Office life is the subject of many satirical television programs and movies and also tends to be shown in a pretty negative light on the internet. Many people associate working in an office with being trapped in a cubicle, simply biding your time until 5 o’clock hits. It does not have to be that way! If you improve your office culture, you will not only improve overall morale amongst your employees, but also their productivity and loyalty to your business.Try these simple ways to improve office culture and see what a big difference it can make for the health of your business.
1. Make your office a comfortable place to work
Employees should not dread walking into a boring office where they will spend the day sitting on an uncomfortable chair and eating a cold lunch at their desk. Your office should be inviting. This can be achieved by offering simple amenities. Make sure your employees have access to a clean kitchen where they can access free coffee, a fridge to store their lunch, and a microwave to heat up food. There should also be a comfortable place for them to take breaks away from their desk. It may seem counterproductive to provide lounge chairs, but employees that take short breaks throughout the day are actually much more productive than those who spend their lunch hour hunched over their desks. You should also be open to suggestions from your employees about things such as the office chairs, office décor, new computer monitors, etcetera. At Centerco Office Suites, we take care of the kitchen, fridge, microwave, free coffee, and comfortable lounge as part of the included amenities so that you can focus on things such as getting that second monitor so that your all-star accountant can better analyze spreadsheets.
2. Offer perks
Spending some extra money on providing perks for your great employees can go a long way when you are trying to improve office culture. Provide your employees with a gym membership (or have a gym in the office, like we do!), start traditions like Free Donut Friday, and reward employees for their great work on a regular basis. You could also offer employees an extra vacation day during their birthday month, or allow them to earn extra days off by hitting certain goals. Get creative! Keeping your employees motivated and happy will significantly improve your office culture because people will actually enjoy coming to work.
3. Plan regular team building activities
Your employees don’t have to be best friends, but you should make every effort to improve camaraderie within the office. Don’t limit team building to the members of specific departments. Plan activities that encourage inter-department mingling. You can start small with things such as quick games in the morning to wake everyone up. Announce a trashcan basketball game and pair up employees from different departments to compete for something like $5 gift cards to a local coffee shop. Go bigger with an excursion to a local park for a game of Frisbee or catch. You can also fall back on a trusty company-sponsored Happy Hour to provide your employees with a laid-back environment to socialize and unwind a bit.
4. Be flexible with schedules
Life is busy, and not everything can be scheduled outside of the 9-5. Make it easier for employees to shift their work hours around when they need to accommodate a doctor’s appointment, haircut, or even just an errand. Giving your employees the flexibility to take off early one day and stay late another will greatly improve office culture. Your employees should not be afraid to ask you for a couple hours off to take care of a personal errand, provided they will make up the work. If possible, allow work from home days for when your staff members have sick kids at home, car trouble, or even just need to stick around for a maintenance guy to show up. Showing your employees that you trust them to be responsible with their work and hit deadlines, even if it means they need to move their schedule around, will make them happier and more comfortable in the office.
All of these suggestions are easy to implement and will most certainly improve office culture, which, in turn, will lead to a business that runs more smoothly with happier and more loyal employees.