As we begin to see the tides of this pandemic turning back towards something more closely resembling our pre-Covid lives, offices everywhere are starting to bring back a workforce which had to adjust to doing their jobs from home. Let’s face it: although there were wifi issues and countless frozen Zoom meetings, most people grew accustomed to the comforts of a 30-second commute and pajama pants. So as your business gets ready to welcome back your employees, we have a checklist for renovating your office to make the transition back a positive one for everyone.
Employee Morale = Employee Productivity
Your employees’ mental and emotional well being has a direct impact on their productivity. Every year, employers in the U.S. lose hundreds of billions of dollars due to stress-related absences and productivity losses related to office morale.
The past year has been a mental and emotional onslaught on everyone. As your workers make their way back into the office, it’s important to keep in mind all they’ve been through, as well as the fact that we’re not out of the pandemic woods quite yet.
For the past year, your employees have been able to unplug from work for a few minutes and relax in the comfort of their homes. Having a dedicated space for quiet meditation -or just a spot to grab ten minutes of silence away from the pinging emails and relentless team chats- can make a world of difference for your employees’ mindfulness (and your bottom line). Creating the ideal meditation space is relatively easy.
First, you’ll need a comfortable room. You don’t need to dedicate a conference room-sized space, but there should be enough room for at least two people to be able to occupy the space while maintaining social distancing.
Lighting is also key. Avoid harsh whites and fluorescent lighting and instead invest in a softer lighting scheme. Remember: your employees are retreating to the meditation room in part to give their eyes a break from spreadsheets and computer screens.
You may also want to consider offering your employees access to meditation services such as Headspace or Calm as part of your business’s perks package.
Getting To Know Each Other Again
It’s been over a year, and a whole lot has changed! You had colleagues who you used to chat with daily over lunch or after a meeting, who you may not have seen or spoken to outside of a Zoom meeting in months. Even stranger, you may have folks that started working in the last year, who you’ve never met.
A great office environment is about relationships, trust, and collaboration. It creates a healthy culture at work, and allows employees to be their genuine selves. A good way to start rebuilding trust and getting to know each other again, is through a Fun Facts Wall.
The idea is simple–a blast from the past, school style wall of pictures, names, and fun facts about each member of your team. You’ll learn about each other, put faces to names, and even find hobbies or interests in common.
You’ll need to create a template on a platform like Canva that allows your team to drop in photos and add text. Come up with 5 fun questions to ask your team. They could be about anything, but keeping them fun and light is a good way to ensure everyone feels comfortable sharing. Everyone can fill out their card, print them, and hang them up on the wall. A wall in a communal area like a breakroom or coffee area is ideal!
To make this a permanent fixture in your office, consider buying some inexpensive ready made frames and hanging them in a gallery style wall.
This idea may sound corny, but it’s really about igniting the human that so many of us have been missing out on while working from home.
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