Office culture isn’t just created by your staff, it also has a lot to do with the design of the work space. And in the home care industry, where your caregivers and employees experience such a wide range of emotions in working with your clients, making sure the environment is warm and inviting can make a big impact. Everything from the décor to the lighting of an office can have major effects on the morale of the employees and their productivity. While companies like Google and Facebook invest huge sums into creating modern workspaces, there are simple ways to improve an office ambience without big spending. Studies show that making small changes in these areas can improve the atmosphere and productivity of an office without breaking the bank.
Plants quite literally add life to your office space. Apart from adding color and helping to clean the air, plants can also increase productivity. According to a study by Washington State University, employees who completed tasks in a room with plants were 12% more productive than employees who worked without plants. This may have to do with the stress-reducing powers of plants, which have been shown to relax employees and help them quickly recover from stress.
While many of your caregivers may only come into the office on rare occasion, your office staff is there every day. The characteristic fluorescent lights in your office may kill their productivity. According to a Swiss study, employees who get natural light during the day are shown to be more alert, whereas those who don’t are shown to be sleepier and less focused during the day. If you’re selecting an office space, look for one with lots of windows and natural light. Bright overhead lights can create glare on computers and other surfaces, which will strain your eyes and dull your energy. Try adding lamps into these spaces, creating a warmer light and homier feel. Whenever possible, keep the windows open and the lights off or use task lamps that shine light directly where you need it, which will provide softer overall light and save energy.
Outdoor sitting space
Activity, sunlight, and fresh air all help to stimulate the body and mind. They make people happier and healthier. If you’re designing your own office space, incorporate outdoor areas. Place picnic tables outside or benches to allow staff to get out and walk and enjoy fresh air. They’ll be more alert and energized afterward. If this isn’t an option, encourage staff to take short walks throughout the day to stretch their legs and improve blood flow.
When employees get cold their productivity is stunted. When you’re cold, your thoughts and energy are diverted to keeping your body warm, which distracts you from your work on top of being uncomfortable. According to a study by Cornell, when temperatures were low (around 68° F, 20° C) employees made 44% more mistakes than at an optimal room temperature (77° F, 25° C). Moderating your office temperature can help employees stay comfortable and efficient.
Your office staff and caregivers respond to the environment that surrounds them; whether that’s warm and inviting or cold and dull, they will act in turn. Though it may seem simple, changing the energy of your office to be more positive and productive can be as easy as changing the lights.