What Does Your Office Space Say About Your Business?

In today’s post, we’re going to be exploring the importance of office design and the ways in which it can aid the success of your business – offering our helpful tips on how to create the ultimate office space.

When it comes to running a successful business, there are numerous aspects to take into consideration – but, if you want to secure the future of your company, getting your office design right can make a real difference. From improved employee productivity and motivation, to accurately reflecting your brand and attracting top talent, it’s important to consider what your office space really says about your business.

In today’s post, we’re going to be exploring the importance of office design and the ways in which it can aid the success of your business – offering our helpful tips on how to create the ultimate office space.

Make a good impression

Unsurprisingly, drab and uninspiring office interiors have the potential to negatively impact on your brand image. On the other hand, ensuring your workspace is well-designed and effectively portrays your values as a business will guarantee you make a good impression – whether that’s with staff or clients.

Whether you’re looking to boost productivity among existing staff, attract new team members or get the sign off on a big new contract, giving your office interiors an update will demonstrate that you care about your business. From installing colored floor tiles influenced by your brand colors, to adding a fresh and modern look with neutral tones and indoor plants, bringing your brand’s personality to life in your office space will impress anyone who walks through the door.

Offer flexible workspaces

Image source: Pexels

Open-plan office design has become a mainstay in modern workplaces, born from the idea of creating more collaborative, more communicative working environments that stimulate productivity. However, it’s important to recognize that not all tasks or staff members are suited to open-office environments – so, incorporating a range of workspaces that cater for varying needs within your workforce is advisable. From hot-desks and stand-up workstations to quiet break-out areas and versatile meeting rooms, flexible working environments will enable staff to be as productive and focused as possible.

Having an element of flexibility embedded in your office design and company culture can also be a big attraction for potential employees – showing you have an eye on staff happiness and that wellbeing is at the core of your organization.

Focus on functional design

While a modern office space needs to be welcoming and inspirational, it also needs to be functional – so effectively utilizing the space is key.

Take the time to consider what works best for your business to maintain smooth day-to-day operations and maximize staff productivity – be it an open-plan hot-desk policy or a mixture of quiet areas, meeting rooms and open-office space. Whatever layout you choose, avoid overcrowding the office with too much furniture, which can make areas feel cramped and stifling.

It’s also worth making use of color in your design, as well as natural light. Neutral tones can emulate the illusion of space, especially when teamed with natural light, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. And, with studies showing a link between exposure to natural light and improved productivity and health, it’s a design factor not to be overlooked.

What’s clear is that office design is moving away from sterile and utilitarian spaces, and heading towards inclusive and engaging design that reflects brand values. With this in mind, it’s vital for businesses looking for long-term success to adopt a well-designed workplace – gaining the buy-in from both employees and clients along the way.

 

5 Small Employee Perks that Make a Big Difference to Retention

In this post we’ll be looking at how small but meaningful perks can also have a positive long-term impact on employee retention.

As one of the most valuable assets in business, and indeed the lifeblood of every company, it’s vital for companies to ensure they recruit and retain the right people – which is why it’s no surprise that 32% of talent leaders are citing employee retention as a top priority.

However, holding onto top talent can be difficult, and many business owners mistakenly believe that expensive perks are the only way to guarantee the loyalty of their team. But in this article, we’ll be looking at how small but meaningful perks can also have a positive long-term impact on employee retention.

1. Upgrade office amenities

While a complete office makeover may be just what your organization needs, it isn’t always a feasible option – particularly for small businesses. There are, however, a number of minor office upgrades you can make that will have a welcome positive impact.

From trading instant coffee for quality Nespresso capsules and upgrading the soap dispensers in the bathroom to adding a fresh coat of paint or some vibrant office greenery, these subtle changes will all work towards creating a more pleasant working environment that people want to spend time in.

2. Factor in flexitime

Offering employees the opportunity to work their work schedule around their personal commitments is a great way to promote a healthy work-life balance. Whether you introduce flexible working hours or a remote working program, with a workplace culture that’s built around trust and understanding, you’ll enjoy numerous business benefits.

For instance, one company reported improved productivity, increased trust and reduced stress levels from workers after adopting a remote working policy. These factors can all play a vital role in retaining staff and keeping them engaged, as a happier workforce is more likely to stay with a company for the long haul.

3. Focus on personal development

While salary is an attractive factor for many employees, studies also suggest that growth opportunities are a key contributor to job satisfaction. With this in mind, demonstrating that you value worker input and development is imperative to attracting and retaining staff. One way to do this is through implementing weekly personal development or training sessions across your organization to improve retention levels.

