You spend a tremendous amount of your life at your workplace, especially as a business owner or manager. You probably feel it, too. It might as well be a pleasant environment since it probably seems like your second home with your colleagues like your second family. Hopefully, you're lucky enough to already work in a comfortable environment with a great group of people. Accomplishing that much is at least half the battle. Now, it could be time to find a few ways to make it a little more relaxed. After all, stressed employees aren't typically as productive as happier employees. They probably won't perform at their best. Company morale can also suffer when employees are stressed since some employees' attitudes can rub off on others, be they positive or negative. How can you make your work environment more laid back while maintaining or even increasing employee productivity?
Schedule Breaks for Physical Activity
These days, it's becoming increasingly more common for companies to schedule breaks for physical activity. You could set specific times of the day for five or 10 minutes when everyone can step out of their workspace for a workout like stretching or dancing. Put on some music and choose a leader for the exercise each week. Keep some baseballs and baseball gloves so employees can throw a ball around outside during their lunch hour. You could put a Nerf basketball goal up in the office for everyone to shoot the ball as they pass by. Things like this draw out people's fun side and energize them. This attitude is excellent for productivity.
Make Work Feel Meaningful
As the business owner or manager, you may realize the impact your employees make on its success. With all the day-to-day goings-on, you may also inadvertently take their help for granted. People are much more productive if they feel fulfilled and that their work is meaningful. When they're hired, they should know the company's purpose and mission. Your team should understand how their work impacts the company and its customers. They should be reminded of this throughout their career. Show them some of the results of their great work. Also, make sure that your team knows the company's inner-workings, such as what each department does and how the company's product or service makes a difference.
Make the Workplace Exciting
One way to maintain or raise morale is to be creative with office activities. Team-building activities help everyone get to know one another and work well together. It can create friendships, and it's always much more pleasant to go to work every day and see friends than just acquaintances. Occasionally offer to buy lunch for the office, bring in snacks for everyone and hold raffles or challenges. You could also create a team to brainstorm creative, fun ideas for the office. Boosting creativity in someone's spare time is an excellent way to inspire creativity in their work.
Have a Good Sense of Humor
A friendly office attitude and high morale will increase productivity. Encourage everyone to express their sense of humor. It will promote socialization and laughter, which is excellent for clearing stressed minds, energizing your employees and putting everyone in a better mood. Place a bulletin board in the breakroom that's solely for posting funny items like quotes, pictures, comic strips or memes.
Acknowledge Your Employees
Acknowledging your employees in little ways occasionally will make them feel like you appreciate them as people and recognize the job that they do. Positive feedback is a great way to keep happy, productive employees. Celebrate employee birthdays, work anniversaries and accomplishments. Another way to acknowledge your employees is to create an area where everyone can post documentation of accomplishments, such as pictures of team members (e.g., an employee of the month), positive notes from clients and customers and materials about the company's success.
Allow Flexible Work Schedules
If you don't need your employees at the office at specific times, you can allow flexibility in their work schedules. Some people may be more productive first thing in the morning, while others may be better in the late morning or afternoon. You could also allow them to work from home at times. Sometimes a different environment makes people more productive and less stressed. This will also enable your employees to manage better their personal obligations, such as keeping track of their kids. This flexibility will show that you respect their lives outside of work and don't think of them as just employees.
Encourage Outside Socialization
Encourage your employees to socialize outside of work. You could even schedule occasional fun activities for after work (e.g., meeting for dinner) or a Saturday (e.g., taking a hike, doing team-building exercises or having a picnic for employees and their families).
Your employees are your most valuable asset. To maintain positive workplace morale, productivity and company success, your team should feel meaningful and fulfilled in their work.