Be creative and develop some changes to your physical space that will lower stress and promote productiveness. A programme of fun activities in and outside the office, and taking time to thank employees for their contributions can build morale and strengthen team interactions. Start changing your workspace for the better today.