Anyone who has worked in an office will tell you that not every company is created equal when it comes to affording their employees with benefits. We all know (or have worked at) that company that is dull, dreary, and feels more like working a prison cell than at a real office space. Nowadays, the benefits of taking care of your employees is becoming increasingly well-known, and more companies are doing what they need to ensure that their employees are taken care of.
We’ve talked about how the happiness of an employee can dictate their productivity. Employees who are happy can display up to a 12% increase in their productivity. Similarly, employees who are unhappy can be up to 10% less productive. One major role in the happiness of a company’s employees is the community that they’re in. It’s easier to feel good about a company when you can look forward to coming into work, which means that building an office culture that promotes employee engagement, team building activities, and comfort is crucial to seeing it grow.
To help you with building that awesome office culture that your company deserves to have, we’ve come up with a list of things to help you bolster your team’s morale, health, and happiness.
Offer free gym memberships
Let’s face it. Modern jobs often have people sitting for hours on end at their desks, staring into a computer screen. The human body is made to move, not to sit, and long hours of doing nothing but sitting can cause problems for a person’s health in the long run.
Studies show that people who sit for twelve hours or more each day have higher risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer such as colon, breast, and endometrial cancer. By contrast, those who stand and move about more often show signs of improved focus, productivity, and energy. Regular exercise releases endorphins into our bloodstream, making us happier and less prone to stress.
We all know the feeling of constantly telling ourselves we need to go to the gym – that we need to exercise more. What better way to do this than to encourage our workplace to be more physical with free gym memberships or an office that comes with a gym? The result is a more productive workplace and happier and healthier employees overall. It’s a win-win situation.
Create a (healthy) snack bar
Providing snacks is a great way to improve motivation within office spaces, and a better team building activity. Hard work makes us hungry, so it’s only natural that we want some munchies halfway through the workday. Having a snack bar is a great community builder as it draws workers away from their solitary workspaces and into places where they can chat with their friends while they take a break.
Snack bars are also great for keeping your employees healthy. By offering choices that are healthier, such as walnuts, almonds, fruits, green tea, and plain yogurt, it helps a business thrive as it reduces absentee and days off due to sickness, as well as reducing medical expenses. It may also help your company’s brand awareness as employees will know that the company they work for is watching out for them.
A healthy snack bar might include:
- Fresh fruit, such as grapes, apples, oranges, and bananas
- Raw vegetables with low-fat dips or hummus
- Unsalted crackers and nuts
- Low-fat granola bars
- Dried fruit and trail mix
- String cheese
Arrange company lunches
A company that eats together, stays together.
It’s easy to become solitary while we work, especially in an office where most of our work is done solo on a computer. Company lunches are a great way to get your entire team together, and making these lunches regular is an excellent team building activity.
Food is a natural bridge builder. It can bring together people who don’t usually work together, helping everyone feel like they are part of a larger team. It is effective at breaking barriers between those of different statuses in the company and helps with employee engagement.
While company lunches may seem like you have to go out to a fancy restaurant, it doesn’t have to be. When organizing these lunches, you can get creative by instead organizing potlucks or even food contests, where people can show off their DIY food recipes and make friends with the people they work with.
Find offices with breakout spaces
London is home to thousands of unique office spaces for rent. Whether you want to rent an entire private office for your team or take advantage of coworking spaces that place your team with like-minded individuals, having a breakout space is important.
These spaces vary depending on the building, but you can imagine what having something like a rooftop patio can do for your productivity. Not only does it offer your employees spaces to retreat to that isn’t a workspace, it also helps them fuel their productivity for when they do return to work. A good breakout space helps blend the line between office work and life, allowing your employees to safely connect with each other and relax while at work. It’s a refuge from the pressure and stress of tight deadlines, and can be used even as a place for work friends to hang out after they get off for the day, transforming office life into a place they can look forward to going to every day.
Leading vs. dictating
Leadership styles vary as much as the leader, but today’s workplace thrives under those who can both lead and take care of those working under them. A good leader encourages feedback from their workers, creating open dialogue about projects and processes throughout the team. They give positive reinforcement and reaffirm the fact that they are working alongside the team, rather than simply being worked for.
Great leadership styles focus on listening to the struggles of the people they lead. Though it may be tempting for leaders to try to justify their actions, creating a safe space where employees are encouraged to freely bring up the troubles they are facing is crucial to creating a cooperative and highly successful team. When they know you’re there for them, the effectiveness of a team will be better than ever.
Finally, encouraging a team to tackle problems, rather than simply take orders, is an essential part of effective team building. Research done by UCLA shows that those who attempt (and perhaps fail) to retrieve information, rather than it simply be handed to them, demonstrate greater recall and ability. It’s tempting to micromanage your team, but leaders who give their team the tools and resources they need to tackle problems will see improvements throughout their team’s processes.