Every company would like to have Google’s budget to create their dream workspace. Most companies don’t have that war chest, though, and are forced to work instead within the constraints of a tight a budget. Even if you don’t have a ton of money to spend, you can still put together a workplace that promotes creativity and improves company productivity. It comes down to understanding the purpose of your workspace and how that relates to the corporate culture you’re trying to cultivate.
Consider Software Upgrades Over Expensive Hardware Changes
One of the keys to a productive modern workplace is ensuring that people and technology are working together. You might be tempted to spend big on new computers, monitors, televisions and other hardware that will stand out in the physical space. A better investment might be better software. Getting the latest software to streamline activity on those computers can help your workers get the most out of their time. Project Management software like Basecamp can bring smooth collaboration to a disorderly office. Harvest for time tracking can transform unprofitable accounts into money makers. And Slack for easy messaging, file transfer and team collaboration can increase efficiencies in innumerable ways.
Transform Common Areas Into Miniature Coffee Bars
Experts have observed that the modern workplace is looking more and more like a café. Some companies have even added coffee shops to their offices to make workers more comfortable while fostering brainstorming and creativity. Considering the historical importance of coffee shops, it’s no surprise that their productive influence is being rediscovered. (For a fascinating look at how a burgeoning global coffee culture radically boosted productivity and helped kickstart the modern era.
The future of the workspace might not involve high-tech in-house coffee shops, but having a versatile, creative environment is critical. Much of the work of the new century revolves around collaboration and human problem-solving. Your space will be more productive if workers are given places where they can connect, relax and get creative.
Eliminating Walls for Openness
It’s one of the truisms of the construction industry that it costs a lot less to do demolition than it does to build something new. Knocking down walls is easier than putting up new ones. Many companies have found that their employees are better able to work when environments are more open. There is certainly still room for the traditional office in the modern working environment. At the same time, spaces full of walls and barriers feel less open and lead to less accountability among employees. By knocking out a few walls and creating a more open design, you’ll encourage people to work together, to share ideas, and to connect more. This is especially important for businesses that are team-based.
Games and Entertainment if It Fits Your Culture
Providing on-demand massages for employees is expensive, and building sleeping pods like Google does will cost you dearly. It doesn’t cost much to create a space for employees to play, though. Some companies have added televisions and PlayStation consoles so employees will have a chance to decompress and work together on something other than work. This is critical because it helps to draw employees into the workplace. More and more, young workers are demanding the freedom to work from home and elsewhere Rather than putting restraints on worker freedom, many smart companies are boosting productivity and workplace attendance by adding these inexpensive perks for only a few hundred dollars.
The best companies think about their working environments, plotting out an intentional course rather than just throwing together chairs, desks, and computers. Even if you don’t have a major budget, you can create a working environment that helps your employees perform their best. A few small changes here and there will have your workplace feeling more like a space where the modem employee can engage in modern work.