Every Monday morning, the alarm signals the arrival of yet another work week. Many employees roll out of bed with a sense of dread. Whether their dread is due to interpersonal issues with co-workers, the repetition of mundane tasks. The amount of workload waiting to be done, this is not an ideal way to start the week.
How a Small Business Can Create a Healthy Workplace Environment
As management of a small business, you want your employees to come to work each day with a sense of anticipation. In order to achieve this, you need to establish the right environment by creating a motivating and nurturing setting for everyone in the company.
Here are some tips on how you can create a healthy workplace environment in your small business:
#1 Have ample workspace for every employee
There is an easy way to make your team feel like a valued part of your small business. That is to ensure that they have their own workspace. A workspace should not be merely a space where an employee is assigned to work. It should also be a space for productivity and creativity to thrive. The last thing you want as an employer is for your staff to feel like their cubicle or desk is some sort of a prison cell.
Give your staff members large enough workspaces to feel comfortable. Let them do what helps them feel even more comfortable. Some team members may keep their workspace very organized. Others may seem to work best in the midst of chaos. Giving each employee a designated space to operate in whatever manner benefits them (within reason) is key in achieving productivity.
#2 Purchase comfortable furniture and brand appropriate decor
Every space in the office should reflect the brand identity of the small business. The office design should still inspire and ignite team members to be more productive.
This is why brands such as Google don’t such unique designs. Small businesses can incorporate their brand colors on the walls and in the furniture and decor. Adding inspirational artwork or murals on the walls can also be of great help in inspiring your staff. Some go minimalist while others go full out.
What’s important is that you use decor that reflects the culture of your business.
The quality of furniture that you give your team also goes a long way in contributing towards company morale. Work days can get fairly long. No one can endure long work days if they feel uncomfortable.
So spring for ergonomic chairs and desks to keep the staff happy.
For ideas on ergonomic furniture that would appeal to the aesthetic of the design of your workplace, consult with industrial designers and furniture companies (e.g. IKEA).
#3 Install an environment-friendly lighting system
Research shows that a workspace that receives natural light for most of the day can increase alertness, assertiveness and productivity in the staff. There’s nothing like a good shot of vitamin D to bring some energy into a room.
Small business owners can start by finding the right workspace that receives an ample amount of natural light. Make sure that their staff members’ workspaces are situated around the light.
Using natural light allows small businesses to save financially. They can save on energy and artificial lighting costs. But if you need to supplement natural light with artificial (which you most likely will), you can use eco-friendly LED bulbs. These last much longer and use less energy.
#4 Provide a pantry or common areas
When work piles up or there are stressful deadlines, team members could benefit from a breather. It’s similar to the way teachers make kids get up and stretch or take water breaks if they feel the students are getting tired or overwhelmed. It’s always great to take a walk and get some fresh air;
Some team members may just want to get away from their desk and eat a snack. Put a microwave oven, coffee maker and a fridge in a common space. This is especially convenient if the workspace do not have stores nearby. Moreover, you can utilize vending machines as well.
While some have food to relieve them, others just need some alone time to comfortably lounge for a bit or even take a quick nap. Management often views napping in the workplace as a deterrent to productivity. Nothing can beat the energy boost that your employees can get from a mere 15 minute cat nap.
Provide a nice, quiet space for this to occur, just be firm about when use of the space is acceptable.
#5 Allow for flexible work schedules
Most companies have a fixed work schedule from 8am to 5pm. But with the various incidences that arise in life, this schedule doesn’t always work for everyone. What can we suggest is to consider discussing flexible work schedules within your small business. You can either establish this as a monthly scheduling procedure or you can take it case-by-case and give some leeway where you feel it is most necessary.
As long as management makes sure that every staff member fulfills the required number of hours per day, there should not be too much of an issue with allowing people to adjust their schedule, when necessary. For example, if an employee knows that have something going on in the afternoon, they could come in by 7am and finish by 3 or 4pm. That would still yield 7 to 8 hours of work. Stakeholders still get what they pay for and the staff members are not inconvenienced by their job.
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Your team is the most important aspect of your small business, even more so than the products you sell. If you can keep them happy, you will naturally have better customer service and productivity in the workplace.
