A fun, creative work environment packed with in-office perks is a great way to attract and retain the best employees. Just look at the Google campus. Lovingly called the Googleplex, it boasts an open design, free bicycles and free breakfast, lunch and dinner from any of the on-campus kitchens. Even if you do not have the multi-billion dollar budget of Google, your business can adopt business culture systems that will keep your employees happy and engaged.
The Open-Closed Balance
There are many benefits of an open-office design, but it comes at a cost. The open plan promotes creativity and overall workplace satisfaction, but loses privacy and some productivity. To get the best of both worlds, blend both designs so that part of the office is open, but offers numerous meeting spaces and areas for private meetings and quiet work. The dotcoms of the 80s had a big workspace with one or two private offices, while today’s workspace tends to default to individual offices surrounding a common work area. How you do this will depend on the nature of your business, the overall corporate culture and your office space.
Benefits of Nature
Sunlight and foliage are highly beneficial to worker’s happiness — natural elements in an office can buffer against depression, anxiety and workplace stress. If possible, open the blinds in the office to let in as much natural light as you can, this may entail rearranging desks to move employees out of direct sunlight. Bring in plants to help to reduce work stress — a bouquet of cut flowers or potted plants will set the illusion of the outdoors coming indoors. In this case, the impression of nature will have the same effect as actually being outside.
A Place That Is Better Than Home
Most people who look at the Googleplex think they would live there if they could. As a small business owner, you know your employees are going to work to the limits of your company, many spending more time in the office than at home. Keep employees happy at the office by creating an environment that is accommodating. On top of that, give memberships to a local gym so your they can get some exercise and reduce stress. Offer dinner when possible as acknowledgement for the time they are spending with you and not at home.
A Green Certificate
Employees of environmentally friendly organizations tend to be more engaged in the company and have higher workplace satisfaction. If you do not already have a sustainability plan that incorporates your business practices, you should make one. Once you have it, make it part of your corporate culture and train every employee on it.
Happiness Breeds Happiness
Employees are your greatest asset. If you want to have a fun, creative workplace then you need to hire and retain fun, creative people. If you’re not sure where to start, send out an in-house survey to garner anonymous feedback. If financially possible, make changes based on your employees’ responses. Continue to collect and respond feedback every year so employees feel valued.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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