Few people enjoy coming to work if their office is drab and boring. The trick is to make your office more inviting and engaging — and that means more than just putting up a ping-pong table that no one will ever actually use. How can you create an office space that employees actually enjoy coming to?
1. Play to Your Culture
First, take a look at your business culture. Do your employees thrive in an open office space or prefer to have their own areas? Do you have an open-door culture, or do you prefer your employees to go through the proper channels to get something done? Focus on creating an office space that plays to your business’s culture and strengths.
The open floor plan office doesn’t work for every business, so make sure you take a look at your employees and your company to figure out what will work best for you.
2. Go Green
We’re not talking about making your office space more environmentally friendly — though that isn’t a bad idea. We’re talking about adding some greenery to your office.
NASA found that a number of different houseplants serve as natural air filters, removing chemicals like ammonia and benzene from the air and improving interior air quality. Not only do they make your office look better, but they also clean the air and help to create a healthier work environment for your employees.
3. Make Sure Your Team Gets Involved
Don’t make big changes to your office space without getting your team involved. Doing so might not make your environment more welcoming — it could even end up driving your employees further away. Take the time to get your employees involved in any big change to your company. This inclusion helps to foster team unity, and you may also find that your employees have a ton of great ideas to help you make the business run a little smoother.
4. Get Colorful
You don’t have to maintain a drab and boring office space. Why not add a few splashes of color to your walls? Wall murals can be a great way to add some color to your workplace. Just be sure to hire a good artist or company to fix up your walls.
Involve your team for the process and get their opinions on what kind of art that they would like to see. It could be characters, business-related artwork or anything else you all want.
5. Head Outdoors
Providing an outdoor office space is a great way to create a more welcoming work environment. It’s good for your employees too — studies have shown that being outside helps to lower blood pressure and stress levels, improves memory and is beneficial to mental health. Plus, it’s a good source of Vitamin D, which is essential for proper bone health.
If you’ve got the option or the available space, try setting up an outdoor office area. It will surprise you how much better your employees feel and how productive they’ll be.
It isn’t the 1950s anymore. You don’t have to stick to gray cubicles and drab walls with harsh fluorescent overhead lighting. Customize your office to create a welcoming and comfortable work environment for your employees. You may even feel more comfortable coming into the office — after all, it doesn’t have to be good just for your employees! It can be good for you too.
Don’t forget to involve your team members! They’ll most likely enjoy the finished product more if they have a say in it, and you may end up with some really great ideas that you never would have come up with otherwise.
Scott Huntington is a writer an blogger from Harrisburg, PA. You can find his work on Business Insider, Forbes, Inc, and more. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.