Pure is the very proud sponsor of the ‘Employer of the Year’ award at the Cambridge Evening News Business Excellence Awards. And as the big night approaches on Thursday March 19th we think now is a good time to look at tips on how to be a great employer!
We often talk to our clients about engaging employees, supporting their careers, providing flexible working options and other positive practices. But how much attention do employers give to the physical working environment? The places we work affect our ability to work, so it’s just as important.
Here’s some advice on how you can use your office space to help people do good work and to boost their wellbeing.
- Improve air flow
It’s official! A well ventilated office can boost business. Research claims that a flow of air and reducing pollutants benefit employees’ health, and reduces sick leave. All of this can result in better productivity and concentration levels among everyone in the office.
- Go green
Introducing more plants into the environment will improve air quality, and they’re also lovely to look at! They’re a fabulous way of bringing more life to the office (literally!) without costing the earth. Carefully placing potted plants around the office so everyone has one in eye shot can make a big difference to people’s moods. But if you want to be more ambitious, and impress staff and clients, why not opt for a swanky living wall?
- Let there be light!
Letting plenty of good quality light into your office is one of the keys to keeping people’s energy at optimum levels. Employees tend to be happier (and therefore better workers) if lighting is designed with their wellbeing in mind. Natural light coming in through big windows is ideal – especially if there are also lovely views. Whatever you do, avoid ‘glary’, flickering or dim bulbs – they’re a health risk, potentially causing migraines and eye strain.
- Inspiration from feng shui
If convincing your boss to hire a feng shui (pronounced ‘fung shway’) expert is going to be a long shot, you can still draw a few tips from this ancient Chinese practice. By simply clearing clutter and encouraging people to organise files so they have their most important documents at their fingertips, the office should feel less chaotic and easier to work in.
- Tidy cables
A simple task such as tidying cables can spruce up an office no end! Ask your IT team to hide wires and make sure they’re not posing a health and safety hazard.
- Space to relax
Not every office is suited to having a ‘chill out zone’, but the concept of a space where people can go to take a break from the buzz is great. Over the years, workplaces have become less formal environments as wellbeing influences office design. Whether you create an area where people can go to read, enjoy lunch or just to get away from office activity, there’s no doubt that dedicating a space to calmness can only help employees maintain positive mental health.
- Essential ergonomics
Back pain, sore necks, aching muscles, eyesight problems, headaches and repetitive strain injury can all be minimised or prevented by good ergonomics. It’s not just another HR buzzword - it’s actually critical to workers' health. Although it’s a legal requirement to set up employees’ desks correctly, ensuring people maintain a comfortable working environment between assessments is just as important.
- Colours create moods
Choose the colour for your office very carefully. You might want to include some of your brand colours in the décor, but think about the impact of those shades may have on employees. Some colours are more calming and more grounding, while others are more inspiring. Red tends to bring out the more cautious side to people, while blue seems to make people more creative!
Of course there’s a lot more to it when it comes to being a good employer! But creating an excellent quality working environment can help your business succeed and increase the chances of people staying longer. After all, the days of dull, grey office blocks are long gone!
Gill is a founding Director of Pure and has worked in recruitment since 1988, including eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company and five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Gill’s approach is to provide clients and candidates with the highest quality of service. She has a consultative style which has led to her building long-term relationships with both clients and candidates.