There is a large culture of nomad workers or hybrid teams in the workplace currently, with many workers still preferring work-from-home solutions. In contrast, companies have started requesting workers return to the office for a more productive workday.
Whatever the reason for team members to go to the office, companies have realized that they may need more to draw their staff back in, especially when it is an open office. This is perhaps because people got used to working more isolated with all of their comforts surrounding them, so moving back to the open office with all the other team members sounds less appealing to them.
Companies wanting their workers happy and healthy at work in the office will have to up their game to provide a more enjoyable experience instead of focusing on the corporate side of the business. The current workforce will place anything that can give them the comforts they used to on top of their lists. Some of what makes an open office appealing to them are listed here:
1. Add Some Nature Elements To The Space
Although an outside area would be ideal for team members to get some sun and fresh air, this may not always be possible. So, some companies opt to bring the outside in by adding more natural elements to the space.
Adding more indoor plants, water features, or elements like artificial grass from AGL grass or a similar provider could dampen some of the stress for employees and create a more relaxed environment.
2. Provide Opportunities To Socialize
This tip could sound counterproductive to some, but most team members function at a steadier pace when they are allowed to get up and take a break when they need one. Talking to other employees could be the perfect distraction their brains need for a few minutes before returning to business again.
Humans are social and thrive on interaction with others around them. But even though it can be a healthy outlet for stress, management should still monitor the exchanges. Team members that loiter and constantly distract co-workers can bring down the productivity rate of everyone in the open office space.
3. Incorporate Visually Stimulating Elements
Offices that take their time in updating their look and ambiance as time goes on can help ensure that the space remains stimulating and visually appealing to team members. With this, consider moving out all outdated furniture or features and replacing them with more modern versions.
Furniture with rounded edges, sleek lines, and an ergonomic design can make team members feel more comfortable in the office space and thus more productive. When the team members know that their area is visually pleasing, they tend to want to spend more time there and, in some cases, feel more inspired.
Luxury office chairs are typically built with materials that withstand regular use and maintain their structural integrity over time. Investing in such high-quality seating can lead to tons of savings in the long run, as you won’t need to replace them as frequently. You can find these and more at top-of-the-line retailers like Freedman’s Office Furniture.
On top of updating the furniture, adding colors and artwork could also help. While they should be aesthetically pleasing, they shouldn’t be distracting. Bright, bold colors can be stimulating, but too much thereof could be counterintuitive.
4. Minimize Noises In And Around The Space
Open offices are known for their noisy environment, but companies have now started to incorporate ingenious ideas to minimize the noise for all their teams. Some have set a dedicated quiet time whereby everyone in the office works more quietly, while others implemented noise reduction techniques like installing plant walls.
Noise can be highly distracting when trying to focus, and some employees can’t be productive if the noise levels are too high. Considering this, offices that provide their team members with solutions appeal more to the workforce.
5. Allow Items That Promote Focus
Companies with a more corporate focus could have stringent rules regarding the office. Still, businesses that allow their workforce to have some comforts to help them focus on the task at hand tend to be more appealing to team members.
If someone needs headphones to keep them from being distracted, offices can consider allowing this if it is not too distracting to others. Or perhaps, some could work better with a standing desk or one with adjustable height. If the budget allows, management can opt to provide such features to their staff. But if not, there’s the option to allow and encourage team members to customize their work setups according to what works best for them.
Feel free to give them recommendations. For instance, you can show them catalogs for ergonomic chairs. These provide proper support for the back, neck, and arms. Help them look for picks with adjustable features like seat height, lumbar support, and armrests.
6. Creating Private Areas For Team Members
The workday has many projects and activities, with some needing more attention than others. For this reason, it could be a good idea to have a shared space that employees can use to work from if they need more privacy.
Employees who work with sensitive information will appreciate the private space and appeal to those who want some peace for a while. Knowing a dedicated area to go to when needed makes the office more appealing to many team members and may help encourage them to return to the office.
7. Add To The Ambiance Of The Office
Creating a visually pleasing work environment is one thing, but the workspace’s overall ambiance will leave employees seeking more time in the space. Soft music, candles, essential oil vaporizers, and other items can help create the perfect feel for the office.
It’s best to utilize a combination of natural light and well-placed artificial lighting. Flexible settings can create different moods and allow employees to customize their workspace.
Also, incorporate plants and greenery throughout the office. Plants add visual appeal, improve air quality, and create a sense of calmness. Low-maintenance shrubs make the best choices for this.
Some employees have noted that the more their office feels like home, the better they do their work. The added comforts can create an all-encompassing experience that works well with the visual representation of the workspace, which most find more appealing than dreary and dull offices.
8. Give Opportunities To Balance Work And Life
A healthy work-life balance is difficult for most team members, especially when they have high-demand jobs or are in an open office space. Although flexible hours aren’t something many companies are interested in granting their teams, they could help improve their staff’s productivity if they’re given opportunities to escape the open office for a while.
When the office space incorporates areas like a gym, employees can get their exercise sessions done during lunch instead of rushing before or after work to get everything done. If the space and budget permit, you can also create a lounge room where team members can relax during their break. The more balanced they feel, the more appealing going back to the office will be for them.
Incorporate shared calendars, task management tools, or scheduling systems that help employees manage their time effectively. By encouraging efficient work practices and prioritization, they can accomplish their tasks within regular working hours, reducing the need for excessive overtime and promoting a better work-life balance.
Of course, give employees the freedom to personalize their workstations within certain guidelines. It fosters a more comfortable and homely atmosphere, enhancing their sense of agency and value in the workspace.
Combining The Options
Open office spaces aren’t the first choice for every team member, but when companies make the areas more appealing by adding comfort items, they are more likely to change how they feel about them. Freedman’s Office Furniture offers a wide selection of stylish and comfortable office furnishings that can truly make a difference that change their mindsets and see the rise in their productivity by creating an engaging and modern environment for them to go to each day.