It has been a testing time over the last couple of years for businesses the world over. The instability faced by individuals and businesses alike has meant that many people have a different view of what constitutes a good workplace. Whether employees are office-based or home-based is just one of the options available, since business owners have had to get used to a more flexible approach to working life. Those who continue to base themselves within the office, expect to be able to do so in safety, with ease, and with the knowledge that they have everything they need to complete their job satisfactorily. Making the office environment easily accessible is the number one priority. It sets the tone for the company and eliminates any stress related to getting to work. The plus side for employers is that if all of these boxes are ticked they will get a better return on their investment from their employees.
So what makes for a good office environment? How can employers keep their employees happy, whilst getting the best from them at the same time? Let’s take a look at some of the things that influence how employees perceive their work environment, and how that influences their feelings towards their job and employers.
Bricks and mortar
The physical building itself can offer a warm welcome or be a soulless setting, with very little to distinguish the two. That is to say, it’s fairly easy to turn a typical office building, lacking in personality, into a more inviting environment that boosts the mood of workers upon arrival. Start as you mean to go on by putting people at ease.
The dreaded health and safety measures! Not exactly an exciting conversation topic, but ignore these guidelines at your peril. Don’t add to the stresses of running a business by falling short where health and safety measures are concerned. What may seem trivial one day could be a lifesaver the next. Knowing your employees are adequately catered for, with all the necessary safety requirements in place, means one less thing for you to worry about, and peace of mind for your workers.
You’ve got a welcoming building, with all the correct health and safety measures in place, now you need to be able to access your office with ease. For some, this is as easy as walking through the door, up the stairs, into the lift, or down the corridor to your desk. For others, this can present problems if mobility is an issue. Making the building easily accessible to all is the responsibility of the employers. One of the solutions for a building with limited access is to install external platform lifts. These are designed for people who may have difficulty using a staircase and they are particularly useful for wheelchair users. Fitted to the outside of the building and fully weatherproof, this space-saving option allows employees of all mobility levels to reach their workplace in comfort and safety.
If there’s one thing we’ve come to accept over the last couple of years, it’s that the workplace can be anywhere. Providing you have adequate access to the necessary technology, you can make any space a workspace. If you are in the habit of traveling to your place of work, the location will have an impact on how accessible it is. Town and city-based workplaces have the benefit of public transport links, but rural-based offices often mean less traffic and a calmer environment. Ensuring the surrounding infrastructure is well maintained isn’t the employer’s responsibility, but it will serve them well if workers can get to and from work with relative ease, so it should be an important consideration when deciding upon the location of your offices.
An appealing working environment will help get the best out of your employees. Giving them a space to enjoy some much-needed downtime is vital. The ability to take 5 minutes to clear their heads, or have a quick coffee break can make all the difference. Looking after employee welfare highlights the priorities of the employers towards their employees, and this helps promote positive attitudes throughout the business.
Making the office easily accessible demonstrates the willingness of the employers to create an amiable atmosphere. Looking after the needs of workers shows how they are valued, and this helps to promote a positive attitude and work ethic throughout the business. If everyone is following the same values and feels appreciated, this results in a workforce all working towards a common goal.
There’s a long list of requirements that go towards making offices accessible to all. These requirements may vary from person to person in how they are prioritized, but in the main, we are all looking for the same thing from our employers.
Aside from the standard expectations we have of our employers, such as an attractive salary, a good work-life balance, and the possibility of progression in the future, we can and should expect to be treated fairly. This includes the right to a safe and accessible working environment, with equality of opportunity throughout. Getting the basics right can mean the difference between your workforce starting the day with a positive attitude, or feeling disgruntled at how they are perceived before they even reach their desk.
Safe and easy accessibility to the workplace is not a reward, it is a given right for all employees, and should be treated with the utmost respect. Perhaps your workers need help getting into the office by using additional access solutions, such as an external platform lift, or extra safety measures need to be put into place for those with mobility issues or additional needs. Whatever is required to attract and retain your employees, and whatever helps to keep them motivated, will be worth it when you have a loyal workforce who are prepared to go the extra mile for you, because you showed them the same courtesy. Look after your employees and they will look after you.