How your choice of office location can affect employee morale
Employee morale is the collective feeling of individuals in the workplace, including their attitudes, outlook, emotions and level of satisfaction. Good morale is key to company success and leads to satisfied, positive and confident employees. Low morale can manifest itself in negative, uncaring and angry employees who may fail to maintain productivity and best business practices.
As a business owner, you can influence employee morale through your choice of office location and interior design. In this article, we look at the impacts that employee morale has on a business and examine how office location and design can give morale an all-important boost.
Why should you care about employee morale?
Before looking at ways to boost employee morale, let’s take a look at why we should care, and the positive benefits of high morale.
- Increased teamwork – High employee morale leads to greater job satisfaction and feelings of wellbeing. Consequently, individuals are more inclined to collaborate with colleagues and work together towards shared company goals.
- Better retention – Companies with high employee morale have better staff retention and can avoid the costs of frequent re-hiring and training.
- Better office relationships – When morale is high, individuals demonstrate fewer negative behaviours and stress levels tend to be lower. This leads to better office relationships and benefits engagement, performance and productivity.
- Increased productivity - When morale is high, individuals tend to put in extra effort and go that extra mile.
- Less absenteeism – Employees with low morale are more likely to take time off, whilst employees with higher morale are more eager to turn up each day.
- Greater attention to detail – Low morale impacts the level of care that individuals have towards their jobs, whereas employees with higher morale pay more attention, as they care more about the outcome.
- More creativity – Happy employees are free from the negative emotions that hamper creative thought. Employees with high morale tend to be more innovative and can channel creative problem-solving ideas.
How your office location can affect employee morale
Having established that high levels of employee morale have several positive benefits for your company, let’s look at some of the factors that can give your employees’ morale a positive boost. One of these factors is your office location.
Shorter commutes benefit employees
There’s plenty of research to support the fact that long commutes to the office equate to greater levels of unhappiness. The UK’s Office for National Statistics has found that “commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety on average than non-commuters”. In fact, if your commute takes longer than an hour, feelings of happiness decrease with every successive minute of travel, not to mention increasing costs.
Therefore, it makes sense to locate your office as close to most employees as possible, with good connectivity and transport options. Think about how your employees are going to get to work and try to make it easy for them. “Work near home” means employees can access high-quality, convenient flexible workspace which allows them to get out of the house and work alongside other people. This helps to combat many of the problems of working from home, while retaining its benefits, giving employees what they need and helping employers to reduce real estate costs.
Consider local amenities
An area that is far away from amenities can cause employees to become frustrated. If your office is located in an area that offers no restaurants, cafes or coffee shops close by, employees will be forced to travel just to buy a daily lunch. This can significantly cut into their lunch hours and leave them feeling frustrated by the lack of personal time. Local amenities like shops, post offices, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, nail bars and leisure facilities will all be valued by employees and contribute towards higher morale.
Rooms with a view
Offices that have good views are generally liked by staff and they attribute value to them. Offices where the windows look out over a bay, river or green space are particularly well thought of and contribute towards higher employee morale.
Which office design features can boost employee morale?
Once you have selected a great location for your office, the next consideration should be the interior layout and design, along with the amenities that are provided within.
Successful businesses provide positive working environments for their staff, recognising that employees are a company’s greatest asset. An office environment that stimulates creativity, motivation and collaboration will pay dividends in terms of staff retention, productivity and profits.
Balancing open plan and private space
Employees require different types of workspaces for different activities. Open plan is great for collaborative work but focussed work may require a quieter more private space. To provide a positive atmosphere, it’s important that the workspace is adapted to the employee and not the other way round.
Use glass generously
Interior designers are well aware of the benefits of using glass wherever possible within office environments, as it maximises natural light and space, and increases transparency. Glass helps to create lighter clearer spaces both physically and psychologically and is proven to help boost energy, happiness and morale.
Sustainable workspaces are important
Sustainability and environmental awareness are increasingly important issues within modern office design. Whether sustainability considerations extend to the choice of building materials, furnishings or working practices, employees appreciate a company’s commitment to sustainability, and this will earn respect and boost morale within the workforce.
Bring nature inside the office
Create a healthier and calmer working environment by bringing nature into the office. Placing plants around the office has been proven to provide wide-ranging benefits for office workers. The claims of the benefits that plants can bring are indeed impressive and include:
- stress reduction
- increased productivity
- reduced sickness
- better air quality
- attracting new talent
- reducing noise
- boosting creativity and morale.
Informal breakout spaces to collaborate and de-stress
Informal breakout space is a “must-have” in a contemporary office. Breakout space has many uses. It allows staff to relax, socialise and collaborate with colleagues in an informal environment. The space may take the form of a lounge area with comfortable seating or a bar or kitchen area where refreshments can be taken. Offices with outdoor space have become increasingly popular, with external space used as breakout space, or regular workspace facilitated by today’s technology.
Breakout space provides an opportunity to escape the confines of the office and de-stress. It’s also a great place to brainstorm and think creatively, away from the four walls of a conventional meeting room.
Flexible offices – perfect workspaces for boosting employee morale
If you’re looking for a great office environment in a convenient location for your business, then take a serious look at flexible workspace. Flexible workspaces include coworking, shared and private offices that are fully furnished with amenities on tap. The offices are designed to keep staff happy and productive and provide all the services and facilities you’ll need. Flex offices are available for immediate occupation, for short- or long-term rental and there’s something to suit all budgets. Most providers offer all-inclusive pricing, so budgeting is a breeze. If you’re looking for an office that will really boost employee morale, then check out the world of flexible workspace today.