5 Ways to Create an Awesome Office Environment on a Budget

Posted by HLD 05 FEBRUARY 2013

Foosball, Pool Tables and Ping Pong has grown exponentially these past few years, particularly with office workers. Not only are they ‘cool’ to have a games area in the workspace for a stylish brand, but they have a proven effect on productivity.

Foosball tables are compact, fun and almost anyone can play making them great team building tools for all staff regardless of age an ability. Pool tables are a great social game where employees can discuss work over a few relaxing frames, much more fluid that a stuffy board room.

Since the emergence of trendy silicone valley behemoths such as Google over the last 15 years, office spaces have taken on a new form becoming more creative workspaces where employees are no longer a number but a personality, a family member and a friend.

We spend around a third of our working lifetime, which on average is around 46 years in work which is why it makes sense for any company serious about appreciating their workforce to creative a positive and conducive environment for them to work in.

Studies have shown that employes who feel valued by the company in which they work have far fewer sick days than those who don’t. When staff are appreciated, they are happy so work harder and take less time off work which of course increases output for the company.

A business professor from Harvard Business School supports these findings saying “Case studies have taught us that encouraging teamwork, fun and spontaneity increases innovation” something no doubt Larry Page and Sergey Brin stand by this ethos when you see their offices.

With perks from awesome break out games rooms, onsite hair cuts, top of the range gym suits for staff to use at their leisure and of course the widely cited perk of healthy breakfasts, lunch and dinner options free of charge in one if it’s many cafe areas, It’s not surprising that Google get on average 75,000 applications per week, thats over 1.5 million a year!

People who work at Google often stay at Google and it’s easy to see why. They are valued, they feel appreciated and they enjoy the innovative atmosphere it allows them to have. Not every small business or creative agency can afford to offer it’s staff such luxuries however, some small changes to making your staff feel loved with go a long way.

Most offices will have a portion of unused space or a derelict desk are that could be utilised into something more. Our top 5 recommendations for creating a happy workspace and dedicated staff are as follows:

1) Always purchase comfortable seating for them to sit on. Most office workers spend a large proportion of their time on their butts so make sure there is plenty of cushion and lumbar support. No one wants to ache for hours after they come home from the office so be sure to invest wisely here.

2) Create a zen working environment with the help of nature. Plants are excellent feng shui as they bring lots of vibrant chi into a workplace purifying the air from any toxins. Be sure to look after the plants and place them in visually pleasing pots as unloved greenery will have a negative effect on the spaces energy.

3) Downtime is as important as work time. Create a break out area for your staff to show them you care. Something as simple as a football table will add a wonderful social dynamic to your office space. Pool tables are proving popular for larger office spaces with creative teams having brain storming ideas over a few frames of pool.

4) Healthy workers are happy workers. Most small business owners can afford to stretch to free fresh fruit on site for their staff. Something as simple as a large communal fruit bowl in the main office for staff to snack on is a great way of showing employees you care about their physical health.

5) Get to know your staff. The best way to do this is to arrange events offsite after work or at lunchtimes. It can be as simple as going out for a pizza lunch to kick back and relax as a team, a BBQ & Beer Afternoon hosted at the bosses house or something more energetic like a day of paint balling. Whatever your budget can stretch to, it is always a great idea to spend a little downtime with your team away from the workspace, even when it is an awesome one.

You don’t have to spend big bucks on creating that Google working environment, just be creative in how you go about it.

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