Working in an office can be fun, but in most cases it is anything but. You have your boss breathing down your neck, annoying co-workers to contend with, and long days that drag, especially at the end of the week or when the weather outside is exceptional.
On the other hand there’s a definite need for efficiency in any workplace, and especially offices, where people are competing for space and equipment. With this in mind, perhaps it’s time for you and your company to reinvent the office in order to make it more fun and efficient.
What follows are seven simple ways to reinvent the office. Taken as a whole they should boost morale, improve efficiency, and make your company one that more people want to work for. Paying employees more money is notable by its absence, as it turns out money isn’t always the answer.
Buy Some Hoverboards
Hoverboards have got a bad press of late, what with some of them catching fire as they’re being ridden. Still, one day we’ll surely all be riding real hoverboards like the type Marty McFly rode on in Back to the Future II. Until then we will have to make do with these potential death traps because, well, they’re fun.
They’re so fun, in fact, that buying some could be the perfect way to reinvent the office. Hoverboards suggest a playful company that’s on the move. And in a literal sense they will help employees travel around the office, moving from one area to the next. You’ll just have to hope no one breaks a hip falling off one.
Provide Free Snacks
Most offices have some kind of vending machine packed full of snacks. Some even have staff canteens where a selection of foodstuffs is
thrown in the microwave oven lovingly crafted from scratch. The problem is expecting staff to pay for these tasty morsels with their meager pay.
Providing free snacks is surely one of the simplest and most effective ways of boosting morale. Sure, it might also boost waistlines, unless there are healthy snacks on offer as well, but just knowing a company cares enough to provide sustenance for the staff will keep employees loyal and laboring.
Be Generous With Breaks
No matter how much workers enjoy their jobs — and you have to hope they do enjoy their jobs to a certain degree — every single one of them looks forward to their next break. Unfortunately, many businesses are far too stingy when it comes to breaks, and that could actually be counter-productive.
Having even a short break from work allows employees to recharge their batteries. They can also get a caffeine hit, satisfy their growling tummy, or simply collect their thoughts for a few minutes. Allowing employees to take breaks as and when they need them will boost productivity, prevent burnout, and improve morale on a massive scale.
Provide Exercise Equipment
While many of your colleagues will choose to spend their breaks eating, drinking, or relaxing, others would prefer to stay active, making exercise equipment an invaluable addition to any office. Gym memberships are an alternative option, but most companies will balk at the price of such a perk. In the long term it’s more affordable to install some basic equipment in a designated room.
This exercise equipment doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or expensive, as long as it gives those employees who get their kicks from putting their bodies through their paces an opportunity to stretch their muscles. The benefits of regular exercise are manifold, with it keeping the workforce fit, healthy, happy, and productive. And then some.
Install Ergonomic Furniture
The health and wellbeing of employees should arguably be the number one priority for every business, even ahead of profitability. Without healthy and happy staff members willing to give their all for the company, that company is going to struggle to grow as fast or as far as it could. With that in mind, bosses shouldn’t scrimp and save when it comes to providing the workforce with the proper equipment needed to do their jobs.
In practical terms this means installing ergonomic furniture designed to work with, rather than against, the bodies of those you employ. Ergonomic desks, chairs, computers, keyboards, and mice can all work together to ensure employees can work safely and comfortably. This will inevitably result in fewer staff taking time off because of bad backs, wrist problems, and general aches and pains. That initial outlay of cash could pay dividends over many years to come.
Improve the Layout
You probably haven’t ever paid much attention to the layout of the office you work in, whether you’re in a position of authority or a prole tapping endlessly away at a keyboard. But this is a mistake. The layout of an office can have a profound effect on the way people work, with a well-laid out office boosting productivity levels, social interactions, and the general mood of the workforce.
Not all office layouts are created equal, and your final choice should reflect your company and the business you’re in. Open offices encourage collaboration and cooperation, but creatives may need an enclosed space away from unnecessary distractions to produce their best work. Getting the layout right is an essential ingredient in any concerted effort to reinvent the office.
Buy a New High Speed Printer
Last but not least in our list of ways to reinvent the office is buying a new business printer, specifically the HP PageWide Pro 577. This printer, which is primarily aimed at businesses, features a stationary printhead that spans the entire width of a page. Hence the name. This allows it to print faster, and at a higher quality, than regular inkjet printers.
Buying a faster, better printer could transform your office, leaving employees more time to actually work rather than standing around waiting for important documents to print. HP wants to reinvent the office, and investing in one of the company’s printers would be a good start to achieving that goal.
We have already reviewed the HP PageWide Pro 577, and were impressed with what we saw.
How Would You Reinvent the Office?
So, there you have it, seven simple ways to reinvent the office. However, there are many more options available to companies such as yours, so if you were in charge, what changes would you make in order to reinvent the office?
Would you focus on fun things in order to boost morale and hope that increased productivity would naturally follow? Or would you focus on changing the work environment in terms of the layout, furniture, and equipment to help your employees in a more practical sense?
Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Credits: Modern Office by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock, Neil Lall via Flickr, Salim Fadhley via Flickr, Elliott Brown via Flickr, Samantha Celera via Flickr, VLCineaste via Flickr, Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr