December 10, 2019by businessheadquarters

Tips to setup the Perfect Office Environment

How to Create an environment for Office Productivity

The productivity of your staff members can be enhanced by insuring that your office environment is in balance with your company’s needs. A comfortable working environment can have a profound impact on an employee’s performance. Simply implementing a few innovative ideas into the workplace can be very effective when it comes to the happiness and efficiency of your staff.

Company culture

Company culture can contribute to employee efficiency, whether it’s casual Fridays, access to snacks, or other events. Good management and productivity are closely related. Productivity depends on motivation and motivation demands a good climate. Open communication and positive interaction among and between employees as well as the owner can greatly enrich productivity. Communication about the company’s goals and values will enable staff members to understand the established culture and contribute to its enhancement, regardless of their position.

Break areas

Collective areas that consist of coffee tables, soft furnishings and a breakfast bar can be used for employees to take a break. These spaces are usually used for lunch breaks, chatting with colleagues and making personal phone calls. Additionally, holding informal meetings in such an area is a great idea because the relaxed environment helps employees generate ideas and strengthen teamwork relationships.

Flexible workspace concepts

Thanks to the popularity of paperless offices, spaces are no longer filled with books and files. This provides additional space that can be utilized for innovative furniture, which is ideal for employee engagement. Sofa seating areas and work hubs are becoming popular lately. However, ergonomics should be considered. Companies should give thought to the ergonomic design of their furniture including desk height, office chairs, or phone usage to meet the needs and work habits of employees.

Closed or open space?

There is an aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked – the actual working space. Because employees are not fans of huge open spaces, cubicle working areas and other fixed office space, one recommended solution is seating a small group of employees in an office or having employees grouped together in separated areas. Office designs that are flexible can be modified and adjusted later on as the company and staff evolve.

Surroundings

Modern offices have outgrown the standard corporate look that was covered in grey and brown with boring patterns and designs. Modern aesthetics include bright colors and windows that allow as much daylight as possible. Managing this in large office spaces can be a challenge but the flexibility will pay off in motivated workers.

Accessibility

Employees should have an easy access to printers, coffee machines, photocopies and other services. Having to track half way round the office just to make a copy of a file does not contribute to their efficiency. This also means maintaining an office space that meets accessible standards for employees who use mobility devices. 

Visuals and green decor

Being surrounded by inspiring and creative things such as a photo of a loved one or some other personal item will increase the chances of employees being more productive in the workplace. Plants are also a great way to lighten up surroundings. Although plastic plants are more practical in some ways, living plants have their own charm and purify the air.

Conclusion

Before implementing any of these tips, it is worth considering the type of work done in your office before making concrete plans. If holding one-on-one meetings is a crucial part of your job, then a single person office is perhaps the best fit for your needs. On the other hand, active teams will need a more flexible environment and access to areas that will enable them to collaborate. The bottom line is that making adjustments and considering the suggestions of employees is what makes any workspace work.

Modern office with white furniture

How to Make Your Office Safe for Your Employees

As a business owner it’s your responsibility to protect your employees at work. Today, many employees have encountered sexual harassment, profanity, intimidation, and coercion at work. Furthermore, companies have had problems with disgruntled employees. 

Therefore, you need to carefully plan for the safety of each person that works for you. Afterwards, determine the vulnerabilities of your business by asking yourself these questions.

  1. Do you have an appropriate security system in your building?
  2. Does your phone system have access controls?
  3. Do you have a safe room for your employees to go to?
  4. Do you have a security guard that monitors your building?
  5. Do your employees have a panic button or emergency button they push in case of a problem?
  6. Does your company have a sign-in policy?
  7. Do you offer safety training for your employees?
  8. Do the inside and outside of your building have sufficient lighting?

When considering your employees safety you need to take all precautionary measures to protect your employees inside and outside of your office building.

Hiring and Firing 

What are your company’s policies for hiring a new employee?

  1. Define strict guideline for your HR department to follow when hiring a new employee.
  2. Perform a background check on the person.
  3. Determine if the person has a history of violence.
  4. Check with the person previous employers.

This protects your company and your employees. You don’t want to hire a person if they have a tendency towards violence or other disruptive behaviors. 

What are your company’s policies for terminating an employee? 

  1. Define strict policies for your HR department that outlines the termination process.
  2. Let the person know they will be terminated if the problems aren’t corrected.
  3. Offer placement services for the person.
  4. Define a severance pay package for the person. 

This minimizes the change an employee will seek revenge against your company or other employees. 

Examine Potential Threats

Answer the following question to determine if one of your employees has a problem.

  1. Do you have a person that is frequently absent from work?
  2. Do you have anyone that continually raises their voice at work?
  3. Do any of your employees show signs of depression?
  4. Do you have any employee that exhibits signs of being impatient?
  5. Is anyone in your workplace always irritable?
  6. Do any of your employees have problems with memory or concentration? 

Supply your HR department with procedures to handle unexpected problems at work. Your procedure needs to include:

  1. How to handle workplace violence.
  2. Encourage your employees to report any disruptive behavior to their department heads.
  3. Offer your employees counseling. 

Workplace Integrity

Look around your office and determine if: 

  1. All entry and exit points are secure.
  2. Check to see if your windows are secure.
  3. Create a procedure for reporting problems with windows, locks, and doors in your building.
  4. Ensure all employees working late in your building are protected when leaving. 

Information Safety

  1. Does your IT department have policies that protect the safety of your data?
  2. Does your company have formal policies for destroying sensitive documents?
  3. Has your IT department established policies concerning BYOD?
  4. Does your IT department give classes on Internet safety?
  5. How does your IT department handle a security breach, your employees’ privacy, and confidential information? 

Implementing Office Security

After determining your workplace vulnerabilities you need to draft a set of procedures. The procedures need to include: 

  1. How to handle violence in the workplace.
  2. How to handle worst case scenarios that could result in harm to one of your employees.
  3. How to report an incident with another employee.
  4. The policies for hiring and firing an employee.
  5. Your building safety, doors, locks, windows and lighting.
  6. Your employees’ safety and what to expect when arriving and leaving your building.
  7. Give each person a copy of your company’s new safety procedures.
Man working in an office background

5 Successful Ways to Manage Office Conflict

There are numerous kinds of conflict within an office set-up. As far as I have observed in the past few years of working, there are no degrees of how crucial a conflict is. I’ve learned that even the smallest of problems can have a large effect afterwards. There are no mild, moderate and severe conflicts; any conflict is a problem which needs to be solved.

In theory, conflicts arise from triggering factors from people’s behaviors and situational causes. In practice, regardless of how conflicts start, solutions must be solved through mediation of managers or bosses. There are no equations on how to solve problems. Managers have different styles in addressing problems because people have different personalities and rules vary.

In order to become conflict competent, one must have a certain level of emotional intelligence in the work place. If everyone will cry over their problems and leave everything and everyone hanging, more conflicts may arise.

Here are 5 successful ways to resolve and manage conflicts inside the office setting. It may not solve everything, but it can be a framework for resolutions.

1. Distinguish constructive responses from destructive responses.

Constructive responses are statements which are discussed inside the work place. People need constructive responses in order to improve on certain areas with their job. On the other hand, destructive responses are statements which attack employees on a personal level. The latter usually starts conflict. If you know how to distinguish both, you will be able to address anything which will come your way.

2. Pause before saying hurtful words.

I have learned this the hard way. I know everyone has their boiling points, but it’s important to think first before attacking people. Remember, you are in the work place. You have to be professional. Do not ever be the person starting and spreading rumors for the sake of recognition.

3. Apologize and mean it.

If by realization you have started a certain conflict, accept your mistakes and apologize to the party you have caused harm. Do not deny things because it may worsen the situation. Apology will not make you a lesser man. Have the courage to accept that you make mistakes, too.

4. Communication is the key to understanding.

If the problem is between two people, it’s best to talk about it in a more private place in the office. The boss can mediate and freely open the floor for discussion. I’ve learned that shouting is acceptable, as long as you will prove your point to the other party. Shouting releases tension and makes you rational over crucial matters. However, cursing will always be improper. It’s best to address everything accordingly. Leave your personal issues and focus on your work ethics.

5. Never place blame. Take ownership.

During conflicts, do not attack people. Own up to your mistakes and begin solving the problems that you have caused. Do not blame others because it will never solve anything. Discussion is the right way of communicating that you had a problem and you are more than willing to solve it by all means possible.

It may be difficult to solve conflicts, but with the right emotional intelligence, patience and understanding, you will be able to solve anything without grudges and hate.