With the cost of living crisis ongoing and a recession looming, it can sometimes feel like quite the challenge to get excited about work. In fact, a report by Gallup found that just 21% of workers around the world report feeling engaged in their jobs.
So, as a responsible employer, how can you ensure that your staff feel inspired to put their best foot forward in the workplace?
Besides offering some highly coveted central heating this winter, here are four of our top recommendations for creating a motivating office environment to keep your employees feeling productive and fulfilled at work.
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Hang motivational quotes and artwork
Decorating with dynamic art prints, photos and motivational quotes can stimulate and help to inspire productivity in the workplace. This will help the environment to feel homely and personalised, emulating the familiarity that your staff have likely gotten used to during the pandemic work-from-home phase — and you can also encourage some graft with motivational quotes on the walls.
However, it’s important to take caution when decorating, so as not to damage your office internals. Before you reach for the hammer, check that your lease permits decor changes and you know what kind of walls you’re working with.
London-based Soho Frames recommends investing in professional installation service, advising that “it’s not as simple as hammering in a hook. You’ll need to determine the right fixings for what your wall is made of — brick, concrete, stud, etc. — as well as the weight of the picture frame” in order to hang artwork safely and securely.
Use colour psychology
There are several ways to brighten up your space, and art is just one cog in the motivation machine. Another simple way to boost productivity using the environment is to follow the principles of colour psychology — the only thing that grey walls will inspire your staff to do is start looking for a new job.
Instead, add warmth and a little imagination to your space with a well-thought-out colour palette.
Productivity specialists from Redbooth recommend blue hues for office environments, for their potential to “help calm the mind and aid concentration”, as well as “enhance wakefulness and support clear communication”.
With the right combination of shades, blue is undeniably a calming colour for the workplace, so consider adding it to your interior walls and accents. Alternatively, if you specialise in a creative trade, consider a bright, energetic shade of yellow — which they advise can “help get the creative juices flowing and make you more optimistic about the direction you’re taking”.
Make it dog-friendly
Furry friends can significantly boost morale and relieve your staff of some of the stress that may be demotivating them from coming to the office. Consider establishing a pet-friendly workplace so that employees can bring their loved pets to work when they can’t have them looked after.
According to a survey by the University of Lincoln, employees who regularly bring their dog to work are up to 22% more satisfied with their working environment and report higher engagement and concentration levels too.
To equip your office for man’s best friend, you’ll need a dog-friendly lease, nearby open space, and possibly some measures such as dog gates to separate play areas from those used for deep work or food prep.
Naturally, you’ll also need to make sure everybody on the team is comfortable with pets — but once you get the green light, set up a system so staff can book in their pooch plus ones.
Add biophilic design elements
Did you know that the mere presence of plants can improve productivity and well-being? Recent data shows that indoor plants are strongly associated with improved cognition and relaxation when compared to environments that are lacking in greenery.
So what should you do to bring the outside world indoors? This is where biophilic design comes in.
Aiming to replicate the natural world, biophilic design takes elements such as daylight, open space and plant and water features to the urban epicentres of the corporate world.
Some of the biggest companies around use biophilic design elements on-site to boost staff morale and reap the benefits — just take a look at Google’s new New York City HQ for a dose of green-fingered inspiration.