improve office environment

Improve your office environment to boost your team’s productivity

Mark Trego
Jun 17, 2019

Your company culture and brand extends beyond just your mission statement and values. The way your physical office looks, the way you operate, the processes you put in place, and the tools you use all collectively create your culture. When you surround employees with things that inspire and support them, they are happy. When your employees are happy, your employees are productive.  Happy employees are 31% more productive, 37% better at sales, and nearly 3 times more creative.

improve office environment

Companies that have cracked the company environment code see a huge difference in their employees, productivity, and overall success. They are at another level in the minds of the public as well; think of Google, Netflix, and Hubspot. These are general case studies for top company culture that keeps employees productive and engaged.

What makes these companies’ office environments a place where employees are comfortable, happy, and thriving?

We’ve narrowed down some of the top factors that create productive and happy office environment for your team:

Team building activities:

Without integration and relationship building opportunities, it’s easy for teams to stay distant and fall into patterns of communication and collaboration that are stagnant and not optimal. Additionally, employees happiness at work often depends on the relationships they build there. We spend more time interacting with coworkers than friends most of the time. These connections are important. Team building activities can not only help people make connections at work but learn to work together better as a team. Read more on the best team building activities from top companies.

improve office environment

Programs and perks that promote company wellness:

As the line between work and play blurs, employees are expecting companies to care more and more about how they are progressing both professionally and personally. And it’s in companies’ best interest as well. When employees thrive, companies thrive. More than 60 percent of employers with workplace wellness programs said their programs reduced their organizations’ healthcare costs. Employers who are not focused on offering perks like gym memberships, healthy food options, and free wellness programs worked into employee benefits are foregoing an opportunity to improve productivity, retain employees, and reduce costs overall. They’re actually exposing them to a huge cost productivity wise. The estimated cost associated with lower productivity due to poor employee health is at least 2 to 3 times greater than direct health care expenses.

Here are some examples of employee wellness programs:

  • Free, on-site fitness centers
  • Healthy food options
  • Yoga and meditation classes
  • Stress management courses and workshops

Remote work opportunities:

Another secret to improving your office environment? Let employees not be in the office. Employees are actively seeking remote work opportunities. It’s beneficial for productivity, engagement, and overall employee satisfaction. Employees feel that they can get more done in private. Being at home for part of their work week can help eliminate distractions and avoid the time necessary for commuting. 30% said that telecommuting allowed them to accomplish more in less time. Employees who telecommute at least some of their time report lower stress levels. Lower stress and less distraction leads to greater productivity. It also gives employees a sense of autonomy that can help with retention; they feel less controlled.

Of course, remote work still needs to be productive. A great tool for facilitating remote work is Hibox. Hibox allows your team to chat, video call, create and manage tasks, and share files all in one organized digital platform. It has integrations for the tools you already use and love like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box so you can collaborate efficiently. Hibox allows your team to communicate real time in organized streams that help keep conversation, files, and tasks organized. It’s like a digital office your team can work in together when remote. Read more about the tools you can use to boost remote work productivity.

remote work platform

Create space for hands on creativity and collaboration:

The creativity and innovation that your company needs to churn out new ideas and solutions doesn’t happen in small cubicles. It happens when minds come together and plan the way forward together. For a productive environment, facilitate creativity and collaboration with plenty of shared spaces where teams can get together and work together. The goal is to avoid silos, allows employees to share and build on ideas, create cohesion, and build relationships. IDEO in Silicon Valley was a big founder of the idea of creating interactive collaboration spaces with whiteboards, tools, surfaces, and materials necessary for hands on creative work for teams. You can create the same for your team and encourage them to work in an interactive way by giving designated open space and time for teams to meet and work together.

Here are some ways you can create a space for collaboration:

  • Schedule regular meetups via video conference for convenience and inclusion
  • Give teams materials like smartboards, white boards, flow chart creation material, etc. to work with together. It’s different being hands on rather than in a circle of laptops.
  • Create a chat stream just for sharing solutions and ideas

Encourage open, intuitive communication:

One of the biggest issues with office environments is communication. If communication is not intuitive, easy, and organized, it will negatively affect employee productivity and team effectiveness. How communication is handled within your office between management levels and employees also affects how employees feel at work and about management. Offices with open communication, both in structure and in policy, do better. How do you do this?

Eliminate email:

Why should you ditch email for internal communication tools? Email is outdated, siloed, and not efficient. Employees can spend up to 28% of their work week on email. Eliminating email can improve productivity greatly. Encourage open communication by using tools that allow employees to chat as a team. Most employees are used to messaging apps and chat outside of the office. It is a real-time, intuitive form of communication that makes more sense for working together as a team. Company chat is the best way to facilitate open communication. Using a tool like Hibox, your team can organize conversation in chat streams. It’s much more inclusive and collaborative compared to email. More employees are able to share their ideas and thoughts and be a part of the conversation. collaboration

Flatten the communication structure:

Employees feel more empowered in their work, engaged, and overall productive when they feel like they are directly contributing and their work is acknowledged by management. Show them this by flattening the communication process for your team and management. Make speaking to higher management more accessible. Not only does it boost morale and productivity but it also allows ideas and solutions employees at all levels have reach those who can act on them quicker. A good way to do this is to create a company chat stream for the whole team where upper management can send updates and interact with the whole team. This makes the whole company feel connected and on the same page.

Boosting productivity can easily be done by taking the little steps and improvement necessary in your office space. When employees feel confident, organized, and supported by a company in the environment they work in everyday, the compounding effect on overall productivity is always greatly beneficial in the long run. For a way to boost productivity and collaboration for your team, try Hibox for free today.

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