Designing Your Office with Productivity in Mind

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When you run a business, you may be more concerned about finding an office space you can afford and filling it with furniture and that is practical, than with the design of the place, but that may be a mistake. Why? Because there is growing evidence to suggest that the design of the office can help or hinder productivity.

Obviously, every business wants to be as productive as possible because it is this that will help the business thrive, and that is why you may need to take a closer look at your office design… 

Allow for Movement

If you want your employees to be more productive at work, don’t limit their ability to move around the space too much. Being able to walk around for a few minutes helps tired, stressed employees to refresh and come back to their work ready to tackle anything.

You may even want to think about installing stand-to-sit desks so that they can switch positions while working, feel more comfortable and thus get more done.

Install Security Cameras

Security cameras, whether they be analog cameras or digital devices, are not only important for keeping your place of business safe and secure, but they can also be used to boost productivity when used inside the office. They show employees that you are keeping an eye on them and that means they are more likely to get on and do their stuff.

Place a Few Plants

Plants aren’t just decorative – they can have a very real effect on our mind and our wellbeing. Numerous studies have shown that being surrounded by nature, including plants, helps to keep stress at bay and boost productivity by at least 15 percent. Being surrounded by plants in the office can also help to boost employee satisfaction levels and engagement. The more plants you have around the better.

Build a Gadget Cubby

It’s perhaps not surprising that a study conducted by OfficeTeam found that the average office employee spends as much as five hours every week using their mobile phone for non-work-related tasks. A good way to get around this is by building a gadget cubby where all non-work devices must live during non-working hours, excluding the lunch hour, of course.

Keep It Clutter-Free

If your office space is packed to the brim with shelving units, papers, and other general office debris, it might be time to channel Marie Kondo and get rid of anything that isn’t necessary or beautiful. Why? Because cluttered space can be too stimulating in all of the wrong ways. It can distract employees from the task at hand and see their productivity drop.The same is true of an unclean office space, so take some pride and make it as clean and clear as you possibly can.

Make it Personal

Allowing your employees to personalize their space can help them to feel happier and more connected, which can, in turn, improve their productivity. A few personal pictures of ornaments won’t hurt, so as long as they’re sensible, give your employees free rein.

The right space can totally transform the quality of your business!

4 Hiring Mistakes That New Business Owners Make

Hiring the right employees is key to business success in any industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a great entrepreneur, you can’t run a successful business all on your own and without a good team behind, you’re really going to struggle. As a boss, it’s important that you know how to motivate your team and help them to develop their skills so you can get the best out of them. A good employer knows how to unlock the hidden potential in their employees, but they also know how to spot that potential in the first place. While it is important that you know how to develop your employees and get the best out of them, it’s equally important that you know how to hire the right people in the first place.

This is one of the biggest challenges that new business owners face because they don’t realize just how difficult it is. They assume that it’s a case of looking through the resumes to find the people with the best qualifications and experience and then interviewing them to see who they like best. In reality, there’s a lot more to it than that and there are a lot of things that you can get wrong along the way. If you’re going to hire the best possible people for your business, you need to make sure that you avoid these common mistakes. 

Hiring Without A Reason 

Whenever you hire an employee, you should have a reason for doing so. If you don’t have a reason, you’re likely to hire somebody that doesn’t really add much to the company and you’ll just be wasting your money. In some cases, there is a very clear cut reason for hiring somebody. If an employee leaves, for example, you’ll need to hire a replacement. However, if you’re expanding your team, it’s important that you are doing it for the right reasons. Whenever you hire a new employee, it should be to fill a skills gap of some kind in the company. For example, if your sales team are stretched because you’re seeing a lot of growth and they can’t keep up, you need to hire more employees in that department. If you have been handling digital marketing on your own but you aren’t seeing much engagement from potential customers, you should consider hiring a digital marketing specialist to handle it instead. In these situations, it is clear why you’re hiring an employee and what they will bring to the company. If you can’t clearly state what a new employee will add to your business, you probably don’t need to hire them. 

