UK workers are begging to work from home more than ever these days. The idea of working from home is as welcome to average British worker as hearing the words, “my round?”
According to a recent survey by Love Energy Savings, this resonates with almost half of workers. 44% of workers in the UK would actually prefer to work from home rather than travel into the office. This, albeit a wonderful idea - who wouldn’t want to stay at home more often? – isn’t always practical.
In an attempt to combat this, what should companies be doing to make the office somewhere that their employees actually want to spend time? Perhaps the bringing home to the office could bring inspiration along with it?
It may seem like a cheesy office cliché to have decorations on your desk, but we aren’t just talking about the adorable photos of Little Jimmy’s first day at school. Unless you do hot-desking – eurgh – your desk is your own space. You may not want to believe it, but you do spend most of your life at work, and for most, that means your desk. You might feel happier about being sat at it if your desk is more of an extension of your home. The staff could, or moreover – should be encouraged to decorate their space with pictures, objects, memorabilia or even their own personal equipment to make their workspace their own. I hear terrariums make excellent desk enhancers.
Leave the dress code at the door
One of the major deterrents for office workers is the get-up. Stuffy, corporate clothing or heaven forbid – a suit, often makes workers uncomfortable, so why not have employees feeling confident in casual wear?
Obviously, this may become an issue for a customer or client facing role, but if you have a meeting booked in, then you can spruce up!
Food for thought
Working from home has one distinct advantage over an office. Home is where the kitchen is. At home, you can eat whatever you like, and nobody is going to judge you. Cook fish, reheat curry or chow down on a bowl of broccoli, completely guilt free. In the office things are a little different, other people exist and they have noses.
A lot of offices are relaxing their rules on desk snacking nowadays. Productivity increases when staff are able to nibble their favourite foods, so a lot of companies are investing in good quality kitchen equipment for employees to be able to cook and store tasty, healthy or morale-boosting meals.
Flexitime and freedom
Some workers just can’t cope with the idea of being chained to a desk from 9-5 day-in-and-day-out. Being at home you can take breaks or mix up your hours whenever you see fit. Offering flexible hours in a workplace can make a huge difference in the appeal of that office environment. Staff having an element of control in their start or finish times can boost morale, motivation and job satisfaction.
Whilst thankfully, the likelihood of working in a dreary office cubicle is pretty slim nowadays - a lot of workplaces still aren’t that inspirational. Making an office environment that employees actually want to travel to and then, actually spend time in, could be a real benefit to businesses. Comfortable furniture and décor, perhaps some plants, a splash of colour? Having a separate, comfortable area for staff to take their break, or spend their lunch hour could really help contribute to a more homely and therefore happier environment.
In the long run, having happy employees is extremely beneficial for the day to day running of any business. There are three things that allow for an engaging office; familiarity, comfort and inspiration. By bringing these things associated with home into the office, employees’ mood will be boosted and they will be more willing to be productive.