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13 Maintenance and Design Tips To Create a Healthy and Productive Workspace

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Healthy Workspace|13 Maintenance and Design Tips To Create a Healthy and Productive WorkspaceAfter the pandemic hit, a staggering number of professionals around the country had to abandon the office and start working from home. While the first few weeks came with all the challenges of an unpredicted adaptation period, most workers then managed to find a new balance.

Today, almost 60% of Americans work from home for most of the week, and they are planning to keep things that way. Organizations around the world have also enjoyed the benefits of this new trend – especially because they can now cut down on office space, reduce expenses, and tap into a worldwide talent pool.

Nonetheless, there are also some reasons for which companies still want employees to come into the office for a few days each month. And, if you are also trying to make this new hybrid work model work for your company, you need to make the experience of coming into the office productive and energizing. Start with the tips below.

Let Nature In

Spending time in nature is linked to lower stress levels and cortisol, better mood and morale, and higher productivity levels. So, we know that if you want to feel calmer and more serene, you have to spend time in a park, forest, or coastal area.

But how can you reap the benefits of nature while working in the office? Bringing nature indoors! You can do so by decorating with plants and natural materials such as wood, metal, and natural fabrics. Try to leave out cheap, single-use items!

Leverage Natural Light and Fresh Air

Just as important as decorating with natural and sustainable elements is letting in some fresh air and natural light. Over the past years, a rising number of employees have started to suffer from Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). This condition is not immediately evident but, in the long term, it can cause respiratory problems, skin conditions, low morale, excessive tiredness, and mental health issues.

You can prevent all of this by opening curtains and windows and letting fresh air and sunshine into the office. Your teams will feel much happier and more energized!

Insulate the Building

Insulating the building is essential to create a comfortable and adequate working environment while making the whole building more sustainable. Insulation is especially important if the premises are in an area subjected to drastic temperature changes, and it allows you to save over 15% on heating and cooling costs. All this, while allowing your employees to feel comfortable when at their desks.

Maintain Gutters and Roof

The building’s gutters and roof are elements that are not often in sight and can be overlooked. However, it is important to inspect them at least once or twice a year. Gutters can get clogged and, with the first heavy downpours, they can cause rainwater to overflow or stagnate, which can lead to rotting of the fascia board.

Maintaining the roof is just as important! Through regular checks, you can ensure that the whole building is structurally sound and insulated. You should also carry out emergency inspections after a natural disaster or if you suspect that something is wrong with the roof.

Read more here about the maintenance, inspection, and replacement options you have!

Keep Up to Date With the Latest Regulations

Your employees are one of the company’s main assets, and it is your duty and responsibility to provide them with a safe and healthy workplace. Whether the commercial building your offices occupy has been recently built or not, make sure you are up to date with the latest regulations and safety requirements.

Invest in Technology

The pandemic initiated some important trends and sped up some that were already happening. But what it has made obvious is that we all rely more on technology than ever before. Make sure your office has all the technology needed to ensure it remains productive and competitive. Aside from industry-based technological solutions that you should have, you might consider investing in:

  • Cloud system that helps you with daily operations, waste management, remote collaboration, and compliance
  • High-speed internet connection
  • The latest cybersecurity features for you and your employees
  • Team collaboration software that allows you to switch from on-site to remote working seamlessly.

Allow for Flexibility

As we have seen, over half of all employees in the US and abroad are working from home most of the week. While for some this has been a drastic and uncomfortable change, for many it was a happy change. Whatever your employees prefer, they might expect flexibility from your end. So, you should adapt the office space to welcome this hybrid workforce. If your team is too small for you to have – and pay for – office spaces, you should consider the coworking or shared office model.

Carve Out Green Spaces

Whether it is one of the walls, on the roof, or outside the premises, consider creating a green space where your employees can spend their lunch break and relax away from the four walls of the office. Green space does not have to necessarily be a perfectly designed garden – it could also be a small patch of land or an urban garden on the top of the building.

Make It Easily Accessible

Thanks to the advent of remote working, many companies have opted to move their offices to locations that are less central and, often, more affordable. Since many employees don’t need to commute to the office anymore, this change makes sense for many organizations. However, some of your employees will still travel to and from the office. So, if you want to encourage them to come into the office at least a few days every week, you should make this option easy and accessible for them!

Consider the Benefits of Pet Therapy

Welcoming pets in the office could be a great way to keep your employees engaged and entertained, and this experience can help them develop a caring attitude towards the company itself! Studies have found that there are several benefits to bringing pets into the office premises, including reducing stress, increasing productivity, improving resiliency, and preventing aggressive reactions in situations of stress.

Include Areas for Relaxation and Socialization

The era of the rat race is over. Today, employees want to be valued and recognized for their hard work, personality, and unique touch. Of course, you need them to be in their best shape, energized, and motivated.