Even with all the tips we have shared here, the best way to know what your team needs is to encourage them to communicate any issues, concerns, or ideas with you. By doing this you will increase company morale and develop a better workflow.
Take some time to deal with the environment in your business today to help create a strong company culture.
First posted on Tuxedo Impressions.
Clarice Lao | Camping for WomenApril 10, 2018 at 7:46 AM
Thank you for these wonderful tips. Since I work for a small business, I would definitely suggest these. We’re slowly growing and hiring more people — so, we’re really looking forward to create a healthy workplace environment for our employees.
Maria RedillasApril 12, 2018 at 12:28 AM
I do hope I could join your team once you’re hiring! Haha! Good luck and thank you!
Milton CoyneApril 10, 2018 at 12:57 PM
I agree! It is very important to establish a relaxing working environment not only it sets the mood right but it also helps employees to become more productive on their work. It is a great way to balance everything that despite the stressing workloads they have, the tension will be lessened if the workplace has a relaxing and better yet a homey-like environment.
I also wish all company will have that kind of scheduling system. Unfortunately most companies are very strict to such matter but for those who apply such rules.. I really salute them
It’s true that none of these tips are effective if there is no proper communication between the bosses and the employees. There should be a healthy relationship between the two and both of them should be open for discussions to improve their workplace
MaryaApril 10, 2018 at 9:23 PM
I gotta agree with this, in fact I believe that small business has a great potential to create a healthy working environment in this time of the year where almost everyone has to deal with mental health issue problems because of the job. You can always count on the tangible things at the office to make it, but then we have to admit that the psychological value also plays a big role when it comes to the business management. 🙂
Mommy QueenelizabethApril 11, 2018 at 12:03 PM
I agree with all these points. Productivity is greatly affected too by the working environment. I would prefer relaxing ambiance and a spacious room or table. It allows me to move freely. Coz i easily get irritated with cramped spaces, hahaha.
Teresa DumadagApril 11, 2018 at 1:29 PM
I love your tips. What I liked the most is having flexible work hours. This really helps a lot since not everyone will report to work at the same time. You don’t need to purchase one table and chair for each one. I also agree that good lighting is essential. It’s so hard to work in a dimly-lit place.
IndraniApril 11, 2018 at 3:19 PM
I agree working environment has lot of effect on productivity of employees. Factors like furniture, lighting, decor all are important.
Many companies spend little on these and try to save money. But in the long run these decisions harm by bringing down productivity.
Me-An ClementeApril 12, 2018 at 3:03 PM
These are great tips for small business owners. When the environment is conducive to work, employees are more effective. So owners shouldn’t skimp on furniture, decor, and lighting. Meanwhile, if there isn’t enough space, I don’t think there is any need for cubicles anymore.
Me-An ClementeApril 12, 2018 at 3:08 PM
Just to add to my response, I really love the flexible work hours tip. There is heavy traffic here in Manila so employees won’t feel haggard and stressed with the commute if they can avoid the rush hour. So long as they’re doing their job and achieving what is expected of them.
BerlinApril 12, 2018 at 4:17 PM
Agree with the suggestions. More than the comfortable appliance, space is equally important, too. I like the inclusion of pantry. Having one promotes camaraderie in the workplace instead of just staying in his cube to work, eat or nap.
LaiAriel SamangkaApril 12, 2018 at 9:13 PM
I think having a good space for a work environment and owning a comfortable furniture and brand appropriate decor would be really a great tips. Personally, working in an environment with a very limited space would add stress on me everyday. This is actually very helpful as i have on going research for the company I’m connected with, which has something to do with this post of yours. I love that you have elucidated it very well in a concise way. Thank you so much for sharing this with us
JohnaApril 13, 2018 at 8:49 PM
Yesss, definitely agree with all of this. I find that I work best when I’m in an environment that’s peaceful and well lit – and not messy! Hehe. And also food breaks are a biggie for me as well. Makes me more productive!
MumwritesApril 17, 2018 at 12:27 AM
Love all these tips. Big or small, a workplace should be a space of comfort, something conducive to productive and creative pursuits, and yes, teeming with comfy furniture for hardworking employees. Thumbs up to sufficient working space and an all-natural lighting system, too! These would go a long way in employee satisfaction that would, in turn, result to more awesome work!