25Aug
Many are welcoming employees back into the office or have at least started making plans to do so. Companies realize that there is no way to make everyone happy. But still, they also recognize the plans, processes, and procedures that they put in place could be critical to their employee satisfaction.
Outside of the health protocols, policies, and Covid-driven planning, how can an employer help with the transition back to the office?

Employers need to take a step back and look at the little things that express to their employees, “Welcome back! Please, make yourself at home!”

Most employees have not only become accustomed to working from home, but they have also been completely spoiled by it! Coming back into the office for many can sound like a COMPLETE DRAG because they don’t feel nearly as comfortable in the office as they do at home.
So short of making every day “Pajama bottoms and house slippers Day,” here are a couple of tips to help your office achieve the comfort of home.

SPACE PEOPLE OUT

Covid is driving a lot of attention to how employees are spaced throughout the office but let’s be honest, nobody wants to feel like they are packed in like sardines anyway. Many homes over the last year-plus, had multiple professionals working from home. Do you think they were voluntarily sitting as close together as they could just because they liked the company? NO! They were spread out on opposite sides of the house, as far away from each other as possible.

Let your employees spread out and, if available, not be forced to be confined to one desk. Set your employees up with room to walk around to take calls without bothering others, work by a window, or even on a porch if they choose. Make the effort to give your employees the space, privacy, and freedom they have grown to love working from home.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF NATURAL LIGHTING

One of the most underappreciated benefits of working from home has been access to natural lighting. If you think about it, natural lighting has been a focal point to residential architecture and design because, people don’t want a cramped, dark, and claustrophobic home. Commercial architecture and design have recently made the use of natural lighting and open features just as much of a priority, following years of the focus being, “how many workers can we cram in here?”

In fact, a survey by MY HR Advisory firm Future Workplace called “The Employee Experience” revealed that employees rank access to natural light and views of the outdoors as the number one attribute of the workplace environment needs.

Promote better employee satisfaction and mental health by simply providing them with access to work areas near natural lighting sources and outdoor views.

LISTEN TO YOUR EMPLOYEES

As mentioned earlier, there is no way to please every person by accommodating their “home-sick” work-life. However, employers can gain valuable information by simply listening to their employees to define the differences between their “at-home” and “at-work” environments. An employee survey is a great way to uncover the things that matter and could help make the work-space more comfortable, and in-turn more productive.

Take advantage of bringing your employees back to work on the right foot. These efforts can go a long way to help your employees flourish in an environment that feels more like “HOME SWEET HOME.”

20Jul
When employees think of work, they don’t necessarily associate that thought with comfort. That’s a shame as there are several ways to ensure physical comfort in the workplace or whenever we call our “office.” Whether it’s the furniture they sit on, their location within the office, or how the computer is situated.

If your staff is comfortable, it could make all the difference in attitude and productivity.

Comfort comes in many forms, and there are a few strategies to help you demonstrate that the well-being of your employees is a priority. Some will require a bit of effort and possibly a monetary investment, but many approaches are no/low-cost.
Desk & Chair

The desk is essential, but the office chair can be one of the biggest game-changers for comfort. A poorly made chair can be uncomfortable, and as the day continues, the employee could experience back neck and shoulder pain, in addition to other stressors, which can easily lead to decreased concentration and fatigue. Many supply stores will work with you to choose an ergonomically built office chair at reduced costs, especially if you purchase more than one.

Show Your Support for Keeping Work & Personal Time Separate

This may not always be possible as in these virtual times, and with hybrid work environments, the way we work is different. However, whenever possible, allow, and encourage your employees to take a break and take time to have a personal life. When they feel you support their time away from the “office” as their own, they will come back with clearer heads and a deeper appreciation for the company.

Break Up the Day
The following suggestions are something that will make you look great to your team, and at the same time, increase productivity as it will allow them to take super quick mini-breaks every hour. And, it could also turn into a team exercise where everyone comes up with ideas on how to accomplish these activities. To follow are some suggestions you could introduce. They can be performed on an individual basis or as a fun few seconds/minutes simultaneously.
Get Out Of Your Chair
Sitting in their chair for hours on end is detrimental and reduces focus. Perform an unrelated work activity every hour for just a few minutes.
  • Stretch or do jumping jacks in place
  • Walk to a window and look out, focusing on the shape of a cloud. Is it a dog? Or is it a fairy princess? Use your imagination.
  • Walk around the office. Do you wear a monitoring device such as a Fitbit? Get your steps in but take care not to disrupt the rest of the office unless you're doing this as a group exercise.
  • If given longer breaks throughout the day, 5-10 minutes of walking outside can do wonders. Responsible staff won't abuse these opportunities, but to ensure work is still performed, include the break guidelines in the employee manual. Most employers loosen the reins if they see an increase in production or creative thinking.
Meditation
This exercise is something that can be accomplished at their desk and done throughout the day. There are many apps or if someone in the office has experience meditating, ask them to show others how to do it. Or bring in a third-party vendor to show them exercises they can do on their own. It takes practice, but if they can clear their head for a few minutes each hour, it helps restore focus.
Meditation
If you work closely with a reputable Staffing Solutions firm to secure quality talent, make sure to let them know if these are some of your everyday best practices. In a competitive market, this positive culture could be the deciding factor between your company and another.
Take some of the above steps and watch your employees thrive while increasing their motivation to take your company to the next level.