You may think that employees are mostly drawn to entertainment rooms with pool tables and darts boards when examining their prospective office space but you would be mistaken. Although such additions can be useful to take their mind off things during their lunch break, the majority of people actually use their break to grab a bite and don’t want to stay at the office after hours just for that.
Employers sometimes go overboard with devising creative additions to the offices or interesting team building activities but forget to stop and listen to their employees’ needs which are most of the time surprisingly basic. To help employers put their budget to better use, here is a list of things employees value most about their workspace.
From the employees’ point of view, proper office lighting is crucial because an inadequate one not only makes them drowsy but can cause eye-soreness and affect their eyesight. On the other hand, employers would benefit from a carefully thought out lighting system because the employees would be more productive and dedicated to their tasks.
So, if your office space is positioned in such a manner that you have natural light, you should make use of it as much as possible and also provide blinds so that the employees can control the amount and the angles the light seeps in. However, since, unfortunately, a lot of offices don’t have access to natural light, it means that you need to provide different lighting solutions for offices with and without natural light.
Most people nowadays work sedentary jobs and if their body is not positioned correctly, that could leave long-term consequences on their physical health. If your employees sit day after day on uncomfortable rickety chairs and they don’t see any sign that you intend to change them, chances are they would be looking for another job soon or start giving their bare minimum at work.
For starters, employers should invest in ergonomic chairs which can be adapted by each employee individually. Besides that, the height of the monitors is also essential for the proper position of the neck, while wrists should be kept straight and not bend. By making sure your employees are physically comfortable, you will positively influence their health in the long run and prompt them to be more efficient.
Despite its importance and omnipresence, the question of air quality is often disregarded up until the moment one notices that it’s not just them that are sleepy and lethargic. Poorly ventilated spaces are heaven for germs so a professional air quality check is necessary to determine the humidity and temperature levels. Another element to check is exposure to asbestos, especially if the building is older and made in times of its wide-spread use.
If the air quality is not satisfactory, decreased productivity is the least of everyone’s problems and more serious ones include potential allergic reactions, headaches, physical fatigue, and eye and throat irritation. Tending to the air quality in the office would also decrease the number of sick days employees take while increasing the amount of work they can perform daily.
Controlled noise levels
Many people dread working in open space offices because they worry about being able to concentrate on performing their daily tasks. Businesses which have a few teams per office are more attractive to prospective employees but the concern about the noise levels is still present. Having in mind that such arrangements are cost-saving and that it would be impractical for each employee to have their own office, some other solutions should be introduced.
What an employer can do is to first have a talk with the employees and remind them of some general office etiquette. For instance, if a couple of team members need to discuss something, they should use the conference room or any other empty space so that the others aren’t disturbed. Also, you can consider providing them with noise-cancelling headsets or rearranging their sitting positions.
Access to healthy food
Between work and other obligations, what people find the least time for is themselves. In a busy schedule, your employees will struggle to find time to exercise and eat properly. They would value the proximity of healthy food restaurants or grocery shops with fresh fruit since they often don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal and bring it to work.
If your offices are not so conveniently located, you can consider hiring a catering service so that they can have access to home-cooked meals at affordable prices and from time to time, you can treat them with a meal of a dessert. Additionally, it would be convenient if they could always have some fresh fruit in the office so that they can have a bite whenever they have time.
If certain basic requirements are not fulfilled, no amount of entertaining content will keep dissatisfied employees. So, tending to work conditions such as adequate lighting, air quality, and noise control can significantly increase their motivation, satisfaction, and productivity.