It’s been said that the most successful companies are the ones with the happiest employees. Why? It’s simple; employees who are happy are more productive, motivated, and creative. They will often go above and beyond to complete a task, not because they have to, but because they want to. In fact, employees working for a company with a good office culture are 48.4 percent more likely to stay with the company than companies with a poor office culture. On the other hand, unhappy employees who do not enjoy coming to work cost U.S. businesses $300 billion per year in on-the-job mistakes, days off, and sick time.
A happy workplace is not something that happens by accident. There are many physical and intangible changes that make a workplace more harmonious. Here are 5 things you can do to create a better office environment.
Employees are more likely to stay at a job where they feel appreciated and listened to. When employees feel out of the loop or like they are merely just a worker, conflict often surfaces. A great way to solve this problem is by ensuring transparency between workers and managers. Let your employees know that you are always available for comments, questions, and concerns. “Open door” should be taken literally, as keeping the door open encourages friendly communication.
In many cases, an open office layout is a necessity, but you should also consider providing a few quiet areas where employees can retreat if need be to concentrate on a difficult task or project. This will not only cut down on stress and interruptions, but it also improves mood and productivity. Another thing to consider is providing nap rooms. Studies show that to boost energy for employees who regularly work long hours, engage in intensive work, or travel out of town for business, a 20 or 30-minute power nap is better than drinking a cup of coffee.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18-64 get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, the National Health Interview Survey revealed that 30 percent of American adults only get around six hours of sleep each night. Creativity, reaction times, focus, motivation, information processing and retention can all be negatively impacted by a lack of sleep. In order to promote wellness in their offices, companies such as Aetna are offering employees up to $300 a year if they get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
There are many other ways to promote better sleep habits other than monetary incentives, including educating your employees on the benefits of sleep, handing out informative brochures, and even looking into sleep companies for employee discounts. In order to get a good night’s sleep, having the proper sleep essentials is a must! Remind your employees to regularly wash their pillows and check for rips, tears, and lumps in their mattresses. Foam-layer mattresses are great for comfort, support, and temperature control.
Numerous studies have consistently revealed that workers believe meetings are the biggest productivity killer. It’s been reported that the average employee goes to 61.8 meetings per month. Of those 61.8 meetings, 63 percent of them do not have an agenda and 73 percent of employees are doing other work during the meetings. If possible, try to communicate through email or even a centralized whiteboard or any other methods that will not pull employees away from projects.
The traditional nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday work week isn’t necessarily the most productive or beneficial schedule for everyone. In fact, the 8-hour workday only became popular in 1914 when Henry Ford decided to cut his employees’ schedules from 14 hours per day to 8 hours per day. A lot has changed since then, and some people simply are more productive later in the afternoon and would thus benefit from a later start time. Other employees may have family commitments, and working longer hours over fewer days may work best for them. If possible, try to let your employees set their own schedules. This will inspire them to work smarter and waste less time.
No two businesses are the same, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to creating workplace harmony. But by creating a positive office environment, you can help your employees be happy which allow your business to see longer retention, greater commitment, and increased productivity.