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Business renovation ideas that will make your empl...

Business renovation ideas that will make your employees smile

If you ask any successful business owner, they will tell you that happy employees are more loyal and more productive. If your office premises need an overhaul and is looking tired, you might want to start thinking about some cool ideas to implement in the design that will leave your employees smiling. As your staff spend a lot of time in the office, the interior and style matters. However, often it is the little things that make all the difference. Below you will find a few ideas you can implement during your next office renovation.

Opening Up The Space

One of the best things you can do when redesigning your office is opening up the space. You want information to flow in every direction, and don’t want your workers to feel claustrophobic. However, instead of the traditional cubicle solution to partition the workspaces, why not opt for colorful glass or even glass fiber solutions? You can even add a modern mesh design that can be used to hang office supplies and pens from, on both sides. You can enclose an office for the management, but make sure that you are using a lot of glass instead of plasterboard.

Natural Light

Most employees say that natural light is something they prefer in the office. You can increase the size of the windows, and replace some of the walls with glass. Make sure that natural light gets into every corner of the office. If your business occupies the top floor, you can have some roof lighting solutions installed, instead of having artificial light all day. Natural light is much better for people who sit in front of the computer screen all day, but you have to pay attention to avoiding reflection, as this can strain your workers’ eye long term.

Modern Furniture

You can get some funky and colorful furniture that puts a smile on your employees’ face. Instead of opting for a traditional desk and chair design, you can now get furniture that truly makes a difference and can be adjusted to the needs of your employees. If you need inspiration, you can check out the offices of Google and Microsoft, implementing a minimalist design, adding color and light, and offering more flexibility and comfort than traditional companies.

Photo by Pacific Office Interiors on Unsplash

Standing Desks

If most of your employees spend their day in front of the computer, you can do them a huge favor by installing some standing desks that are available for anyone to use. You can get a screen that has Bluetooth connectivity, so they can stream their own content to the workspace, and use the standing desk whenever they feel like they are suffering from too much pressure on their legs and their lower back. Moving about and having a different perspective on the office can improve creativity, as well.

Idea Sharing Board

To encourage collaboration in the workplace, you can even set up an idea sharing board in a prominent position of the office. All your employees will be able to contribute their thoughts, and work on a project without distracting each other. Instead of having endless meetings, let your staff add new ideas to the board whenever they feel creative and walk past the board. You can share knowledge this way, and inspire others to think about the same problems together without compromising employee productivity.

Kitchenette

Your employees spend at least their lunch our at the office, and you want to make this experience as enjoyable as possible. Instead of a small kitchenette with basic facilities, you should design a space where they can get comfortable, engage in conversations, and chill out during their lunch. Add bean bags and bar stools, and design the space in a way that it encourages interaction and communication.

Mini Gym

You can keep your employees engaged and motivated if you give them an opportunity to exercise and take a break. Having a mini gym at the office can prevent employee and business burnout and improve productivity at the same time. However, you will have to make sure you limit the time allocated for each employee a day, so everyone can have a go. If you want, you can even have your meetings in the mini gym, and have discussions while exercising. You will not only save money for your employees, but also help them stay happy and healthy in the workplace.

Sleep Area

Every now and then we get exhausted and need a half-an-hour kip. There is no reason why you shouldn’t allow your employees to take advantage of a power nap during the day, provided that they pay the time back at another time. Creative offices often provide this facility, as people in the industry can get stressed and exhausted, or might improve their brain function by sleeping for a few minutes. If your office offers flexible working patterns, you should have a sleeping area. Your new dad employees will thank you for it.

Game Room

There are many international companies offering game rooms in the office. You can engage with your employees better while playing air hockey or video games, and sometimes we simply need to take a step back from the problem to see clearer. You might even install some retro gaming machines in the office, but make sure that you find reliable commercial electrical contractors to test and fit them, so you don’t end up blowing the fuse while trying to blow off the steam.

Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

Terrace

If your office space allows, you might even build a terrace next to the office where your employees can catch up during the breaks, or you can hold the meetings. You might even allow them to move their laptops outside and work from the terrace. The fresh air and more inspiring environment is likely to boost their productivity, provided that your WiFi signal is strong enough to cover this area.

Roof Terrace

If you don’t have a chance to build a terrace, but have a roof space, you can get a roof terrace constructed. This will be a place for meetings, and you can even have company barbecues arranged here. A roof terrace can have live plants and even real grass for your employees. If you are keen on implementing sustainable building solutions, you might create a living roof where employees can look after the plants, enjoy the wildlife and the view, and get their creativity going.

Pets Facilities

An increasing number of workplaces now allow employees to take their pets in the office. If this is something you think is possible to do in your renovated building, you can make your staff feel at home and more connected to the workplace. Obviously, with customer facing roles, this is not possible, and if you have visitors in the office, you might need to find a separate space for the pets, but it is not impossible. Give your employees the chance to take their dogs for a walk in their breaks, and they will be much happier all  through the day.

Touchscreen Tables

If you are looking to have a cool and modern workplace, you might want to invest in a touch screen table that is set up in the meeting room or the chillout area. Instead of using the computer or tablet the usual way, your employees can now see a different dimension. You can use the touch screen table for team quizzes, education, presentations, and more. It is a fun feature of any office, and your employees will truly appreciate the innovative thought when they are looking for entertainment and collaboration ideas.

Softwalls

Modern offices also change with your needs. If you would like to use one room or area for different purposes in the office, you might consider getting softwalls installed that allow you to separate an area and create different shapes of the enclosure. Soft walls can be set up when you are having an appraisal meeting and removed again, or you can use them to redesign workstations in a way that they encourage conversation. Choose a bold color and make the most out of the flexibility offered by the softwall.

Plants

A good way of making your employees feel at home in the office and treat the space as their own is giving them plants to look after. You can start with simple to grow plants, such as cactuses, and even create an office competition about whose plant grows faster. However, if you have use of a roof garden, you can even grow fruit and vegetables together and use them for lunch or the company barbecue.

If you would like to keep your employees happy and engaged with their workplace, it might be a good idea to implement some great designs next time you renovate the premises. From gadgets that help them relax to beautiful spaces that encourage collaboration, there are plenty of ways you can put a smile on your employees’ face. Pay attention to the details and always carry out a survey to make sure you are getting the design right.

*Photo at the top of the page by Karine Germain 

 

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Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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