Now that cities are slowly opening, more employers are allowing their workers to return to their office spaces. And despite the comforts of working from home, many employees miss the clear line that divides their personal and professional life. After experiencing Zoom fatigue for over a year, workers are eager to go back to their desks and have fun, watercooler conversations.
However, they will miss the cozy home offices they have built for the past year. So, to make their stay in the office more productive and enjoyable, here are some ways to spruce up your commercial space.
Let in Natural Light
The average person spends up to 90% of their time indoors, which means office workers, on average, spend only a tenth of their working life soaking up the sun. However, sunlight and being outdoors are essential to our well-being. The skin, for instance, produces vitamin D in response to sunlight, which helps fight diseases and aids in weight loss.
Not only that— sunlight itself is important to the employee experience. A survey reported on the Harvard Business Review reveals that access to natural light and outdoor views is the best feature of a workplace, according to over 1,600 employees. Sunlight beat other office favorites, like onsite cafeterias and fitness centers.
Many studies support this poll. Results are consistent: natural light makes employees feel better, and if employees are in good shape, they are more likely to be productive. So fit your windows with window treatments that flood the office in sunlight.
Connect with Local Arts Community
The pandemic highlighted the importance of supporting small, local businesses. The New York Times reported that consumers diligently purchased from independent stores to help keep them afloat during the early weeks of the crisis.
This affinity for local businesses is likely to stay even as the pandemic recedes. Your office décor is a great way to help you build a sense of community.
Support local artists by hanging their work on your walls. Check out galleries in the area for artwork that matches your brand identity. See if they can customize pieces for your office and integrate your brand colors. You may also shop sculptural pieces to break the monotony of shelves and desks, hang handcrafted wooden American flags, place locally made rugs, and use ornate dividers to break the open space.
Allow for Personalization
Uniform workstations may look neat, but studies show that personalized desks make employees more comfortable, collaborative, and motivated to work. After all, they were surrounded by personal things during their work-from-home set-up. They will be looking for the same personal comfort when they return to the office.
So allow your employees to place personal artifacts, photos, and décor on their workstations. This applies to both open-office designs and spaces divided by cubicles. Just remind them to keep their spaces clean and sanitized at the end of the day.
Have Healthy Snacks on Display
The pandemic made people more conscious of their health habits, especially when it comes to nutrition. Social media accounts were filled with healthy recipe ideas, green juice cleanses, and fruits you can add to water to make it healthier.
As people return to the office, they would likely want to keep up these healthy habits. So make sure your office pantry is well-stocked with fun but healthy snacks. There are many food companies offering office packages designed to keep workers sharp and focused throughout the day.
After all, no one wants to work on an empty stomach. You wouldn’t want the employees’ hanger to seep through the emails.
The same goes for drinks. Make sure that your office pantry never runs out of coffee and tea.
Designate Area for Individuals and Groups
Some workers prefer to work on their own, while others prefer to be surrounded by chaos and the noise of their co-workers. You can safely assume that this is how they must have set up their home offices. The aloof ones occupied the quiet corners of the house, while others worked in the family living area.
Carve out spaces for these two types of workers. Your office might have small areas designed for collaborative work, apart from the meeting areas and lounge.
Be sure to tailor your décor and furniture. The personal spaces, for instance, should be free of unnecessary items, so the employees have space for their personal effects. The collaborative areas, meanwhile, best have large tables and couches where employees can collaborate.
Lastly, the best way to make your office design more productive is to ask your employees. You may conduct a survey or poll to learn what they want to see in the workspace when they come back. This way, you are more likely to boost your productivity.