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Workplace Culture: Is Your Office Environment Inspirational or Toxic?

Silicon Valley is known for its crazy office spaces.
 

From the replica of the Oval Office at Github, to the nine acres of green park on top of the roof at Facebook or the new $5 billion dollar “spaceship” headquarters for Apple, office spaces seem to be all the rage in tech these days. While this trend seems most popular in the tech scene, there are hidden motives in these strategies that can be applied to any size business. While your office space isn’t the most pressing issue facing your business, it is not an insignificant detail, either. Especially when you consider that full-time employees will spend 25 percent of their life within the walls of your office space.

Your office can contribute to your team’s happiness and productivity more than you thought. Perhaps you’ve never considered that your office setup may in fact be killing your team. For better or worse, your office space exerts a powerful influence upon your team and their work. Here are six key influences.

1. Attitude

Every morning when your team wakes up, the first thing they think about is going to the office. Is that a positive or negative thought for them? While office amenities are not the only factor affecting their attitude, enjoying the space you spend eight hours in a day matters significantly. Have a goal to make your office a place where people look forward to coming.

2. Community

Recent studies show that 51 percent of millennial's prefer face-to-face interaction at work. How your office is configured can greatly influence the building of relationships within your team. Office arrangement can either encourage community or discourage it. Common spaces, farm tables, and open layouts encourage team interaction.

3. Pride and ownership

When your team loves where they work, they take pride in their workplace. A good sign is when employees give friends and family tours of their office. Give your team a perk to brag to their friends and family about, and invite them to provide suggestions on how to make the space better. They will reward you with ownership and care for their workplace.

4. Prospective talent

People don’t only consider compensation when accepting a job offer. They also consider quality of life at work. That means you may be missing people who would possibly accept your job position, but opted for an environment that offered a better quality of life for less pay. Conversely, you might attract high-performing people simply because your quality of life at work is better than other opportunities.

5. Great work

Your office can become a reflection of the caliber of work you expect from your team. If your team’s workstations are held together with duct tape, you may not be communicating the excellence you demand from their work. Allow your office to inspire excellence, evidenced by how you have invested in their environment.

6. How your team feels valued

Every day you can show your team you value them through your office setup. People feel loved and appreciated when you accommodate their space to improve their quality of life. If you willingly make nice-to-have accommodations that cost more but improve their life, your team will feel valued.

While you don’t need to build massage therapy suites in your office like Google, perhaps understanding how your office shapes productivity and happiness will assist you in making improvements to it.

At Webconnex, our office went through a transformation four years ago when we realized the significance our environment played in the happiness of our team. Our office has been paying dividends for our team ever since we built it. We understand that we can’t always control whether or not someone loves their day’s work, but we can make sure they love where they work.

 

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