Checklist For Revamping Your Office Space in 2021
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.
A Little Nature Goes A Long Way
Studies have shown that office plants boost productivity and help with employee retention. Plants are restorative for us; scientists have found a correlation between viewing plant life during breaks and improved memory function.
So what does this mean for your office? Having a plant or two close to your workers will have positive effects on your staff’s cognitive function as well as have diminishing effects on their fatigue.
Don’t worry; you don’t need a green thumb to greenify your office. Succulents, pothos plants, spider plants and snake plants are relatively low-maintenance options which can brighten your workspace and have a positive impact on your staff.
Keeping the plants in colorful and dynamic pots also adds some variety and helps to spark your employees’ creativity.
Speaking of color and creativity…
Art Art Art!
Along with plants, art is also a refresher for the spirit and the mind. Art has also been shown to have a positive effect on staff morale, performance, and productivity. IPaintMyMind offers a number of great solutions for providing your workplace with a fun and diverse art collection, from our art rental program to custom murals. Whether you want to rent a dozen pieces that you can rotate all year, keeping the walls fresh and new, or you’re interested in an entryway workplace wall mural, we have a solution that will fit your unique needs.
Art rejuvenates and inspires. It’s a critical part of any office renovation, and when executed with intention, new office art can stoke creative problem solving, boost moods, and take your team to new heights. To figure out which service is best for you and your office, check out this handy guide.
But by far the best part of leasing art with IPMM is where your dollar goes after you subscribe with us. The money we raise through our art rentals and art services helps fund art programs in underserved schools. We also pay the artists up front. Your subscription with IPaintMyMind isn’t just an investment in your workplace, it’s an investment in local schools and local artists.
With corporate clients ranging from Adidas to LinkedIn, we specialize in curating an art experience tailored to your company’s personality.
Ask Your Employees What They Want
When considering changes to the office, it is a morale-boosting idea to conduct a company wide poll about what employees would like to see changed. After all, they’re the ones who the office is designed for, and they know what would make them more comfortable and enable high-quality work. Moreover, a poll asking what they want is a great way to show your team that you’re listening and that you value what they have to say.
Show Your Gratitude
This has been the most tumultuous year any of us have ever lived through. We’ve gone through experiences we never thought we’d have to, from homeschooling our kids to drive-by birthday parades to the Toilet Paper Wars of 2020. Some of us lost loved ones. If your business survived the pandemic, your employees are the reason why. The most important thing you can provide for their return to the workplace is gratitude for their hard work, perseverance, and their ability to adapt to the rapidly shifting conditions the pandemic presented. People want to work where they feel appreciated. Invest your energies in making sure your staff knows how grateful you are for them, and they will return it to you and your company.
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