• Create a workplace that shows you care

Create a workplace that shows you care

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People are happier and more productive when they feel valued and cared about. Therefore, in the workplace, businesses can garner more loyalty and higher work standards by creating a ‘caring’ environment.  Accent Furniture offers some tips to create a workplace that shows you care, particularly relating to corporate office furniture decisions.

Face-to-face contact is highly sought after

We all know that technology has changed the way we interact with our friends and colleagues. We tend to stay at our desks or work from home and have less personal contact. Also, we send text messages and emails when we used to have a meeting or pick up the phone. In her book, Create a Thriving Workspace, Anetta Pizag writes that the changing nature of our work is leading people to yearn for more face-to-face contact and a re-connection with nature.

When planning corporate office furniture layouts, Accent’s designers recommend that you include breakout spaces. This space can be used for informal collaboration or downtime, possibly even creative brainstorming. What’s important is that the breakout space provides an opportunity for face-to-face contact.

Breakout furniture tends to be more casual and home-style than typical corporate office furniture. Office lounges, ottomans, beam and bench style seating will encourage people to interact. So, keep the ergonomic chairs in the task zones, and add some fun seating options elsewhere. You could also add some modern height adjustable workstations used as stand-up meeting tables while people enjoy their coffee.

Pizag writes that breakout spaces are often under-utilised. Employees might worry that managers regard it as unproductive time even though collaboration is enhanced in these areas, and employees are refreshed ready for their next task. It’s important to build a work culture and environment that encourages staff to use the office furniture within breakout spaces.

Pay attention to the back office furniture

Big budgets are often spent on modern office furniture at reception to make a great first impression on clients and visitors. Behind the scenes, staff might be working in less than ideal conditions and yet, the same company expects these staff to deliver their vision and brand identity during their customer interactions.

Pizag writes about how the office environment goes to the heart of the business culture and affects staff attitudes and engagement.  At Accent Furniture, we truly believe that if you provide back office staff with modern office furniture that conveys the quality and ethos you want in customer interactions, it will pay dividends. In fact, Accent’s clients consistently report an uplift in culture, attitude and customer service after they have invested in new office furniture.

Blend natural elements into your office furniture

Water features and indoor plants will help people feel in touch with nature. Natural elements convey a caring employer. As well as looking nice, plants filter the air and remove mould and bacteria. Pizag writes that there is also a positive psychological effect from roundish leaf plants rather than pointy leaves. She also suggests timber, stone, bamboo and clay for more natural wall finishes and office furniture.

Involve employees in decisions

Consult your team members next time you change the office furniture layout. A study referred to in Pizag’s book (research by Dr Craig Knight – University of Exeter, UK 2) found that productivity can increase by up to 32% if employees are involved in developing their own workspace.

Discuss workstation size and shape with team members, although bear in mind that flexible working practices are reducing ‘ownership’ of individual workstations. Ergonomic chairs might be more practical personal choices. Encourage team members to look at the big picture when discussing furniture choices for the office.

Share popular office furniture

Many offices have a coveted space such as the workstations near a window. Consider making those popular areas a shared work zone (e.g. hot desking, team meetings). Sharing is caring!

Workplace health and safety shows that you care

WHS requirements give you an opportunity to show your team members that you care about them. Ergonomic chairs are an obvious WHS improvement, but research shows that we are spending too much time sitting down in the office. So consider adding some height adjustable workstations to your office furniture range.

To find out more about Accent’s modern office furniture for the caring business, please call Accent on 1800 044 044.