By: Ian Pearson
When finally getting over that huge milestone of moving into an office seems viable, there is no bigger task than figuring out how everything is going to connect. By connecting, we mean the general feel and flow that the office space will have, how accessible it would be, where everyone will sit, will it be optimal etc. These are just a few concerns that a business owner might have when first coming face to face with the empty office space they acquired – so many possibilities…for both success and failure. Despite what one might think, office layout greatly contributes to the productivity of everyone in said space and should be a priority for any owner.
Keep it tidy
First and foremost, whatever you opt for in the end, remember to keep it tidy. However great the layout might be and whatever you had in plan will be all for naught if the entire surface of the floor is covered in trash, discarded belongings, unsupervised pets etc. Setting up a few ground rules for everyone to follow will help steer your employees in the right direction and take at least part of the load off of your shoulders. A regular cleaning schedule is a necessity and enforcing the previously set rules will both reduce cleaning costs and improve productivity by always having what we need when we need it.
Consider ergonomic office equipment
With the majority of office workers spending upwards of eight hours a day sitting behind a desk, investing in proper equipment is absolutely crucial. All of your workers need to have their equipment set up in such a way that their backs aren’t being exposed to unnatural positions – thereby causing back pains and even long-term problems if not treated right away. Naturally, ergonomic equipment is not cheap, make no mistake about that. However pricy it might be, it will still be worth it in the long run as employees will have sufficient back support to burn through the hours without a hitch, ultimately becoming more productive as opposed to having to work with back or joint pain.
Make a break area
Despite what some of your competitors might say, your employees are people. Like us, they will not be able to work eight hours straight and retain the same capacity and work quality through the whole thing. This can lead to employees messing around during projects and ultimately harming workflow due to their need to take a few breaths. This can be remedied by providing them with an area specifically designed for these purposes. It doesn’t need to be anything grandiose, a couple of beanbags and a TV can do wonders. Got a console at home that you’re not using, bring it over. Giving them the opportunity to zone out a few times during the day will help them maintain a good work attitude and keep them busy when it’s needed.
When everything has been set up and everyone has moved into their stations, it is imperative that we continue working on the general layout of the office. Take some time to see what works and what doesn’t and modify the office space accordingly. Any excess furniture or office equipment can be moved to a storage unit for safe keeping until it is needed, just make sure to opt for only the best storage companies to avoid getting ripped-off in the long-run.
Get input from employees
While working on the break room idea, consider getting input from your workers. All of them have their own likes, dislikes and ideas for where the business could go or how the office could be improved. Hearing them out will boost their morale and if any of their suggestions make it through and actually come to life – they will be thrilled. At the end of the day, your employees function on a different plane of existence than you, there are things among them that you will never get to hear or talk about – and that’s okay. Their input will give you a small glimpse of what it’s like working on their end and how their situation could be improved.
Rinse and repeat
When all’s been said and done, it’s finally time to take a load off. Take special care to repeat this process every few months to make sure everyone is on the same page and working to their full capacity. Solutions that might have worked previously may flop as the months go by which is why we as owners must remain vigilant and adapt as new challenges arise. The important thing to remember is that we are not alone in all of this, like us, our employees want the best experience and to feel like they’ve accomplished something – it’s time to start working hand in hand.