Folks are gradually making their way back to the office after this spring’s health crisis, and it’s tough to get back into the rhythm of an office environment. So what can you do to ease the transition? We offer a few office improvements for productivity and safety to help you and your team move forward.
Install Better Lighting
The drain of fluorescent lights is real, but natural light actually provides an energy boost, helping employees focus and feel refreshed. If you’re able, keep the blinds open during working hours. Neurology research from Northwestern University actually shows that employees in offices with windows get 173% more white light (natural sunlight) at work than those in closed spaces and get almost an hour more of sleep per night.
Of course, providing natural light isn’t always possible, as so many offices don’t have enough windows to let in the sunshine. If your options are limited, consider installing softer lighting instead. Warm lights are ideal for meeting rooms, as they promote calmness, while blue light bulbs work well for brainstorming rooms because they zap fatigue and boost happiness.
Make it Clean & Comfy
A neat and comfortable office is a productive one. Keeping your space in order makes team members feel good, and in turn, helps them focus. Cleanliness is a high priority in the return to in-office work, so one of the top office improvements for productivity and safety is to keep a clean and disinfected office each day. Along the same lines, don’t forget to tend to office maintenance issues, from changing light bulbs to regular trash collection.
Beyond cleanliness, focus on creating a physical work environment employees actually want to spend 8+ hours a day in. Things like live plants, modern tech tools and flexible work stations make a difference. Let employees choose to work where and how they’re comfortable, like in comfy chairs or at standing desks. Workplace research shows that those who have negative impressions of their work setup think of their office as depressing and less productive.
Get a Fresh Coat of Paint
A new office paint job is an easy and inexpensive way to boost team productivity. Why? Color has the power to alter our moods, and the ones you choose can make a space feel bright and happy or create stress.
So which colors work in an office setting? Hues that aren’t too extreme (like red or black) are ideal. Cool tones like gray, off-white or light blue are effective because they’re calming and professional. But if you’d prefer a welcoming and friendly vibe, warm tones like light orange or yellow set the right mood, too.
As team members return to the office, wellness should be top of mind. Consider implementing initiatives to improve employee wellness. One easy way to show support is to provide recognition to employees who achieved fitness goals. More proactively, your company can even provide fresh fruits and veggies as healthy, brain-boosting snacks to enjoy during the workday.
But wellness doesn’t stop at exercise or food choices. The office environment is important, too. When was the last time you checked (or even replaced) your HVAC system? Poor air quality contributes to health issues like headaches, fatigue and difficulty of breathing, making it tough to focus on tasks. Ensure that your system is working properly, clean the air filters and regulate office temperature for maximum comfort and productivity. If you need to replace your HVAC system, invest in one with HEPA filters and energy efficiency features.
Don’t Wait to Make Office Improvements for Productivity and Safety
Team members are already antsy about heading back to work, so do your part to make them feel at ease. From changes to the office aesthetic to comfort and wellness initiatives, it’s easy to prioritize productivity and safety for your team. Don’t wait; talk to McLean to get your office ready for the return to work!