Be dedicating valuable time and effort to advancing staff skill sets and careers, or even allowing them to focus on a personal interest, you’re likely to see better engagement and productivity levels. It can also provide the opportunity to mould a loyal workforce that’s specifically skilled in line with the demands of your business.

4. Wow with wellness perks

Image source: Unsplash

If you’re looking to offer more as an employer, why not consider introducing wellness perks for staff? While they aren’t necessarily new, they are becoming increasingly common and more diverse, as companies seek to promote positive wellbeing in the workplace.

From free gym membership and subsidized healthy lunches to half an hour’s exercise time a day, creating a healthy workplace culture by providing wellness perks can be a highly persuasive prospect for employees.

5. Champion individuality

If you’re looking to boost both team morale and overall happiness and satisfaction at work, champion individuality in the office by embracing what makes each of your employees unique and giving them the chance to adapt the way they work to reflect this. Understandably, there has to be a certain degree of professionalism within the workplace, but there’s ample opportunity for employees to express their personality in ways that can actually improve their performance at work.

From instituting a casual dress code to offering staff the freedom to personalize workstations or communal areas, recognizing your workers as individuals and allowing them to be themselves at work can have a powerful effect on long-term loyalty.

When it comes to improving staff retention, it’s clear that sometimes it’s the little details that can make all the difference – and with these 5 small perks, you should have the tools to incentivise talented team members to stick with you in the long-term.

 

 

The Home Office of the Future: “Smart” Tech Tools for More Productive Work Day

If you work from home, you know the snags of productivity lapse. Here are a few quick smart tech tools to help make sure you’re operating at full capacity.

There’s nothing quite as productive as being “in the zone.” If you work from home, though, you know how difficult it is to find the zone (and stay there). Corporate offices can be busy, but home-based offices and workspaces offer a unique set of challenges and distractions. The good news is that today’s technology can make it a lot easier to turn that extra room or office nook into a fortress of accomplishment. Here’s how.

Get Digitally Organized

First things first: You need to get organized. Although many of us spend days outfitting our offices with the right furniture and tools of the trade, that effort often only serves as window dressing to a digital life that’s an absolute mess. Digitizing your notes and investing in a solid file storage service can make all the difference when you’re trying to gather your thoughts to meet a critical deadline. Note-taking apps likeEvernote and OneNote are lifesavers, and digital file storage services including Dropbox and Google Drive are indispensable for staying in sync across a variety of devices.

Shed a Little Light

It’s easy to flip on a ceiling light and struggle through its harsh glow, but a few strategically placed lamps, along with some smart bulbs, can turn even a boring room into an island of inspiration. Studies have shown that different color temperatures in lighting can have powerful effects on mood and focus.Today’s smart bulbs such as the Philips Hue and Sengled LED bulbs allow you to use an app to quickly dim or turn off the light without getting up from your seat. Their always-on internet connection can even turn the lightbulbs into a non-intrusive notification system: Pair your smart lights with a service such as Stringify or IFTTT, and a graceful flash or pulse of color can notify you of a new message or an important deadline, keeping you informed even when your phone isn’t nearby.

Get into the Groove

Lights can go a long way to getting your head in the right space, but nothing can help you focus quite like the right ambient sound—or the lack thereof, depending upon your preferences. Noise-cancellingBluetooth headphones are an excellent option to consider if you need quiet while you work. But if music is your muse, no home office is complete without a great sound system to get the blood flowing.

Wireless home audio systems from companies like Sonos and Klipsch are a fantastic choice, with many offering connections from your turntable or even your cable box. When you rattle the walls with a few great tunes, you never know what ideas might shake loose on a typical Tuesday afternoon.

Secure Your Space

One of the best benefits of these tech add-ons is that you can control them while you’re away from your office. Smart home hubs allow you to turn off the lights or lock the door after you’ve left in a hurry or forgot to do it. They can also be connected to a security system so you can keep an eye on your workspace when you’re not there. From adding wireless sensors to the windows to placing a Wi-Fi camera in the corner (inside and outside), it’s wise to set up a ring of security around your home office
just as you would in other areas of your home.A weekend project and a small investment can go a long way to turning a vanilla workspace into a productivity powerhouse. The next time you’re at the gadget store or talking with your internet service provider, ask to see the latest connected home products and dream up a plan to upgrade your home office and make it smart. It’s one more step toward leaving the competition in the dust.

Eric Murrell is a software developer and technology contributor to XFINITY Home He enjoys sharing tips on how people can benefit from incorporating smart home automation and security in their homes on his blog At Home in the Future.