Tik tok, you look at the clock and it moves even slower. You just want to leave work and start to think “time is relative anyways”. We’ve all been there. It's normal that from time to time you just don't want to live the monotony of everyday life. That's why companies have the constant challenge of creating spaces and strategies to make their team feel like home and keep productivity at its peak.
By applying some changes to your workplace from an honest attitude of wanting to improve things, a sense of belonging, of “we are part of this”, is born. Well-being as part of the team’s culture will decrease conflicts, miscommunication, and fear of speaking and proposing or saying what you think.
Also, by implementing ideas that allow people to get out of the routine, it will set a chain of new everything. New experiences make you have different emotions, different ways of thinking, and then new ideas. Stop trying to change the results by doing the same always. Take a chance; believe in the human spirit and it's resilience.
Productivity goes hand-in-hand with motivation, so the company doesn't need to carry the team’s problems from everyday life, it’s important to build a shared responsibility. Providing a space where people can feel comfortable in being themselves, of releasing stress, anxiety, anger, resting, and taking care of themselves when needed.
This time we want to provide you with ideas on how to take care of the general well-being of your team. This way, everyone can feel supported, even the ones who have a higher position in the company
11 Ways to Make Your Workplace’s Environment Happier and Friendlier
Personalize Your Workspace
- Allowing your team to show who they are, and what they love and like, opens the door to connecting among people, seeing what they have in common or not, and breaking walls that are created because they might think that they have to be a certain way while they work. Encourage them, and show interest in letting them spice things up a bit, by giving them the authority to arrange their workspace as they wish, as many times as they want. Saying that: “Yes! You are more than 'X' position, and more than the functions that you do”, matters.
Bring Life to Your Environment
How? With nature! That beautiful gift that we’ve been given has so many astonishing effects on us.
- Use plants, all types of them. Through history mankind has learned a lot about us by contemplating them. Let creativity blossom and let inspiration sprout. Being surrounded by plants makes us feel less stressed and more one with the environment. This means that you belong in this place. I can’t stress this enough, so if you want to learn more go to: https://www.ambius.com/learn/the-power-of-plants/
- Let there be light! Daylight and views of the outdoors have a tremendous impact on the perception of where you are. Feeling locked inside and isolated have a negative impact on performance. We constantly need to find new ways of balancing our habits with healthier habits, now that we spend so much time with technology. A big window or natural light gives us the chance of disconnecting and just being.
- There is a saying in Colombia: “En el mar la vida es más sabrosa”, which means, life next to the sea is more delightful. That feeling of freedom when we’re staring at the sea can be in the workplace with water fountains. The sound, how they look and their meaning, can lower stress level, help you make better decisions and teach you many things just by contemplating it. I think you know what I mean. Get a water fountain!
Get Out of the Routine
- Taking advantage of special dates, holidays, monthly celebrations don't have to be seen as a waste of time. In fact, they allow you to give space to recharge, reconnect, impact and start all over again. Celebrate life! Work life is so attached to a negative perception unless you’re an athlete, an actor, a musician, etc. No! Why does it have to be in your case? You don't have to be anyone to enjoy working and having an amazing work environment and perks… Enjoy, eat, laugh, dance, basically build a life that allows you to balance all the weight that comes with being an adult.
- Give space to the creation of events and teams. Maybe someone likes volunteering; well, the company should have a day to visit animal shelters. Your team is full of people that love video games or sports; well, the OWC (official workplace championship) has been created. People are hungry, let's have a picnic. Some really important decisions need to be made; let's go to an amusement park and scream the hell out of your worries and take that risk. Of course you’ll decide what can or can’t be done, and you make the rules. The important part is to frequently connect new paths in your brain by having different activities.
- Have you heard about design thinking? It's a methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It will allow you to build innovative relationship and processes inside your company, impacting each inch of your work environment. Learn more about the 5 stages it proposes to achieve amazing results on: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/5-stages-in-the-design-thinking-process
- Remote work. Sometimes, the best thing you can do to take care of yourself is to take a step back from places that you’re too charged negatively with, and let oxygen clean and remove what no longer works for you. So, having the perk of working from home a few days a month or a week, is a game changer. It's a decision that will prove who is responsible enough to do it, and also it will give you insights on how aligned your team is. Also, is a strategy used in big companies, where for one day the entire company works from home to lower costs of services and get a break from commuting.
Breaking the Mold
- The way you talk to your peers makes the difference. Understanding that their individuality is neither right nor wrong; rather it can either be useful or it can prevent them from being brighter. We´re not accustomed to being told our flaws and mistakes, so voicing our feedback can help our teammates to change. It might catch them off guard, so instead of becoming aware of the needed change, they start building up a wall to protect themselves. Offering to give feedback can be really helpful, this way they can prepare themselves mentally to receive it. When wanting to improve the workplace environment, it is better to be perceived as a leader that provides guidance, than as a boss that gives orders.
- When having meetings, it is not always necessary to have them in a meeting room. Encourage your peers to hold them walking, in a park, or standing up. This will benefit your brain and change the way it makes decisions. Even try going to the gym, letting go of stress, and gaining perspective. It can lighten the path when decisions are needed to be made. Shifting your daily habits can help your subconscious wire new channels that can impact greatly how you see things.
- In cases when you need training, collaborating between companies is better than traditional training. Real immersion is to get out of the comfort zone and visit other companies and see other ways of working. The more people that are involved in these type of knowledge exchange, the better. Not sure how to bring more people into this? Well, what if you hire an international student, even as a remote employee? What if you send your marketing team to work in any of your partner's headquarters? Basically, anything that makes creativity and well-being flow is allowed. Challenges are not there to destroy us, but to make us better!
Which way would you like to try first? It should be said that doing these things will not make everything shiny and perfect on the first try. The involvement and will of your team need to be 50/50, but you can feel at peace when trying honestly to improve the workplace environment just because as humans, we deserve the best life possible. If people do not want help, then you´ll understand who you´re working with, and it will help you make decisions about who are the right people to be at your side, giving you the best to thrive on the market. Good luck!