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Making your office a happier place - quirky ideas for a strong working environment

The Events Company

Once upon a time joining a new company after school or college meant you’d have a job for life, regardless of how happy you were there. Fast forward to 2018 and the days of accepting the status quo are long gone, with employees seeking more fulfilment from their work life than ever before. But while a recent report shows that happiness in the workplace has improved, more than half of UK employees will be looking for new jobs this year.

In a competitive and fast-paced world, what can employers be doing to make the working environment a place that staff will want to grow and develop? With studies showing that happiness at work increases productivity by 12%, we’ve brought you some tips on keeping employees happy and engaged.

Employee-led learning and development

According to Forbes, learning and development is considered one of the most important benefits among millennials, with 22% citing it as the number one consideration when looking at a job package.

Most large companies now offer comprehensive training options, but you can up your game and stand out from the crowd by personalising the experience for employees. Whether it’s a training suggestions box or individual packages decided by each staff member, listening to your staff and delivering what they want will lead to a happier work environment. You can also mix up the way training is offered with external speakers, employee-led sessions and introducing interaction and gamification.

Create a chill-out zone

When you spend eight hours a day in an office, it’s nice to have some comforts and perks around you. Small extras such as free fresh fruit, birthday bonus days off and regular socials go a long way to increasing happiness. If you have the budget to take it further, you could consider launching a chill-out zone or other activities for your employees to enjoy during breaks or post-work. From mini spas to games rooms or on-site cafes, there’s plenty of ways you can make your office different and give people a bit of light stress relief to break up their working day.

Wellness

Research shows a healthy lifestyle can boost productivity and brain power, so it’s no surprise the wellness trend has taken the world by a storm. While not everyone has the time or money to make changes to their lifestyle, businesses can incorporate health and fitness into the workplace, encouraging healthier choices.

Treadmill and bike desks are a great way to get people moving, while lunchtime yoga and Pilates proves popular in many office spaces. Some companies are even offering nutrition classes, physical health exams and on-site gyms in a bid to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re struggling for space at your offices, you can also encourage teambuilding by giving employees that chance to take part in externally organised energetic obstacle challenges or even just a quiz night to boost collaboration and have a good time doing it. 

Bring your ideas to life

Colour isn’t just for children’s bedrooms. Brightening up your office can bring to life ideas and encourage happiness and creative thinking.

You can start small by recording meetings and brainstorming sessions on a storyboard, allowing your employees to illustrate the discussions through drawings and calligraphy.

Décor also makes a big difference, so if you’re thinking about a revamp, why not ask your employees for their opinions before you start? In addition to attracting and impressing clients, a colourful and creative office space is more likely to spark the imagination of your staff members and lead to innovative ideas.  

Communicate

At least two thirds (66%) of employees say they would leave a job if they didn’t feel appreciated, so it’s vital that companies maintain good communication with colleagues. From regular one-to-ones to quirky alternatives like group suggestion sessions, people want to feel like they’re really part of a team.

As well as listening to employees on the small things - such as requests for flexible schedules or more access to wellness activities at work- you might consider offering the services of an on-site counsellor.  It’s also really important to manage people’s career goals, which may change over time. Just because someone works in sales now, doesn’t mean they don’t have aspirations for another department. You’ll need to embrace different skills and offer opportunities to change direction if you’re going to retain happy, talented employees.