Work Doesn’t Have to Feel like Work – How to Transform your Office to a Happier, More Productive and Healthier Place

An office can sometimes be a dreary place for an employee. There’s no denying the atmosphere of a workplace can significantly add to, or takeaway from, a worker’s productivity, health and happiness. By creating a more relaxing, comfortable and inspiring environment, you might be surprised how significantly this may impact your effectiveness at work. The tips below provide simple ways to transform your workplace for the better.

1. Hang Scenic Artwork of Dreamy Landscapes

Sitting in an office chair for hours on end with few breaks in between can have serious repercussions to your health. The same applies to employees who stand for long hours with nothing to divert their attention. At times, all that is needed is a picture of a dreamy landscape to drift your employee’s mind for a while before they reset.

An image of a mountain or lovely beach can have therapeutic effects for your employees and the workplace in general. By bringing scenic imagery into the office, you not only have something to dream about (hello vacation!), but a means to break up an otherwise bland and uninspiring office decor. It’s hard to make cubicles look more attractive than what they are!

2. Photo Frame with a Picture of a Loved One

Your desk might have the latest computer, but it takes more than the latest gadgets to keep you happy and motivated at the office. Photo framing a picture of your partner, family, friends or pet, is a wonderful idea for transforming your workplace. It’s in those down moments during a work day (which we all have from time to time), such as working overtime to meet a deadline, when a reminder of your loved ones can make all the difference in helping you push through the feelings of overwhelm and stress.

A framed photo on your desk can also help break the ice when it comes to engaging in conversation with fellow employees, which opens doors for deeper interaction and a more family-oriented culture.

3. Add a Desk Pad or Other Accessories to Create a Softer and More Stylish Workspace

The way your office looks and feels plays a significant role in creating a happy and healthy workplace. Simple stylish additions like a simple leather desk pad, can help soften the look and add a touch of comfort to your desk. The feeling of the cold hard surface of a desk against your hands can be annoying at times, especially if you spend all day typing.

4. Ergonomic Sit-Stand Work Desk

An ergonomic sit-stand work desk isn’t just the latest in trendy office equipment. It has proven health and mood boosting effects. Other than helping to alleviate back and neck pain from sitting at a desk all day, the adjustment of one’s position and posture throughout the course of a day can significantly boost your mood and energy. These height adjustable desk converters can be added to an existing office desk, making it possible to choose between sitting or standing as needed.

5. Green Plants

Introducing plants to your workplace aids in filtering and purifying the office air which is vital especially in workplaces where air-conditioning systems are blasting all day and recycling stagnant air. Bringing nature into the workplace can also help lower stress.

Look for indoor plants that do well with minimal sunlight. Even the burst of color by way of fresh flowers in a vase once in a while can really boost your mood for the better.

6. Minimize Desktop Clutter

It can be hard to work effectively with clutter taking over your work desk and office. This isn’t just because of the physical mess, it can subconsciously impact your mental space too. A clean desk is the first step towards productivity similarly to how making the bed after waking up prepares you for a better day. Organize all the equipment on your desk as well as the paperwork and ensure everything looks presentable and organized. You’ll be surprised how this can prime your day!

7. Raise or Lower Your Monitor

No one wants to feel the added stress of physical pain in their muscles and spine when trying to focus on important work tasks. Body posture is important for both health and productivity. If you’re slouching at your desk, or hunching over a laptop, chances are, your body is suffering and you may be setting yourself up for irreversible long term physiological damage. An ergonomic office chair is a good start, but couple this with a sit-stand desk as mentioned above, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success (and reduce your trips to the chiropractor).

When sitting, to ensure your posture remains upright with little strain on your lower back, adjust your monitor to match your head level when sitting upright. Your eyes should be at the same level as the top of your screen. Your monitor should also be at arm’s length away from your chair to avoid eyestrain.

8. Hire Positive Employees

Obviously hiring an employee with the right skill set is a priority. What’s often undervalued is the employee’s personality and outlook on life. Hiring an employee with the right skill set and a positive personality is crucial to fostering a happy and healthy work culture. With each of us spending on average, eight hours a day at work, it’s no wonder your fellow workers can have a significant impact of your personal life.

It’s a shame how just one negative personality in the team can be enough to poison the whole office. This isn’t to say we can’t have our down days, but we all know a toxic person and work environment when we personally experience it over and over. Discourage gossip, talking behind other’s backs, segregation and anti-social behaviors wherever possible and choose not to participate in them yourself.

Generally speaking, workers with a more positive outlook on life and personality will have a greater positive influence on fellow employees.

9. Promote a Community-Minded Culture

Team building exercises should be encouraged to help encourage colleagues to connect with each other more and to boost unity in the office. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of working in your own little silo, but the more cross-office engagement is encouraged through activities, casual meet-ups and coffee breaks, the greater chance you have of fostering a more community-minded work culture.

By breaking down hierarchy and segregation, and encouraging workers to mingle with others regardless of their position, helps to reduce stigmatism in the workplace and makes for a safer and more comfortable workplace for all.

10. Occasionally Break Away From the Work Routine

Achieving your targets as a company can be a rewarding feeling after a financial year full of stress and challenges. However, it is hard to guarantee success when employees follow the same routine every single day for an entire year. Encourage employees to take their annual leave and organize fun social events outside of the office to break up the monotony. Everyone needs to feel a sense of relaxation and to space themself from work once in a while. It can break up stale attitudes and encourage more creative thinking.

BIO – Shyam is a business consultant and has worked with A-listed agencies including 4Point Digital, White Rabbit Marketing, and The Website Group. You can follow him on Twitter.