A huge amount of us have been working from home for the past year, and it’s become the new norm across the world. However, businesses are starting to return to their workplaces, which is raising the question, how can the office be made comfortable to make the transition easier? We Buy Any House have shared the changes that they have made in their offices to offer an insight into what you can do for your employees.
Plants are a very popular addition in offices and homes alike across the country, adding colour and life into any room. Bringing plants into your work space will not only brighten the place up and make it more welcoming, but they also have air-purifying purposes that will keep your air clean. There are plenty of plants that you can choose from, but it’s best to go with something low maintenance and that won’t suffer if you forget to water it for a week or two. Monsteras and snake plants are very popular as they’re nice to look at and very resilient.
If your office doesn’t have fully adjustable chairs, this is the perfect time to update it and implement them. These chairs adjust in several different ways allowing the user to get the most comfortable option for them by arranging the back, height, arm rests and neck rest to suit them. These chairs are also very well suited for office workers as they can be combined with other helpful devices to ensure office safety as well as comfort, such as–
This will allow workers to move the height of their screens up or down depending on what’s comfortable for them. They limit neck ache and can also help with eye strain, as you can move them closer or further away if necessary.
A lot of offices now work off laptops rather than computers, making it easier to go in and out of the office if needed and work from home. Using stands for laptops allows your workers to angle their laptop to be more comfortable when typing, taking pressure off the wrists.
Stationary has always been a very important part of any office, with a lot of us relying on our to-do lists in notebooks to keep ourselves organised. Offering appropriate stationary to your employees will help to keep them focused and motivated. You can even have stationary made up to display your business brand logo, enforcing the company spirit throughout the office.
With some workers having worked at home for over a year now, a lot of them have gotten used to being able to utilise their kitchens during their working hours for drinks, snacks, and meals on lunch breaks. Offering a kitchen space will make workers more comfortable, especially if there are options available for them provided by the business – this can be a coffee machine, or a fruit basket that’s open to all members of staff. Having a dining space is also important, as this is something that workers will have gotten used to at home, so offering tables and chairs for them to sit and eat lunch at, that isn’t at their desks is a great way to keep your staff comfortable and enjoying their time in the workplace.
One of the biggest concerns of home workers returning to their office is the increase in risk that they previously weren’t facing. Working from home meant limiting the contact with others, and so going back into the office you need to ensure that you’re abiding by regulations and keeping your staff safe. There needs to be appropriate space between desks, and having hand sanitiser available is also a good idea to limit the risk of infection and ensure that your staff feel safe and comfortable in the office again.
Break the silence
Working in silence can be very daunting, and whether it’s the noise of other family members or having the radio on in the background, a lot of home workers have gotten used to working with some sort of noise. Having a radio on in the office keeps people motivated and avoids silent working which doesn’t create a very friendly environment. Some offices are offering staff the opportunity to create their own playlists to make the music inclusive, as well as having different genres on different days to provide some fun variety.
Flexible working hours
Especially if your employees need to get on public transport to get to and from the office, introducing flexible working hours can give them the leeway needed to make them feel more comfortable. This will help them avoid the busiest parts of the morning and afternoon, while still doing their contracted hours with you. It will also provide some comfort for employees concerned that they will not be able to get into the office on time in the mornings, especially with public transport being restricted and there being the risk of not being allowed entry if there are too many people already on it.
Make it welcoming
A lot of workers are likely going to be nervous returning to the office after so long at home, so make sure that the area is as welcoming as possible. Some offices are redecorating to be more colourful, as all-white can be a little off-putting in big office spaces. Integrate the business colours into the decoration so it’s still on-brand while offering a more vibrant and fun place to come in to.
Most home workers have embraced the dressing-down option that being in our own spaces offers, meaning that returning to work fully suited and booted isn’t at the top of everyone’s desires. Of course, in some offices, smart dress is required – but introducing dress-down Friday is a good way to make sure employees are comfortable and it’s always appreciated. In more relaxed offices, you can consider a casual dress-code more permanently, depending on any customer-facing contact.
These ideas will help you make the transition back into the office easier for your employees, keeping them safe along the way while improving your office space and making it more enjoyable for everyone in the business.