As businesses across the country prepare to re-open their offices and welcome back their employees after the period of closure, managers should be looking for office improvement ideas to make the workspace as appealing to staff as possible.
With so many people adjusted to working from home over the past year, it can be difficult to smoothly transition from a personalized, ‘Instagramable’ home office space set up exactly as you like it to a generic desk in a tired traditional setting. When laying out your ‘back-to-office’ plan, it could be a perfect time to modernize your place of business.
Many new businesses are choosing to move away from the ‘uniform professional’ aesthetic and opt for a more personal approach to make their offices more appealing. In a world where everything is photographed and shared, having an attractive office is not only good for the people working there, but it can also be good for business. Clients or partners walking into a welcoming and vibrant environment are more likely to feel at ease, which is usually a benefit.
This style of office improvement idea is not for everybody, and there is a lot of discussion regarding the topic.
Pros and Cons of Personalization in The Workplace
Pros of Personalization in The Workplace
- Helps bridge the gap between a home office and a traditional office.
- Staff feel their individual personalities are valued and encouraged.
- A vibrant office often leads to increased productivity at work because people are happy to be there.
- People feel happier about going back to work in the office if they feel happy and comfortable at their desks.
- Creates a more welcoming atmosphere for clients and can improve the office working environment for staff.
- A modern look often represents a modern way of thinking; something which is imperative for businesses to thrive in the current climate.
Cons of Personalization in The Workplace
- If taken too far, personalization can make a space feel unprofessional.
- Too many personal touches can be distracting.
- Some managers do not like a lack of cohesion, which can become an issue if not properly monitored.
- Personalization can lead to feelings of inequality.
- Some take the view that ‘professional’ and ‘personal’ should always be separate.
The key to successfully personalizing a workspace is balance; remembering that it is a place of work above all else and must maintain professional standards. Check out our guide on five ways to personalize a workspace for some tips on how to get the balance just right.
Going back to work after COVID-19 requires some changes and office improvement ideas. Working flexibly from home has allowed businesses to continue functioning and should not be dismissed just because offices are re-opening. Hybrid working is transitioning from a traditional office team set up, incorporating remote workers and in-office staff to maximize productivity, fluidity, and safety.
For many, returning to an office environment is not an exciting prospect, with many people still concerned for their health and the health of more vulnerable family members who share their homes. Part of improving your office working environment is accommodating concerned staff to the best of your ability.
Hybrid working is one of the main office improvement ideas management teams and business owners are working towards.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Working
Pros of Hybrid Working
- Utilizing remote staff can help cut costs by having fewer bodies in the office.
- Hybrid working is all about productivity, and the recent restrictions have opened many companies’ eyes to the benefits of online communication platforms such as Zoom.
- More than 70% of people say they prefer having the option to work remotely because they feel it is better for their health and well-being. An example of this is full-time working parents who find their families have benefitted from the more home-based work schedule.
- The opportunity to work with a wider range of talent is opened by going ‘hybrid.’ By removing the need for in-person meetings in a set place, you can connect instantly with workers from anywhere in the world.
Cons of Hybrid Working
- The feeling of division between the office-based and remote staff is a potential downside to this modern way of running a business.
- If not responsibly managed, client experience could be impacted by the lack of personal contact. Despite the safety benefits of working and communicating digitally, most people still like to do business face-to-face.
- Some industries are not suited to hybrid working. If your business is heavily based on interactions or requires in-person contact for whatever reason, trying to go hybrid could be more of a hindrance.
Revamp Your Office Interior
One of the best ways to make an office appealing and the best office improvement idea is to improve office design; meaning it may be time for some upgrades. Staff are more excited to return to work if they know they are coming back to good quality design and comfortable furniture. Things such as new and improved ergonomic office chairs or modern and convenient standing desks are great and easy upgrades to make for your office relaunch.
If you intend to organize a full design overhaul and plan to have a bulk office furniture order for improved office design, you should consider asking staff for feedback on what they would like to see. Listening to the opinions of the people who are most affected by the changes you make is good management practice and goes a long way to making your place of business an appealing and enjoyable environment for your employees.
How Much Should COVID-19 Impact Your Office Improvement Ideas?
The biggest concern for most people right now is safety. By fully complying with safety regulations and communicating clearly the rules and expectations, staff can feel reassured and comfortable to return. Keep up to date with the CDC guidelines for returning to office.
What Mistakes Should Managers Be Wary of When Re-Designing an Office?
The temptation can be to go all out and change everything. Too much change too fast can be overwhelming, so if you are planning a major reinvention, try to keep communication as frequently as possible to avoid issues when you relaunch.
Why Is It so Important to Maintain an Appealing Office Environment for Your Staff?
The more pleasant a working environment you create, the more content your employees feel, and the higher the productivity you see. Staff engagement is vital for a successful business, and an improved office design goes a long way to achieving it.
In the aftermath of COVID-19 restrictions, many people are apprehensive about returning to the office, so employers should be looking to do all they can to boost morale and make for a smooth transition. Improving your office design is a good place to start.