Office employees spend much of their time inside an office building. In fact, most people spend more time at work than they do at home. Therefore, it is important to consider how the physical environment of the office directly influences employee work performance and productivity. The physical environment encompasses what employees can see, touch, taste, and smell. It refers to the art that is hanging on the walls, the furniture that employees are sitting in, the temperature of the room, and the equipment that employees have access to. While it may seem second to the business itself, the physical office can have a huge impact on employee morale and performance. In addition to salary, benefits, and other perks, employees should also negotiate for a better office and here’s why.
Employees who are Comfortable are More Positive
It doesn’t take a professional to tell you that when you are in an area that is attractive, comfortable, and clean you are going to feel better. This is true of both the home environment and the office environment. Companies should invest in good lighting, properly working heating and air conditioning units, quality office furniture, and decorative elements such as plants and pictures. Each of these elements is important in creating an office that is clean and pleasant to be in. Employees will appreciate the aesthetic value that it brings to the space and they will be affected in a more positive way.
An Updated Office Lends Itself to Greater Productivity
Employees are a company’s greatest asset so it only makes sense that employees should have access to up-to-date technology, working equipment, and anything else that is required to help them succeed. Employees should absolutely negotiate for better computers, printers, phones, and any other tools that might help them to do their job better. Companies that invest in updated equipment not only give their employees the opportunity to be more productive, but they demonstrate that employees’ needs matter and are important.
Lounge Areas Provide a Healthy Retreat for Employees
While no company pays their employees to come to work and lounge on the couch, it is important to note that employees need and deserve a quiet reprieve every now and then. Lounge areas or quiet rooms provide employees with a place to retreat if they need a few minutes of quiet to gather their thoughts or decompress for a few minutes. Having a place where employees can relax can help reduce their stress levels and boost their energy levels. When employees are engaged in long hours or intensive work, they need to have a few minutes where they can take a break in order to regain their focus. Therefore, employees should negotiate for a lounge area or quiet room where they can have a few minutes of solitude in the midst of their work day.
The Physical Work Environment Directly Impacts Employees
Perhaps you want an office located near a window. Maybe you are in a dark corner and prefer an office space with a little more light. Maybe the color of the office is drab and uninviting. All of these are valid reasons to negotiate a better office environment. Think about how you feel when you walk into a doctor’s office or hospital. Chances are you don’t get overly excited or filled with energy. It’s hard to feel engaged and inspired when the environment itself is cold and unwelcoming. Things like natural light, bright colors and attractive décor do more than just make the office look pretty. They actually make the employees feel happier and more engaged at work. In turn, this leads to greater performance and higher productivity.
Employees Work Best When They Have Options
Most employees do not love sitting in a cubicle all day. After all, how many of us prefer to be stuck in a 6×6 box with nothing to look at but a computer screen and a phone. The truth is employees can’t be their best when they are forced to stay in one place all day. Employees should negotiate for an office that provides multiple work options. For example an office might have an open environment with cubicles as well as a collaborative learning space, a co-working café, a conference room, and a few smaller meeting rooms. Integrating multiple working spaces gives employees options as to where they can work best. It also lends itself to teamwork and collaboration.