9 Things Every Modern Office Needs
Happy employees are more productive and more likely to meet deadlines, often going above your expectations. This is why many modern offices are now arranged around this reality. Spending some time designing around your employee needs is a sound investment, and the following list can help you decide which upgrades to make first.
#1: Ergonomic desks and chairs
Comfort is very important, especially for staff members that spend long hours at their desks or on the computer. For example, more than 500,000 people per year need carpal tunnel surgery, according to the New York Times. Make sure that workspaces meet the basic needs of ergonomic design – chairs should be the right height for the desk and the employee so that the body and neck is kept straight. Also, provide items to help, such as wrist rests and other items staff can use to ensure comfort at the desk.
#2: Allergen-free workspaces
Allergies and stale air can be a major concern in any office. Keeping plants around helps clean the air and improves air quality while reducing allergens. Also, schedule regular cleaning services to keep the office free of dust and pollen. It's also a good idea to periodically bring in a carpet and upholstery cleaner so that allergens don't accumulate in these soft surfaces.
#3: Alternative furniture options
Not everyone is comfortable at a desk and office chair. Proponents of the standing desk, for example, often find themselves much more productive when they work standing up. Others may be able to focus better and stay more alert when they swap out the chair for an exercise ball. Provide some alternative furniture options when possible.
#4: On-site gym
Healthy employees miss fewer work days and are more productive and satisfied at work. An on-site gym encourages staff to exercise regularly before or after work, or even on a lunch break. If a gym isn't possible, at least consider offering a gym membership as an employment perk.
#5: Quality coffee
It's the little things that make the modern office desirable, and one of those little things is good coffee. Get rid of the dirty office coffee pot and switch to a full service machine that offers staff choices in coffee. You should also provide tea and cocoa for the non-coffee drinkers in the office.
#6: Comfortable flooring
Flooring is important, especially if your staff spends a lot of time on their feet. Skip the office carpeting, which tends to look dingy and eventually pulls up to form a tripping hazard. Engineered wood, when installed over a cushioned subfloor, is easy to maintain with periodic floor refinishing services and it is both comfortable and attractive.
#7: Telecommuting options
Not every productive day has to happen in the office. Provide the staff with options to work from home, or at least outside of the office, when possible. Sometimes a few days of working at home can prevent the use of a sick day, so you don't need to worry about lost productivity or an employee coming in and getting the whole office sick.
#8: An innovative meeting room
Meeting spaces are important. They need to encourage the creative and innovative thinking your business needs to grow. Unless you absolutely need to stick with the traditional board table setup, consider going for more comfortable options such as comfortable chairs and couches surrounding a presentation area.
#9: Cutting edge break rooms
Break time is also important, since everyone needs to be able to unwind during the workday in order to stay productive. To this end, skip the utilitarian break room and instead consider an employee lounge area instead. This includes everything from couches and comfy arm chairs to televisions and reading nooks.
A modern office is a perfect blend of productivity, sophistication, and comfort. With a little planning, you can create this office and reap the rewards.