As well as thinking about why you’re hiring somebody, you need to consider the specifics of their position. What exactly will their duties be, which department will they work in, and who will they report to? Not considering these things beforehand can cause problems when they start working for you and there is not a clearly defined role for them. It’s also going to cause you problems when you’re advertising the job and writing the job description in the first place. If you don’t clearly outline exactly what the job entails and what experience is necessary, you’re going to get all sorts of candidates that aren’t really suited to the job and that means the hiring process will take you a lot longer. 

Not Having A Clear Hiring Process In Place 

Having a clear process for hiring employees is so important but a lot of smaller businesses don’t think that they really need one. You need to decide whether you want every candidate to submit a resume and cover letter, whether you’re going to conduct phone interviews first, and how many people you are going to invite to interview. If you are unsure about what your hiring process should look like, https://resources.workable.com/ has a good guide. Having this clear process in place benefits you in a few different ways. Firstly, it makes the whole process a lot smoother and it’s easier for you to keep track of all of the candidates and which stage of the process they’re at. Having the exact same process for all candidates also makes it a lot easier for you to compare them when it comes time to make a decision. If you’re measuring each candidate by different metrics, it makes it hard to work out which one is best suited to the job. 

Not Conducting Background Checks 

Background checks are an important part of the hiring process that a lot of new business owners decide to skip. In most cases, you’ll be absolutely fine but there is always the chance that a candidate may have a criminal past or may not be allowed to work legally in this country. It’s important that you find these things out early, otherwise, you may end up hiring somebody that could damage the country in some way. You can easily conduct background checks online through companies like Checkr (at https://checkr.com/) so there is no reason to skip this step in the hiring process. It’s best to do this early on so you don’t waste time interviewing candidates that you later decide that you don’t want to hire for whatever reason. If you do hire a candidate, only to find out that they are not a very effective employee and they’ve had a lot of trouble at previous companies, it may be difficult for you to get rid of them and you’ll be stuck paying an employee that you don’t really want to work for you. 

Not Considering Office Space

When you start expanding your team, you need to make sure that you’ve got enough room for everybody so your office needs to grow at the same time. Before you start bringing any new employees on board, ask yourself whether your office is fit for purpose and whether you have enough space for everybody to work effectively. If you don’t, you should focus on finding a bigger office before you think about expanding your team any further. 

If you’re making any of these common hiring mistakes, your team won’t be as effective as they should be and your business will suffer as a result.

Is Your Office Really Fit For Purpose?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

There are few things more exciting than the moment that your business reaches the point where it can get out of your garage or spare room and into a dedicated office space. For a lot of startups, it can feel like the moment that they have finally become legitimate and can compete on the same stage as far more established companies. Of course, that’s not to say that the move to a dedicated office space isn’t going to be something that involves a decent degree of challenge. The biggest challenge can often be ensuring that your office is fit for purpose when it comes to the needs of your employees. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to make sure that your office is always fit for purpose.

Space

Space is going to be one of the most important things that you need to think about when it comes to your office. After all, the last thing you want is to end up in a position where you and your employees simply don’t have the room to move around each other. Not only is that inconvenient but it also presents some genuine safety hazards. However, you also don’t want to go too far in the other direction. If you’ve only got a few employees then you’re not going to need a huge, expensive office that’s a complete waste of space and money.

Facilities

Your office is going to require the right facilities for the needs of your employees and without them, you’re just going to end up running into problems. You’ve probably already considered the obvious stuff like bathrooms but you also need to think about things like baby changing facilities for any employees who are parents and a bike shelter for employees who don’t drive into work. These kinds of things are often easily neglected but they are often just as essential as facilities than just about anything else in your office.    

Remote working options

In the modern age, the idea of what an office really is has been undergoing quite a significant change. More and more businesses are finding that their office can function as a theoretical framework for their business as much as a physical one. By being willing to embrace remote working options you’re going to give your employees the kind of flexibility that they need to avoid burning out or losing out on their personal lives because of work. That can, in turn, increase their satisfaction and motivation to do the best work possible for your business.

Of course, these are just a few options for you to think about. It’s important to remember that there are always going to be specific things that you need to think about in terms of what your business needs from your office space as well as the needs of specific employees. It’s essential that you take the time to really think about the specifics of your business when looking for the right office space.