However, productivity does not always come from just sitting in front of a laptop for nine hours! New studies have seen that short breaks of ten minutes or less every hour allow the brain to recharge and can significantly increase productivity.

Introducing strategic stations for relaxation and socialization in the office can pay you back in productivity and better outcomes after all!

Create a Range of Workstations

In the past, the focus has always been on finding the best type of furniture, chair, and desks for employees to be comfortable and focus – all while also keeping an eye on the budget. However, today, we know that working in a fixed position does not help productivity, and can contribute to all the issues that a sedentary life can cause.

Instead, make sure to create a variety of seating options and workstations across the office space. These can include benches, conference rooms, quiet areas, standing desks, cafes, and standard seats.

Invest in Activities

Scheduling group activities such as yoga and meditation can help employees better manage stress, feel more energized, and optimize productivity. Whether you can organize weekly sessions or you just encourage your employees to take five to ten minutes out of their day to practice mindfulness, don’t underestimate the power of these activities on health, mood, emotional well-being, and productivity levels. Try it out today!

Why Is a Shared Office Space Best for Small Businesses?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Shared Office Space|Why Is a Shared Office Space Best for Small Businesses?It’s nice to have a big office, but a smaller business may work more efficiently in a shared office. There’s room to grow because you have a better environment to collaborate with your team and clients. When you have this synergy, it can help you build a brand more efficiently. Here are some ways a shared office space works best for small businesses.

Better Flexibility

You might be in a position where you’re either downsizing or just starting up with your brand. You may consider a shared office space yoube works in your favor because you can choose a desk or an office for a project. You may have a short-term project for three months that require you to collaborate in a room.

Instead of going with a brick-and-mortar with overhead, maintenance, and electricity bills piling up, you have a choice to go to one place where they cover your amenities under your monthly plan. Also, you can adjust the plan as needed when your staff gets bigger.

You’ll save tons of money, and it’ll give you a chance to gauge how your business performs quarter to quarter.

More of a Community Atmosphere

One of the depressing things about working in an office or home is isolation. A shared office space allows you to work with different collaborators. Even though you could run into a competitor or two, it may be wise to reach out to others.

You can bounce ideas off each other as well as find each other’s strengths. For example, you may be looking for a graphic designer for a new project on your website. You can schedule meetings and private sessions just in case you want to hide ideas from the public.

You have access to conference and private rooms if you need to discuss things in a secluded area.

Great for Hosting Clients

Maybe there’s a full kitchen available. You can cook up a meal or create a potluck to have a luncheon with your clients. It gives them a sense of your personality and you can save money because you don’t need to go to a different facility.

Also, you can meet in a professional coworking space. You can utilize a private room with a conference table and any equipment to speak with staff members globally. A solid presentation can bring your prospective clients into your brand.

The right location, amenities, and atmosphere can make for the ideal shared office space.

What to Look for in a Coworking Space

Coworking spaces are becoming much more popular. There’s at least one coworking office in most large towns and cities, and some companies offer their members the use of their offices all over the world. There are fantastic. They give homeworkers a chance to work in a positive and energetic environment that’s full of creative spark. They are a great way to make connections that could be useful to your business, friends that can help you combat the loneliness of working from home and experts that can help you with areas of your business that you might not be as confident with. Research shows that people generally get more done in a coworking space than they would at home or in an office alone, and many people find that these kinds of shared working environments bring out the best in them, make them happier, more creative and more productive. If you find the right space, it’s certainly worth the membership fee. Here’s a look at what you need to look for when seeking out a coworking space that’s right for you.

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Access

Think about when you like to work. We don’t all enjoy 9-5 hours, some of us work best early in the morning whereas others like to burn the candle late into the night. Working at home means that you can do this. So, this is an essential consideration of your coworking space. Will you be able to use it when you are at your most productive?

Location

The location of your space is one of the most important considerations. Some memberships, like Level Office Coworking Space, allow you to use any of their sites all over the country. You can often even access a coworking space while you are traveling, even if you leave the country. This is fantastic. It means that freelancers are able to work wherever they are and work to pay for their travels as they go.

But, it’s fair to say that the majority of us spend most our time at home. One of the key benefits of working from home is not having the stress or cost of a commute, so you certainly don’t want to add one to your life. If the coworking space that you are looking at is too far away from home, you won’t use it. Look for somewhere that you can get to easily and you are much more likely to spend time there.

Facilities

A vital draw of a coworking space is the community it offers you. An area with excellent facilities often creates a more passionate and engaged community. If there are just a few desks and a printer, people will just work. They won’t chat, they won’t make connections, and they won’t feel creative. Look for somewhere that offers more. Ideally, it should provide things like a coffee machine and a relaxation space which encourage users to connect with each other and relax. Plenty of color on the walls and a chilled out atmosphere is also a must if you want a work area that inspires your creativity.