Just how important is employee happiness to the bottom-line? A study at the University of Warwick discovered that happier employees led to a 12 percent increase in productivity – while unhappy workers diminished productivity by 10 percent. As the researchers concluded: “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings“.
What’s more, independent studies by Russell Investment Group, Deloitte and Blake Morgan confirm a link between employee happiness and business results — including higher profitability and stock prices.
Add it all up, and it is clear that making employees happier is not just a thoughtful and caring thing to do – it is also a strategic move that makes businesses stronger and more successful.
And so with this in mind, below we highlight 3 office renovation tips that drive both employee happiness and business objectives:
Enable employees to move around
Employees who sit for extended periods at their desk – and often in the same position – are putting their physical, psychological and emotional health at risk. An office renovation can alleviate this threat by enabling and encouraging employees to move around; not constantly (as that would be exhaustive!), but occasionally, such as going to a centralized area to pick-up printouts.
As an added bonus, more mobile employees have the opportunity to connect with colleagues outside of their immediate team, which can boost collaboration and knowledge exchange; both of which can enhance performance and productivity.
In the overwhelming majority of business environments, the type and level of lighting was not selected with employee happiness in mind. As a result, the quality of lighting is poor, the light distribution is imbalanced, and employees are obliged to compensate by adding lamps or trying to cut down glare.
Through an office renovation, you can re-imagine the lighting both in terms of type and placement. You can also upgrade window coverings so that employees have more control over natural light. What’s particularly rewarding about this type of office renovation is that the results are dramatic and immediate, and employees can clearly see (no pun intended!) that the change was made to make their work experience better.
Blend Open and Closed Spaces
Many businesses have an ad hoc mix of open and closed spaces, because employees have “carved out” certain sections based on what’s available and practical. For example, the lunchroom often becomes an all-purpose meeting room, while the reception area – or sometimes even the parking lot – can become a space where small groups congregate. And in environments where “peace and quiet” are not easily available, employees often head to their cars or even to a nearby café or library to do some concentrating and focusing.
An office renovation is the ideal opportunity to create a blend of open and closed spaces, depending on the needs of employees. Not only does this significantly boost employee happiness (working in a car or standing in a reception area dodging incoming/outgoing customers and employees is not particularly enjoyable!), but it improves space utilization as well – i.e. the lunchroom can go back to being a lunchroom, the reception area can return to being a reception area, and so on.
At Key Interiors, we have decades of experience designing, executing and managing office renovation projects – from relatively small refreshes to profound re-inventions. We help our clients boost employee happiness and their bottom-line!