Making A Large Office Feel Nice And Private

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

There are few things worse than feeling like you are being watched when you are trying to work. Often making it harder to focus on what they are doing, most people much prefer to feel as if they are in their own space when they are doing their job, reserving time spent with other people until their breaks. Of course, though, modern offices have to fit more people into them than ever before, and this makes even having cubicles into a challenge. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to make a large office feel nice and private.

Headphones & Privacy Films

Being able to put yourself into your own bubble while you work is a great way to make yourself feel alone. When someone can hear everything around them, though, they will struggle to achieve this goal. By providing your employees with good sound cancelling headphones, you will help to eliminate this issue, enabling them to block out the world around them as they get on with their jobs. Along with this, you could also consider the idea of privacy screens for your monitors, as this will make them impossible for other people to see.

Barriers

Having walls between your employees may sound like a bad way to make an office feel friendly, but this sort of approach can often be the best when it comes to keeping people focused. Decorative window frosting film can make a great tool when you’re doing this, enabling you to use glass dividers which won’t take up much space, while still blocking vision and sound from passing through. Having something like this set up in a modular way enables your team members to choose whether they’d like a barrier or not.

Smart Layouts

Even when you have a very busy office, ensuring that people aren’t looking over one another’s shoulders can often be solved by creating smart layouts for your offices. When people are behind each other, they should always have their backs facing, as this will ensure that they can’t watch their colleagues at work. Some people will be fine with having their work on display, but others will find it very stressful.

Signs & Warnings

It can be hard to stay focused on your job when you have other team members talking to you. People don’t often stay busy all the time in an office, with everyone going through their own busy patches throughout the day. This can create a mess of communication when some people are working and others aren’t, and this is something to be mindful of. To help to solve this issue, giving your employees warning signs which they can use to let others know when they are handling serious work can be a great approach to take.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling prepared to take on the challenge of making a shared workspace feel like a private one. Of course, your teams can’t expect dedicated rooms for their work, but they should be able to focus on their work.

Encourage Your Employees Within Their Environment

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Your employees should be seen as godsends – sure, they may bug you at times, but that’s just human beings in general. Your employees are the ones that you can fall back on when nothing seems to be going the way you want it to. They’ll pick you up off the floor and brush you down, encouraging you to carry on. And they deserve an awful lot of credit for that. You can’t begin to think about expanding your business if you don’t have them standing behind you.

Having said that though, we all have our off days, and when they happen we seem to lose all motivation and struggle to focus. – It’s your job as a boss to ensure that all of your employees are encouraged so they always work to the best of their ability, making you and your business proud. And one brilliant way of doing that is by the kind of environment you provide everyone with, as this has a huge impact on people’s mindset.

Here’s how to get started.

Remove all the unnecessary clutter.

A messy home equals a messy mind, and not only that, but it can lead to danger too as things can cause an obstruction as well as an injury, so there is no excuse to leave the place a mess. This is just as much your responsibility as it is your employees, but you should be leading by example because you’re the one in charge. So make sure that all leads and wires are well secured and hidden so they can’t be tripped over. Keep any files and documents properly organized and stored away in drawers and cabinets in an order that is understood. And of course, ensure that people clean up after themselves.

The exterior is just as important.

A lot of people won’t bother about the outside of the office as they see it as being irrelevant and doesn’t affect anyone – but this is totally wrong. It’s the first thing that people see when they approach the workplace, essentially making it the first mood decider of the day. If the area is messy and unkempt, the mind will adapt to that environment, whereas if the space is clean and pretty in appearance, it will brighten up anyone’s mood. So get in a gardener to pretty up the place as much as you can, and add some Commercial Site Furniture so that your employees can sit out in the sun during their break and bask in the sun.

And last but not least, when you enter the office, make sure that you have a good energy that follows you, because people will instantly vibe off that. You can create the same energy from the walls that surround you all too. Think of fun ways to make the place more alive and exciting. Create a feature wall that stands out. Paint it a bright pop of color, and decorate it with paintings or various art pieces. Inspire people – that’s what it’s all about.