Eight Ways You Can Make Your Office A Happier Place

September 18, 2019 12:22 pm

If you’re the boss or the manager of the office that you work in, you have probably thought a lot about ways that you can improve morale and increase the overall happiness of the people you are working with. Thankfully, your solutions don’t have to be complicated or expensive – you just need to think carefully about the needs of the people around you, and then you’ll be set. Here are some tips that might just help you out.

Improve Your Communication Skills

First, you should consider ways that you can improve your own communication skills. It can be easy to assume that after a few years in the business, you don’t need to improve much about the way that you interact with other people but the truth is that, as boss, you lead by example, and as such you should do your best to improve the way that you communicate with others so that they in turn figure out how to talk to fellow employees in a more productive way. Make it clear that you have an open door policy and that you’re open to questions at any time. You should think about the way that you present yourself when you’re talking to people – you may think that it’s all about the words that you say but the truth is that facial expressions and body language also mean a great deal as well. Make sure that your body language is open and expressive – use your hands to gesticulate when you speak, so that you can emphasise certain points and help people to focus on what you’re saying. You should also make sure that you make eye contact with people when they’re speaking to you – it may seem awkward, but it’s an easy way of showing respect to your colleagues.

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Provide Additional Training

It’s vitally important that you give people the opportunity to progress at work. We’ve all had the kind of job where we felt that there was no space to improve and to get better, and if that happens in your office, chances are you’ll lose some really great employees to other companies that are more willing to push them and give them opportunities. Talk to the people you work with to find out what their goals are, and how you can help them achieve them. It’s a great idea to sign them up to training courses that will help them to develop their skills. Not only will this make them happy, but they’ll also be able to bring these skills back to your office to share them with everybody else. You’ll be able to entrust more and more tasks to your most skilled workers, meaning that you’ll feel happier when you take holiday and sick days, knowing that the office will be well looked after in your absence.

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Schedule Fun Activities

A great way to improve office camaraderie is to spend a little time together – and as a boss, it’s down to you to organise it. Nobody’s saying you have to have regular days out at local paintball centres, but a regular pizza lunch together or a night at the local pub with your card behind the bar are great ways for people to get to know each other and to get along more easily. Having fun together out of work translates well to the office.

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Improve The Security

When it comes to your office building, of course you want it to be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. But before you consider those aspects of it, first consider the safety of the people that you work with. If you can, it may be a good idea to hire security guards for the front entrance – they can make sure that everybody who comes into the building is supposed to be there, alongside handling any security issues that you might have. If that is too much of a financial investment, you could go with swipe cards that unlock the office doors instead, along with any inner doors that there might be. Photo cards are also a great idea – they indicate who’s supposed to be in the building, and guests can be issued with passes. Finally, remember that you want everybody to feel safe when they’re coming into the building in the mornings and leaving it in the evenings. We are moving towards winter, when it gets dark earlier and sunrise is later, meaning that people may be arriving at or leaving work in the dark. Adding a security light outside the office alongside a security camera may help people feel safe and happy when they’re coming to work. 

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Cut Down On Meetings

A huge amount of time is wasted on meetings every day at work. If you work at a small company, chances are you have company-wide meetings every so often – some small companies even have them every day. Next time you have a meeting, take a look round at everybody who’s there, and ask yourself if they really need to attend, or if their time would be put to better use working at their desks. Having a meeting with department heads might be more efficient as they can feed information back to their teams if and when it’s necessary. It’s a good idea to make sure that you keep to a meeting agenda so that you don’t go off track – and finally, have you ever tried standing up during meetings? They tend to be more effective, to get to the point more quickly, and to be over faster as well. 

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Make The Space More Comfortable

The human body really isn’t designed to sit behind a computer screen for eight hours a day, and if that’s what your job entails, you’re probably feeling a little sore and uncomfortable by the time you get home. It’s important to make sure that your staff feels as physically comfortable as possible in the office – provide ergonomic chairs that can be adjusted along with cushions and footrests as requested. You should make sure that there is as much natural light in the office as possible, as overhead lighting can give people headaches (and provide eye tests for anyone who spends a lot of time working at a computer). Finally, fresh air is important, but make sure you close the windows if it’s cold outside! You should also make sure that the office is aesthetically pleasing. Keep it clear and uncluttered – clutter on the floor can also lead to injuries and accidents – and make sure that the office ethos is to keep the shared space clean and tidy. Add plants for decoration and allow employees to decorate their desks how they want to – most of us spend more time at the office than enjoying our own homes so it’s great if it looks good!

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Set Reachable Targets

In the workplace, it’s often a great idea to set targets for your staff, whether that means encouraging your sales employees to reach a certain figure each month or asking your editorial staff to contribute a certain amount of ideas. Whatever your company does, chances are, you have thought of targets that you expect your staff to reach. Targets can be a great idea – they’re motivating and they give people something to work towards, which means that they’re eager to get down to work and they might just spend less time slacking off too. But it’s important to remember that the targets you set need to be reachable – there isn’t any point in setting a target that your team has absolutely no chance whatsoever of smashing, or they’ll start to feel irritable and disheartened. Make sure that the target is a challenge but absolutely doable – and then once they reach it, make sure you celebrate.

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Be Flexible

Most of us are delighted to no longer be in school – nobody likes being bossed around all the time and infantilised when we know that we’re capable of great things. The most frustrating thing about school for many people is that your schedule is controlled and out of your reach. It’s important, then, to make sure that your staff is much happier in the workplace than they were at school, and the best way to do that is with a little flexibility. Working from home is a great way to save time, money and energy – it’s efficient, it enables people to get things done in a quiet environment without distractions from other employees, and it’s increasingly easier to communicate with people when you aren’t in the same room as them: you can use phones, email and virtual workplaces like Slack to check in with them. Likewise, don’t be too rigid about the precise hours that people work. If they’re in for around eight hours between eight am and six pm, and they get the work done, that’s good enough – trust them to make and keep to their own schedules while completing their tasks.

Making your office a happier place doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. These tips should ensure that coming to work is much more pleasant for everyone involved – even you!

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