Searching for business premises is a huge commitment which warrants careful consideration before signing on the dotted line. As well as the financial obligation to pay the rent, the design and location of your workplace can have a significant effect on employee satisfaction, customer engagement and therefore profit margins. If you take the time to get the aesthetics of your premises right from the very start, money and time will be saved and productivity and sales will soar. Once you have created a work environment conducive to creativity you will be well on your way to a happy workforce. A happy, committed and loyal workforce is your key to business success.
Imagine that your business premises is your “shop window”. A good first impression to visiting clients and customers is vital. Your aim is to look professional, organised and current. A shoddy unkempt entrance simply won’t cut it. If you are struggling to find the perfect premises or you would like some assistance with design aspects, you could consult experts in the field such as offices for rent available from Bond Collective.
Read on to discover tips on how to make your business look more aesthetically pleasing and how to create a productive environment for your workforce.
If you are in the initial stages of choosing the location for your business premises, take time to consider the accessibility of the building. Is there sufficient car parking space, is it close to reliable public transport and will deliveries be easily accepted? Look at the external areas of the premises and ensure that pathways are well maintained and well lit.
The entrance of the property should be inviting, clear of clutter and it should have good signage. Many of these aspects can be rectified once you have taken on the lease if the property ticks all the right boxes in other ways. Make sure the front door is in a good state of repair and once visitors enter the building, make sure they can find their way easily. Many businesses consider creating a green space in an atrium close to the entrance, this creates a great first impression to visitors as well as a space for employees to relax and destress.
When considering the design of your office space, stay clear of the traditional dingy offices of the past where desks were arranged in dusty rows and were totally uninspiring. Lots of research has been carried out into office design, the modern office space offers different “zones” for meetings, collaborating, relaxing, socialising and working. The modern office is conducive to encouraging productivity and creativity, they also portray a professional image to visitors and clients.
The modern office is also light and airy. Make the most of all natural light available as this is the best source. If natural light is at a premium consider “natural daylight” light bulbs and decorate in light colours. Use splashes of colour to add interest and freshness and avoid grey decor.
A lot of research has been undertaken around the psychology of colour. Different colours evoke different emotional responses in people. Green has been proven to evoke a sense of calmness as well as encourages productivity and performance. There is a reason why dressing rooms are often called the “green room” as the colour is used to calm performers prior to going on stage.
Consider bringing the colour green into the workplace by painting walls in shades of green, or better still use plants. Aim to bring the outside in by adding touches from the natural world. A water feature would also be a lovely addition, or an aquarium, all of which induces a state of calm.
In the initial planning stage it is easy to try and cut corners by going for the minimum amount of space needed, it’s cheaper after all. However it’s worth trying to get as much space as your budget will allow. A spacious office will increase productivity. Your workforce need to be able to move freely, a cramped office can look cluttered and disorganised which doesn’t look professional to visitors.
A happy team is a productive team!
To get the best from your employees you should promote an environment which encourages and values creativity. Creativity is relevant to all business sectors, not just the arts. Innovation is driven by creativity which will ultimately allow your business to thrive and grow. A team who are encouraged to embrace their creativity will be efficient and able to tackle and solve problems. The creative process may throw a few “off the wall” solutions, but this shouldn’t be discouraged, as it is this process which leads to workable solutions.
Read on for some tips on how to encourage creativity.
Let your employees know they are valued
When managing people it’s all too easy to let them know when something has gone wrong, but praise when a project has gone well can sometimes be a little thin on the ground. It’s easy to think a person has done a good job, without actually telling them. For motivation to remain high, praise should be given where it’s due. Thank people for their efforts, take the time to get to know your team and try to be flexible around family commitments and appointments.
Coaching is also an excellent way to guide team members through processes. If you adopt an approachable, enthusiastic persona your team will feel valued and go that extra mile in order to complete tasks. It’s important to get the balance just right though, as you don’t want to be seen as a pushover, also a more authoritarian approach may be required at times.
Brainstorming can be really productive when developing solutions to problems. It is important that the whole team is involved and that everyone feels confident enough to contribute. All ideas should be valued even if they seem a little “out there”, as the whole process is how creative solutions are made. Brainstorming sometimes requires careful management. Especially if you have some strong characters within the team.
Quiet time is needed at certain times, but an office which is silent all the time isn’t conducive to creativity. Create opportunities for the team to get together and chat, this will promote cohesion, a team which works well together and one which feels comfortable in bouncing ideas of each other. The result will be a more productive workforce, which ultimately creates a larger profit margin!
Tackle workplace stress
A certain amount of stress is vital as it drives innovation, however stress can become negative and spiral out of control. Creativity will be dampened, mistakes will occur and levels of sickness will increase within the team if negative stress isn’t managed effectively. It is essential to create stress busting policies and encourage a culture where employees can discuss their feelings openly. Create opportunities for staff to destress away from the workplace with away days. If stress becomes a problem for individuals or the team as a whole, seek expert professional advice.
Create a diverse team
For creativity to flourish it is vital to develop a staff team from different backgrounds and cultures. Different experiences in life mean that people have different outlooks, this encourages creativity and will promote a range of aspects on creating solutions to problems. If all the team are very similar it is at risk of becoming a little stagnant.
Get your workplace environment right and everything else will fall into place. Your workforce is your business’s greatest asset. A happy team ultimately results in a greater profit margin, as well as an enjoyable place to work!