17 Aug The Office Space Can Benefit from the Comforts of Home
Home. That is where many of us have been working for quite some time now. We have worked from home for so long and become used to the environment around us. As your employees head back into the office, you may realize that they don’t want to get rid of many of their comforts. The good news? While you probably won’t allow employees to come into work in their bathrobes, they don’t have to give up all the other comforts of home—bring the comforts into your office!
Start with Furniture and Décor
The first and most obvious area to consider is office furniture and décor. Working from home meant you were working in your own space that you picked out. You don’t have to keep the office sterile—make it comfortable with a few of these ideas:
- Modern/Residential Looking Furniture
One of the best parts of working from home might be relaxing on your favorite chair or couch. If you are an office manager or part of office leadership, consider creating lounges and collaborative spaces that look like they could be part of a residential home. While offices do need to be clean, they don’t have to LOOK sterile. In addition, you may need to rethink desk chairs. Many employees were able to pick out the desk chair they were using at home. Let them find one that fits their ergonomic needs and doesn’t cause fatigue. If you are an employee and your office doesn’t have the budget, consider bringing in the chair you were using at home.
- Create Space Without Harsh Signage
Nothing says uncomfortable like caution tape blocking now off-limit areas or tacky old signage. As your employees return to in-person work, consider more long-lasting safety changes to your office. Shifting layouts, adding aesthetic boundaries and creating lasting on-brand signage that looks nicer and can help the space feel more comfortable and hospitable while adding needed safety features.
- Plants and Greenery
Plants and greenery make an area homey. Many studies have also shown that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity (by as much as 15 percent), reduce stress levels, and boost your mood. This makes them perfect for not just your home but your workspace, too. As you add plants and greenery to your office space, make sure that you are buying the right type of plants for minimal upkeep. High light areas need different plants than low light. Some areas might need fake plants as well if there are no windows nearby.
- Personal Décor
When employees come back, encourage them to bring their favorite types of décor into the office with them. It can help create the home environment they crave and help them feel more relaxed. Encourage the personalization of their space.
Improve the Lighting
Office lighting can be notoriously terrible, and poor lighting definitely does not set the mood for comfort. In addition, poor lighting can cause migraines, eye strain and stress. Natural light is the best for our well-being. Do you sit by a window while working at home? This may be one reason you are more productive (in addition to comfortable). Try utilizing transparent partitions to increase the amount of natural light in the office. In addition, invest in a lamp for your desk.
Encourage Continued Healthy Habits
Some healthy habits should be here to stay:
Being at home might have meant less eating out for lunch. No longer did you have co-workers swinging by your desk and asking you to head to lunch. Keep the healthy eating going by packing your lunch! If you oversee your office breakroom, consider adding some healthy snacks and a coffee service to keep your employees going!
- Game & Exercise Breaks
Did you shoot hoops during your lunch break while you were at home? Workout? Play video games? Work with your company to bring some of these breaktime aspects into the office.
A happy employee is a hardworking employee and sometimes a good 15-minute break is all that you need!
Continued Flexible Work Hours
One of the key perks of working at home was the flexibility offered while you were working. Did you need to pause for 20 minutes to get something else done (looking at you, laundry)? Were you a morning person or a night owl? Creating a productive and comfortable office might mean providing employees with some of the flexibility that they have become accustomed to during their time at home.
As you navigate working in the office vs remote work, remember that people have increased their expectations for a great work experience. As office leadership, you will need to create places that people want to be. Give people plenty of choice and variety in the space—so they can do their work in the place that serves them best.
Need help with implementing some of these ideas in the Novi or Detroit area?