Tips for Creating a Welcoming Office Environment

A cold office is not ideal for business. If new employees, potential investors, and clients feel like they need to escape as soon as they step foot in your office, it is highly unlikely that your business will ever achieve its full potential. That’s why it’s important to have a modern, warm, and welcoming office environment. A welcoming office also boosts employee motivation, health, and productivity.

With that in mind, how can you create a welcoming office environment? Here are 6 tips worth considering:

1. Create community spaces

Community spaces are small open-plan offices that allow colleagues to interact organically. Group members or people in the same department can meet within the social area to collaborate and brainstorm or to hang out. If you don’t have space for an extra open-plan office, you can convert the office cafeteria into a community space, or, better still, have a small coffee station where workers from different departments can meet for quick chats.

2. Create a culture of respect

Most office feuds and “coldness” stems from people with different personalities being forced to share an office or to collaborate on a project. But although personal preferences will always clash with others, you can make your office warm by building a culture of respect. Make everyone in the office feel respected and their different opinions valued.  Be the author of that respect, and do not allow any negative energy or tensions to brew between colleagues.

3. Bring in houseplants

Houseplants bring in beautiful greenery into the workplace, can be used as a focal point, and have been proven to calm troubled minds. Bringing in several plants will create a happier, healthier, and more productive staff. Everyone who comes to the office gets a visually enhanced perception of your space, which then helps you build a positive brand reputation. Office plants can also rid your office of pollutants and toxins such as mold, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and dust mites. Remember to water, prune, provide sufficient lighting, and take good care of your office plants. If there isn’t enough sunlight in the office, you can install LED grow lights to mimic the sun and aid the chlorophyll process in your plants.

4. Declutter

Remove from the office everything you don’t need, including old furniture, printers, coffee machines, vending machines, outdated wall art, etc. Install shelves and modern storage units around the office, have a suggestion box and a mailbox, and create a separate room for the vending and coffee machines. A simple, well-organized, and clutter-free office sends the message that everyone in that office means business. If there are papers everywhere and unhealthy, neglected plants hanging from the ceiling, people will always associate your office with the disorder. Besides, organization and neatness can improve productivity in the office by making things easy to find and tasks less overwhelming.

5. Allow employees to personalize their space

Allow employees to decorate their spaces as per their preferences. Let the different personalities that make up your workforce shine through different wall arts, memorabilia, holiday decors, houseplants, and family pictures, among other décor items. You can limit the number of décor items each employee can bring in  to reduce clutter and create some order, but do not ban those items completely. Personalized spaces are excellent for team morale, creates a sense of responsibility in that office, and helps attract new employees.

6. Brighten up the space using color

Choose accent colors for your office walls and furniture that complement your space without compromising your company culture. Install fun pendant lights to complement the ambiance that ceiling lights and natural light from the windows bring. Speaking of windows, you need to ensure that your windows are large enough and modern to maximize natural lighting. In a nutshell, make it space where clients will come for meetings and fall in love with the space at first sight.

A welcoming, warm, and friendly office environment can make all the difference to potential clients, investors, and, most importantly, your employees. Working in a space where their preferences are respected, personalities are celebrated, and health is prioritized motivates employees to thrive in everything they do.