It still astounds me when I walk into workplace/office and they are still grey boxes!! And on one such occasion it got me thinking, why don’t we make our workplace feel more like home. We like spending time at home, right? So surely if our workplace felt more homely we might be more likely to want to spend time there too?!
The BBC News Magazine (Online) published an article last Dec (2013) about unusual things found in some of the cool offices in the UK, the list included – A slide, picnic benches and a blackboard wall. These things shouldn’t be unusual, what should be unusual are plain grey walls, grey desks & un-inspiring workplaces.
I think in business we under estimate the effect the environment has on our workforce & their performance. This is one sector on The Wheel of Wellbeing, Culture & Performance and something I can help you with!!
If our workplaces were based more on homes, would we mind working late on occasions when needed or feel proud to show visitors around our workplace?!
So thinking about the home idea – here’s how it can translate
Entrance Hall – Reception area, how can we make this feel more inviting rather than very clinical which most are…
Kitchen – Kitchen, communal area where perhaps employees can cook together at lunch time or even cook for other colleagues, food is a great way to bring people together
Dining Room – A communal area for team members to eat together!! Lets get out of the culture of sitting at our desks at lunch time and actually interact with others in the office away from our desks.
Living Room – A area for staff to kick back & relax – We can’t be 100% productive 100% of the time so sometimes we just need to get away from our desks!`
Play Room – Doesn’t have to be a room, but I believe an area in any work environment should be dedicated to play – we are at our most creative when we play & may help some employees express their ideas better.
I don’t know about you but I had friends who had a formal “front room” which was out of bounds except on high days & holidays – This can act as a conference area, where entertaining can take place, presentations can be given & a place for meetings
Ok, I won’t go as far as bedrooms and bathrooms but why not have rooms which can be used for relaxation & rest?
Some of these ideas might be beyond what you can do in your office, but there are many things you could do on a budget that would make your workplace a much nicer place to be?
A few ideas:
- Paint the walls, bright colours – Yellow is associated with sunshine & energy, Purple with creativity
- Hang bright pictures on the wall or create a picture wall
- Use wall stickers to create images on walls, these could be inspiring motivational quote or simply images…. I love going into Epix Media’s Office (www.Epixmedia.co,uk) and seeing their life size game of tetris on one wall
- Have a blackboard/magnet wall for staff/visitors to write messages on
- Have all the staff put a coloured handprints on a wall, I made this happen when I worked for a large food company & we moved into a new building, it was a great way for the staff to feel like they owned the building & therefore looked after it.
- Have plants or flowers around the office
- Use daylight bulbs
- Create a play area – Just a small corner with some beanbags & cushions
There are plenty more ideas but we’d be here all day if I carried on, I task you with doing one thing to your workplace that will make it a nicer place to be, what will you do?