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Changes to Your Office Environment to Engage Employees

There are 24 hours in a day. 6 to 8 of them are, or should be, spend sleeping. 9 hours a day are spent at the office with co-workers. If I am doing my math correctly, this leaves 6 hours a day for individuals to do as they please.

Except it doesn’t!

photo credit: marsmet546 via photopin cc

photo credit: marsmet546 via photopin cc

The average commute time is 24 minutes, but this number doesn’t truly reflect the time wasted getting to and from work. Since commutes can vary wildly across the country and some Americans are losing two to three hours a day in the car. New York, Atlanta, and DC have some of the worst commutes in the country.  A two hour commute can leave an average working person with just 4 hours of their own time each day.

How can anyone be expected to meet the demands of kids’ soccer games, music performances, and social engagements, volunteer in their community – much less be able to cook a real dinner without using a microwave?  

It is no wonder that employee satisfaction dwindles over time.

Managers and business owners owe it to their employees to create an environment that can engage employees and keep them motivated on the job.

Here are 5 things you can implement in your office today to help re-energize your team.

1. Productive social media.

As a manager you may become frustrated when you see otherwise talented employees spending time on Facebook. Many companies counter this by blocking popular social media sites. However, there is some wisdom to allowing your employees some time to check in with their pages while they are on the job. Provide some time during the day to check up on social media but also ask if they would be willing to promote the company on line as well. Your satisfied employees will make excellent brand advocates.

2. Wellness programs.

With only 4 hours left during an average day it is wonder how anyone manages to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can help in that arena. Offer healthy snacks and water rather than candy and soda machines. Organize walks during the day to get your team active.(Plus this brain break helps employees be even more productive!)  Bring in speakers to talk about healthy eating, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. (ahem . . . like me!)  You can help reduce your employees’ stress by providing access to resources.

3. Work/Life balance.

A lot of people talk about work/life balance but what does it really mean?  Most people only see balance as they swing right past it!  

With around 4 hours a day dedicated to not-work and not-sleep how is it possible to create your own work/life balance? It might not be. Managers need to recognize that their employees have personal needs outside the workspace. Flexible schedules are a great solution for this. It has been proven by many top companies that employees are mature enough to handle it responsibly.

4. Eliminate time wasters.

This morning I overheard someone on a one and a half hour weekly conference call. Weekly. For one and a half hours! ARE YOU KIDDING ME????

This kind of meeting schedule is not productive. When employees are spending so much time talking about the work they would rather be doing they can easily become frustrated. Evaluate the way you organize the work day and determine if there is any fat that can be trimmed.

5. Redecorate.

When employees spend so much time in one place it really needs to be an environment that is engaging. While you might not want to redecorate every two or three years, you may want to consider a change if your longest employees have been seeing the same office every day for 10 years or more. A couple cans of paint and new carpet can do wonders. If this isn’t possible consider switching up the artwork around the building.

When implementing changes in your office be sure to think about how to make the workday fun, communicate goals clearly, encourage positive thinking, and establish rules for lodging complaints.

There are countless small ideas that can create big changes in your office. To find out more, contact me about motivation speaking and corporate training for your company.


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