Would a warehouse space, with no cubicle walls and large group tables make your employees run for the hills or be excited for the inevitable collaboration? Would individual offices for all employees make them feel isolated or feel special? Would a work-from-home office stop motivation dead in its tracks or give an employee the work/life balance they’ve been seeking?
As an entrepreneur and business owner, it’s important to recognize the role your environment will play in influencing your company culture. Here are five tips to consider:
Foster openness – Dovetailing to the point above, consider eliminating private offices and/or cubicles altogether, as a means of facilitating continuous dialogue and collaboration.
Build wellness into the workday – Be it a yoga class for the office, an in-house masseuse, or bring-your-pet-to-work-day, give your employees an opportunity to relieve stress.
Make comfort a priority – Not saying you need Sleep Number beds in each workspace (though there might be something to that), but attention to temperature control, lighting, paint colors, and ergonomic layouts all play a part in productivity.
Be flexible – Give employees the occasional (or full-time!) benefit of being able to choose where they get their work done. Support their desire to leave early for a kid’s ballgame; or their wish to log some hours while they wait for their oil change at the car dealership. Allowing employees more control over their lives fosters a sense of balance and fulfillment that ultimately translates to better work performance.
According to Forbes contributor Jerry Jao, “Forty-one percent of respondents said that the physical workplace would impact their decision to accept a job, and fifty-one percent said that it would impact their decision to leave one…Put a lot of thought into the culture that you want for your company. What values do you want to communicate to your employees? How do you want to come across to the public and to your customers?”
When setting up shop, ask yourself what office features you would value most, for the environment you build is the culture you create.