How to Build a Happier Work Space in Five Easy Steps
In February 2016, we published an article about creating the perfect work space to make you and your team happier. If you don’t want to go back and read the whole thing, here are the ten tips we provided:
1. Pick the Perfect Location
2. Provide Free Parking
3. Encourage Cycling or Running
4. Consider Gym Facilities
5. Think About Proximity to the High Street
6. Give Staff a Say in the Design
7. Let People Personalise Their Space
8. Create Quiet Areas
9. Provide Breakout Rooms
10. Let There Be (Natural) Light
These are all great tips, and we stand by them. But some of them are only really possible if you’re just starting out. What if you already have an established office block or work space, and most of the above tips are simply impossible to implement without uprooting and starting over?
Recently, I was looking at an infographic on youtern.com, which talks about 37 ways you can make yourself feel happier. These tips are not specifically work-related, and in fact many of them are aimed more at your home life. Either way, they’re definitely worth a read – so make sure you head on over using that link and take a look.
What I want to talk about today, however, is one section in particular from that infographic: Creating a Happier Space.
Five Ways to Build on What You Already Have to Create a Happier Working Space
Six of the tips in the infographic linked above are all to do with creating a happier space. I think that these tips were originally intended to help you create a happier home, but in my opinion, at least five of them work equally well when applied to the office environment
1. De-Clutter. Just like houses, offices can fill up with extra stuff that simply isn’t needed. Rather than old clothes and knick-knacks, it’s probably closer to broken swivel chairs and empty filing cabinets. Clutter can make you and your employees feel “boxed in”, and contribute to feelings of claustrophobia. It can also make you and your team feel less organised, and de-motivated.
2. Create Something. The infographic suggests personalising your home environment with something you have created, such as a picture or a model. Personalising your space can often make you feel more comfortable when you spend time there, and this is no different at work. Let your employees personalise their own working areas. You could even set aside a bit of free “creative” time to give them the motivation they need to actually do it.
3. Add Colour. You may remember an article we published about how the colour of a candidate’s clothes can have an impact on their job interview. Colours have profound effects on our moods, and you can put them to good use in your work space to help create positivity and happiness. As stated in the infographic, good colours to use might include blue for peacefulness, yellow for optimism, and purple for creativity.
4. Buy Plants. No, not the plastic palm tree types that you see on TV. Real, living, breathing plants. Or flowers, if that takes your fancy. Plants create oxygen, which is beneficial for obvious reasons, and floral scents can lift a person’s mood. Just be careful not to interfere with anybody’s hay fever.
5. Move Furniture. Experiment a little. Move your furniture around, and see if you find a combination that feels… well, right! Sometimes simply having a change for change’s sake is all we need to inspire a bit of motivation.
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