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build a happy office

How to build a happy office?

Imagine the following: you wake up in the morning. You feel good. You arrive in the office full of motivation and excitement for the day ahead. You work on projects you are invested in. You take pride in working with a great service or a product. Your work conditions suit your needs. By the end of the day, you have achieved what you wanted to do and then go home, satisfied and happy.

Is that an accurate description of your office everyday? Or does it sound more like a dream? A faraway goal that might be reachable… one day?

What does employee happiness give to a company?

It has been measured that organisations with happy employees outperform their competitors by 20%. When your employees are happy, they won’t leave your company after 6 months but keep getting more confident and proficient at their jobs.

Happy employees are healthier and more satisfied than their counterparts. They take fewer sick days and pay more attention to the tasks at hand. All this combined makes them more present, mentally and physically. And on top of that? They are also better team players and are more willing to lend a helping hand to a colleague in need.

            “Happy employees make smarter decisions, are more creative and up to 12% more productive.”

But that is not all. Happy employees also make smarter decisions since fear and anxiety are not weighing on their minds. They are more creative (more often than not, an innovative business is a successful business, right?) and are up to 12% more productive. Happiness is a lot more than a group of heart-warming smiles. Focusing on creating a happy work environment will benefit everyone involved and gives a boost the entire organisation. There is no better time to ask then now: what are the things you can do to ensure that your employees feel happy at work?

5 ways to build a happy office

A safe and motivating work environment should not be a priority only in post-covid times. However, now more than ever it is worth taking our time to think about what makes a workspace welcoming and stress-free. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some practical aspects you can consider while building your dream office today.

Create space for headspace.

No creative idea can truly blossom in a noisy environment. If you want a happy office, make sure that people can hear their own thoughts and have enough private space to focus in. An office phone booth or a meeting pod can create a much-needed silent space in a busy open office.

Autonomy.

Autonomy has been defined as the need to be in charge of our own actions and experiences. When your employees feel that they have control over what they are doing, they feel valued and take more responsibility for the work done.

Job autonomy can take many forms, depending on the organisation. For some companies, it might mean not having work schedules given to the employees and letting them choose their  schedules instead. For some, it comes down to having employees choose how their work should be done. Job autonomy leads to positive effects on people’s well-being and motivation levels, making it a valuable element to incorporate into a happy office design.

Play it smart with the colour game.

The colours used for workspace decoration can have a strong effect on people’s emotions, behaviour and general well-being. Imagine sitting in a black room for an entire winter or having the office resting area painted in brightly spotted neon orange? The opposite is also not ideal. Since humans are naturally drawn to colour, a very bland and monochrome office can start wearing us down quite quickly.

To help your employees feel mentally stimulated, add light and warm colours to the main work areas while making sure that intensely bright colours are used sparingly. The spaces where people spend the most amount of time should be kind to their retinas. A good tip for adding colour to an otherwise monochrome office is to install an office privacy booth in your desired colour.

Lay it out well.

A well-laid-out office is another way to tell your employees that you care. Few things are more depressing and demotivational than having to spend 8 hours in a space where you feel crammed or being watched over. If an office feels uncomfortable, your mind feels as well.

To give your employees enough space to think and breathe, design resting areas away from workstations. Ensure that there is as much natural light as possible and invest in good lights where desks are far away from windows. Use office pods to cleverly divide up larger areas.

Keep it clean.

A clean office helps to create a focused and unworried mind. Make sure that people wash their hands when arriving to the office and that the shared areas get cleaned regularly. Invest in high-grade hand sanitisers and check whether your air filters are up to date. You can also have a think whether there is a way to incorporate antibacterial surfaces into your office. For example, white Silen office pods and office phone booths are made with antibacterial materials that are effective against a broad range of bacteria.

The secret to happiness?

There is a high chance that the secret in happiness lies in the following: being able to come to work feeling happy and leaving the office feeling exactly the same.

Happiness is contagious. The more people are happy and motivated in your team, the better the team functions. And the happier they feel. At Silen we feel proud to think that a lot of people have gotten closer to happiness thanks to our meeting pods and perhaps our pods are even entirely responsible for some of the happiness that is out there.

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