A quaint, brightly colored plant in the corner may be one manager’s idea of how to boost company morale, but we know there are more impressive moves to make. We spoke to several forward-thinking employers and learned that it takes a dash of creativity to create a more productive work environment.
Add movement: Take a look at the office layout and ask yourself if it allows space for mobility. “You don’t need to add more space to mix it up — just make use of the spots that go empty for hours,” says Kevin Kuske, chief anthropologist general manager at Turnstone, a company that designs workspaces for small businesses. With a background in anthropology, Kuske focuses on turning offices into idea incubators. “In your design, truly support mobility by having a variety of work areas and addressing practical things like having power near all couches, counters and group areas.”
Talk to the employees: Listen to the employees and learn what it is that they want. “I know that sounds obvious, but I am amazed how infrequently leaders ask people what would improve productivity, morale or engagement,” says Rick Maurer, author of “Beyond the Wall of Resistance,” a book on change in the workplace. Employees are your best resource: Go to them.
A healthy worker is a more productive worker, which is another reason to promote an active lifestyle within the office. Punit Dhillion is the CEO of OnocoSec Medical, and he has set up a communal bike share at the office so that people can bike to lunch. “I believe that being active boosts your energy levels and your mood. We adopted a policy that encourages staff to engage in physical activity during their breaks,” says Dhillion. That’s one way to get past that mid-afternoon caffeine crash.