In many ways today’s economy creates a “buyer’s market” for employers. However, even employees who need work can be choosy about which jobs they apply for and accept….and their level of loyalty may not be what it was in days past. One easy way to remedy this and improve both retention rates and hiring success is to consider a commercial remodel for your office space. In this post, learn 8 key ways to remodel your commercial space for improved employee morale, productivity and profitability.
How a Remodel Now Saves You Money Later
One reason many employers hold off on much needed renovations to their commercial space is because of budget. But a remodel can pay off in other ways – for instance, when employees are happier in their workspace, their performance improves, the number of sick days declines and overall profitability goes up. A remodel can also result in lower overhead costs, especially for energy, since remodeling offers you the opportunity to switch to energy-saving fixtures, bulbs and appliances. And a remodel can pinpoint any minor brewing issues before they turn into major repairs – another way to save.
Remodel Tip #1: Add live indoor greenery
Adding low maintenance indoor greenery, including decorative plants and trees, can not only brighten up your commercial space, but it will also improve the air quality in each room where there are plants. In the 1980’s, NASA proved that indoor greenery provided better air quality in the space station. Now, employers are using this data to improve workspace air quality as well!
Remodel Tip #2: Change up those tired old cubicles
There are certain types of job functions where having the old style high-walled cubicle is an assist to productivity. However, for most of today’s team-based work spaces, the cubicle is a big deterrent to collaboration, idea sharing, brainstorming and other key elements of staying on the cutting edge in an ever-changing economy. This is why many leading edge tech companies have made cubicles a trend of the past. Another perk – the low walls really open up and brighten the office space for everyone!
Remodel Tip #3: Give the kitchens and break rooms a facelift
One of the biggest key learnings for today’s tech companies is how critical the “watering hole” concept is for facilitating new (and profitable!) ideas! As employees gather to get coffee or fix lunch, the old school management style would have quickly shooed them back to their desks. Today, sometimes companies find it is better for employees to linger, chat, brainstorm! You could add wall-wide chalk board decals or dry erase boards to encourage collaboration. Adding splashes of color boosts creativity. If you offer coffee or snacks, you may also want to rethink whether those are adding to or detracting from employee health and wellness.
Remodel Tip #4: Do whatever you can to allow all employees access to natural light
Employees that go to work in the dark and come home in the dark – especially those who work on the East Coast in the long, dismal winters! – report higher levels of depression. Not surprisingly, this can also lead to more sick days and lower productivity. Whatever you can do to bring in natural light in ways that all employees have some access to will help to stave off this effect. Perhaps it is small skylights or sunrooms where employees can take coffee breaks, have meetings and enjoy lunch. Or maybe you will choose to have resting or wellness rooms located along outside walls for employees who want to spend their lunch break doing yoga or meditation. Employee gyms are becoming more popular again for this very same reason – so long as the equipment is updated, works well and is sufficient for everyone to take a turn while on lunch break.
Remodel Tip #5: Take another look at your flooring
Old, ugly, stained or threadbare carpeting is never an inspiring sight first thing in the morning as employees walk in. For that matter, neither is broken or mismatched tile or flooring. These types of changes can also signal to employees that the company feels secure enough to do a little spending to improve everyone’s work space – this is always a morale booster!
Remodel Tip #6: Repaint
The choice to repaint dulled or dingy walls and ceilings is perhaps the one thing that has even more impact than freshening up your carpet and flooring. It is simply amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do!
Remodel Tip #7: Consider changing out your chairs
Even if you don’t want to change up everything about your employee work stations or meeting areas, changing the chairs can be a wise move for several reasons. New chairs can promote or ease back pain, improve ergonomics and make employees feel valued.
Remodel Tip #8: Change your lighting
Not only is a move to energy efficient light bulbs a good choice for your energy costs and your company’s carbon footprint, it can also affect employee morale and productivity. Try to steer clear of harsh, glaring neon overhead lights in favor of softer adjustable area lighting that employees have some control over.
With these 8 tips, your employees may just arrive at work one day not long from now to discover the workplace of their dreams is waiting for them!