So we've all seen Office Space and had a good laugh. It's relatable for many of us, from the frustrations of a copier that won't work to the annoyance of inter-office memos. The reason Office Space plays so well to so many people, however, is due to a fundamental dissatisfaction with at least one aspect of the office environment. Boosting office moral and keeping employees satisfied in their position is important in maximizing efficiency, and this holds true whether you're looking at a small business or a skyscraper corporation. So what are things you can do to help keep the office environment in a nice working order? Here are five ways to help out.
Give a Free Lunch Hour
Don't force people to eat at their desk, and don't force lunch on people at a specific time every day. Having an hour off the clock during the middle of the day is a great way to break up the workday, and while you might think that's lost work time, it's been proven to increase efficiency and overall work production in the long run. Letting people choose their own lunch hour is more accommodating to those who have a late breakfast or no breakfast at all, and it also keeps the office running even during lunch hours when many other businesses 'shut down' for an hour or so.
Letting people get together and just talk can be a great way to boost morale. As your employees spend most of their work day together in a professional capacity, letting them get to know one another a little better can make everybody more comfortable in the workplace, and can ultimately lead to a team identity. Corporations which have established team building events as part of orientation and daily events see an increase in employee retention and long term company satisfaction.
Mix It Up
Google is a company which epitomizes the best of long-shot success stories, and in no small part is this due to a visionary business and work structure. This might be best exemplified by the stance the company took with its programmers in its start-up days, where project workers were allowed one-fifth of their time to pursue work which was outside of their specified work field. Allowing employees to take on more responsibilities in a wider field helps to minimize any potential stagnation of work.
Brand an Identity
Having an identity as a company is always important, but not many people recognize it in terms of the office environment. Branding one's company and having a professional, unified work environment gives a sense of belonging. In our office, everybody is given the same sized workstation, the same desktop computer, and the same network privileges. Of course, allow for personalization, but such touches can contribute even more to a team mentality and a sense of belonging. Thanks for reading, and if you didn't see something you think should be included, let me know!