Keep your team happy means more than having snacks in the breakroom. There are often underlying factors that are overlooked but have a great impact on how employees feel about their work environment. Bottom line – Your team should want to come to work.

The work environment should be comfortable and encourage creativity and communication. You have to be intentional about creating this type of space or your team. Let’s start with the basics.

Here are 4 things that you can do to make the office a more inviting and engaging space for your team. 

Bright Spaces

Have you ever been to one of those offices that’s dark and depressing? You know the kind where there are lots of cubicles and limited lighting and windows. Most businesses don’t understand how much a well-lit space affects mood.

Make sure that the office is bright and open. Pay attention to the overall lighting and how well-lit each workspace is. Try to stay away from dark obtrusive furniture and opt for a more minimalist design.

Tip: Use light bulbs that give off a bright white or blue hue light. If you need help finding the right lighting options check out Philips Lighting.  

Cozy Places

Unless your business is based on physical labor… your team is probably sitting at a desk primarily for most of their work week. Not only is sitting for long periods of time mundane but it can also have physical side effects as well. You want to make sure that you are providing furniture, equipment, and options to your team to foster a more healthy environment. 

  • Make sure their computers are at eye level
  • Chairs should be upright with lumbar support – and please keep extra parts on hand (they can get costly). Tip: companies like Caster are good to have on hand for replacement chair parts.
  • Create standing workstations. Even if you aren’t able to offer them at each person’s desk, having the option to use a standing workstation could give your team a healthy break from sitting all day
  • Offer mental break areas – consider reading nooks, ping pong areas, or even just a nice outdoor space

Offer Options

More and more countries’ governments are questioning the long hours we put in at work every week, bringing to the table an interesting debate centered around whether individuals have enough time to lead healthy lives outside of the workplace. While your primary concern is more likely along the lines of productivity, efficiency, and profits – you will need a healthy team to get you there.

Even if you’re a small business you can offer your team flexibility options. For example: if you have a team of 4, give each one a Monday or Friday off each month on a rotating basis. That way they have time to take care of personal business that they may otherwise have to take off for anyway and you’re able to show that you care about their well-being.

You may have to think outside the box and get a little creative, but it will pay off in the end if you are open to helping your team create work-life balance. 

Tip: Start by testing yourself to see if you’re on track with your own work-life balance.

Training and Development

When you invest in your team’s training and development, you not only build a stronger workforce you also show them that you believe in their ability to grow with the company. Don’t shy away from additional training because you believe that it will be costly for the business. Instead look less expensive options like advanced certifications, peer-to-peer training (where an upper-level employee helps with the development of a lower level employee), and online courses.

Tip: Still not sure where to start? Do a little online research, check with your local continuing ed or technical programs or contact an expert to get you started. 

It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to create a work environment centered around your team’s well-being. Remember, you benefit as well. When you focus on your team you create a connected work environment. They’ll feel respected and cared about and you’ll have a team that wants to see the business succeed.

*this is a contributor written post