Health and wellbeing tops the corporate agenda along with other more traditional employee benefits, but the physical working environment has been slow to take note – and it’s time bosses look into smarter workplaces.
With the likes of Google offering technology driven workplaces and Zoopla’s new offices boasting a wine cellar for its staff, businesses need to evaluate what is currently being offered. While many believe this is exclusive for multi-national organisations, small businesses can make a number of changes to make a big impact.
At Seven Integration, we believe good design makes a difference to employee wellbeing, so here are our top tips for small business employers looking to create smarter workplaces.
(1) Stay true to your values
Your workspace should reflect your company’s culture and values. No matter the location of your office, small changes can make a big difference to staff retention and employees’ happiness.
If the sector you’re in isn’t conducive to desk working, then don’t fill your office with desks to conform. Shared working areas with sofas, bean bags and picnic tables for example, can make the office feel like a home away from home – helping employees relax while boosting creativity.
(2) Let the sun shine
With 68 per cent of employees complaining about the lighting in their workplace, evaluating your current lighting can increase staff productivity and mood. Dim lighting can cause headaches and eye strain, while fluorescent lighting is also cited as a trigger for migraine headaches. So automated blinds and screens can benefit businesses looking to improve the levels of comfort for their employees and help regulate heat in the summer months. Integrating a solution like this will not only create a conducive working environment but allow your employees to take control – one massive brownie point for smarter workplaces there.
Controlling light also helps reduce our impact on the wider environment, cutting power consumption and reducing utility bills – a bonus for employers.
(3) Lights, camera, action!
Bespoke cinema systems aren’t only for the rich and famous, businesses need to take note of their presentation facilities. Impressing clients and boosting employee morale are top of the agenda here.
For creative industries, like advertising agencies, immersing clients in a world of action and adventure is key to winning new business, so ensuring your conference room does your work justice is a small price to pay. This doesn’t just need to be turned off at the end of the day either; allowing your staff to unwind by watching films or playing video games is a great reward, using facilities that are otherwise unavailable to them.
We predict that the smart technology currently gaining popularity in homes will soon transfer to office environments. As the Internet of Things reshapes the workplace – changing the way we do business, small bosses need to keep up with the latest trends to ensure they’re attracting and retaining world class talent.
Alex Josling is co-founder and director of Seven Integration.