When you consider that the office is where many people spend upwards of 8 hours a day, it’s no surprise that a happy work environment massively affects your wellbeing.
Therefore, ensuring that you have a space that is friendly, enjoyable and productive should be a high priority.
Whilst you may not have much control over what goes on in the office, we’ve created a quick list of small ways in which you can help to create a more positive space and ensure everyone enjoys their time at work.
1 – Go Green
Depending on the size and scale of your office, there are many ways to bring the outdoors in. Desk plants are widely available and can make a nice addition with minimal upkeep. However, if you have the space, why not consider introducing free-standing indoor plants or even a green breakout area filled with plants and greenery?
Whichever way you go, introducing plants into the office can vastly increase workplace happiness and productivity.
2- Make Time for Microbreaks
According to the Get Britain Standing Campaign, workers sit for an average of 8.9 hours a day – that’s longer than they sleep. Therefore, taking five minutes to make a coffee and gather your thoughts can be a great way to break up your day and leave you feeling refreshed.
If you don’t fancy a coffee, why not go for a brief walk around the office, get a breath of fresh air or catch up with a colleague?
However, be strict and ensure your breaks are brief and not too frequent. If you allow yourself to rest for too long, you will find the exercise may become more of a distraction and reduce your productivity.
3 – Create & Enjoy Space for Socialising
Small businesses can benefit from the facilities provided by co-working and serviced offices, as they can provide an opportunity to be around like-minded or complementary businesses in a progressive environment.
For example, many of the serviced offices in London provide social areas where colleagues can talk before, during or after working hours. From rooftop bars to on-site cafes and brainstorming rooms, there are plenty of ways to incorporate space for socialising and getting creative in the office.
If you’re not in a position to create a social space, why not see how you can utilise an existing space to run social activities either during lunch or after hours. Whether it’s a lunch group, book club or exercise group, there are plenty of ways to socialise with colleagues.
4- Get Fruity
You’ve heard it before, but you really should stick to the rule of five-a-day. If you do, it can be a simple way to feel better and more motivated.
Eating a couple of servings of fruit during the work day can give you a natural sugar boost when you’re feeling low. What’s more, as you continue to eat healthily, you will develop a positive habit that offers a sense of achievement, boosting your self-esteem and morale.
Quick Tip: Bananas are a great source of energy and can be used as a pick-me-up during that mid-afternoon slump.
5 – Listen to Music for Motivation
Listening to music has been proven to improve your efficiency, creativity and overall happiness at work. In fact, studies have shown that 79% of employees can boost their productivity by listening to music at work.
So whether it’s the latest song by your favourite artist, a podcast or something more classical, listening to any kind of music will relax the mind and help you to focus on your tasks.
What’s more, if you invest in a set of noise-cancelling headphones, you can block out the distracting sounds of a busy office as well as noisy coworkers.
6 – Invest Time in Training
Stagnating at work is a sure-fire way to not only fall out of love with your job but end up feeling deflated and unmotivated. Therefore, taking any opportunities to go on training courses, gain additional qualifications or expand on your expertise is a great way to feel happier emotionally and professionally.
If you’re an employer, you should remember that everyone loves to feel like they are growing as a person, and work is a huge part of life where opportunity is often just around the corner. You should be open to providing training opportunities, or at least open to suggestions from employees who are proactive in seeking them out themselves.
7- Switch Up Your Commute
Not everyone enjoys having the same routine day in, day out. Changing your daily commute on a regular basis can be an easy way to switch things up.
Swapping the car, bus or train for a bike is a great way to get fit and get a bit of fresh air. Getting out and about in the open air is a positive start to the day with a healthy hit of endorphins.
If cycling isn’t an option, consider carpooling and go to work with a friend of colleague. A little bit of casual social interaction can give you more meaningful relationships at work.
Make sure your new commute is both practical and affordable. For example, if you work in a private office space, check whether it offers storage for your bike or if there are nearby transport links.
8- Set Realistic Goals
If you have limited control over your surroundings at work, setting your own personal goals can be a great way to boost your confidence and maintain your happiness.
Not all managers are successful in keeping their teams motivated and feeling positive about their development. Therefore, by taking the time to set realistic goals for yourself every month, you can track your own development and feel a sense of achievement every time you a hit a target.
The exercise of setting weekly, monthly and yearly goals is a proactive way to control your development and stay happy in your job.
9 – Start a Wellbeing Initiative
Taking charge of your own wellbeing is probably the best way to ensure you continue to feel upbeat and content at work.
Whilst there are lots of little things that you can do for yourself, stepping forward to help start or run a wellbeing initiative is a positive action that the whole workforce can benefit from.
With more companies prioritising the wellbeing of their employees, most managers or authority figures will be open to your ideas. To get you started, here are some potential initiatives that are both cost-friendly and effective:
- Walking or exercise groups
- Group training sessions held by individuals
- Access to healthy food
- Departmental or company incentives
10 – Switch Off
Draw a line between your work life and your home life. This means not checking your work email inbox outside of office hours. Whilst this can be a challenge, but putting work behind you until tomorrow is key for keeping that home/work balance.
To stop your mind from thinking about work, keep yourself busy with plenty of activities. Try a build a routine for the week and ensure you prioritise time spent on doing the things you enjoy. Some activities that are great for relaxing and de-stressing are:
- Socialise with friends
Top fact: Did you know that in France it is actually illegal to send work emails outside of office hours?
So there you have it, 10 simple ideas for making your office a happier workspace. So next time you are feeling stressed or a bit fed up of work, why not try out a few of these ideas and take control of your mood at work.