The modern workplace has changed dramatically over the last few decades.
Today modern offices are open plan. They have fluid spaces with break out areas, meeting pods and in some cases beanbags!
Office designers and workplace consultants have drawn on the fields of psychology and sociology to come up with ideas for workplaces that encourage productivity and a happy work environment.
However, not every workplace has the money to invest in the latest fad or advisory support.
In this article we look at five straightforward and cost effective changes you can make to your office today that will make it a happier, more sustainable and productive place to work.
Invest In Office Plants
Adding plants to your workplace is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve the physical and mental health of employees.
Plants naturally cleanse air. Most offices are stuffy places. In fact the American Society of Horticultural Science recently found that air quality indoors is on average 12 times more polluted than the outdoors.
Plants have been shown to improve air quality in-doors by up to 87%.
In addition plants have been shown to make people happier, more creative and help keep the environment front of mind.
Go on; brighten up your office with some plants!
Introduce A Clear Desk Policy
A clear desk policy is a sure way to improve productivity.
There is nothing worse than a chaotic workplace! Sure, some people are naturally messy and claim to have some method to their madness, but at an organisational level we suggest implementing a clear desk policy.
With a clear desk policy you will find that your office becomes more ordered and structured. This has positive implications on employee productivity.
Of course we don’t suggest that a clear desk policy is draconian, some mess is important and certainly we would expect desks to be ‘actively messy’ during working hours, but we do suggest a policy that encourages orderly desks before employees leave work.
Implement Standing Desks
Prolonged sitting is not good for one’s health. Research suggests that the average person sits for nearly 13 hours a day! This is almost certainly due to the advent of the knowledge economy with more and more people working in offices.
Implementing standing desks is a great way to encourage employees to break up their day with some sitting and some standing. The trick is to make sure you get desks that provide the flexibility of both options.
Some standing desks nowadays have automated systems to move them from standard position to standing. Alternatively you could DIY standing desk your office using these tips..
Either way, if you are looking to invest in new office furniture we recommend considering standing desks.
Install Follow-Me Printing
Paper usage in the average office is extraordinary high. Since the advent of laser printers the average employee doesn’t think twice before they hit print!
Recent research has shown that over 30% of print jobs sent to the printer are never collected! This is a huge waste of money and has a significant impact on the environment.
Follow-me printing is a great solution to save money and conserve the environment. It works as follows. When a print job is sent to the printer, the sender needs to get up and walk to the printer to activate the job.
The cost of implementation is minimal and the payback super quick.
Remove Personal Bins and Centralise Recycling
The average office produces a lot of waste! Some studies show that an office of 100 people produces on average 20 black bags of waste a day.
One of the biggest areas for waste disposal is the personal bin under an employee’s desk. Usually this bin sees a lot of action, much of which could in fact be recycled if the perpetrator were willing to stand up and walk to the recycling bins.
To reduce waste and increase recycling it is a great idea to remove personal bins and centralise recycling. We recommend going with source separated bins that are clearly labelled so that the recycled waste is separated in the office.