Last week we discussed the many surprising ways music contributes to one’s small business environment. For this post and the next few, we thought we’d focus more on creating a positive work atmosphere for businesses. How a business looks, feels, and even smells can both retain and repel clients and employees. This week, we’ll focus on aesthetics, functionality and comfort to boost productivity. Whether you have a waiting room or just a small office for yourself, be sure the furniture and equipment you use helps, rather than hinders efficiency!
- Monitor the monitor. There is something called the “ergonomic equation” when it comes to comfortable computing, but when it comes to monitors, be sure the top of yours is at eye level, or slightly lower. It should also not be any closer than 20 inches from your eyes.
- Provide comfortable seating. Not just for you and your employees, but for your guests as well. Having comfortable, as well as aesthetically pleasing seating can make people more patient, less on edge, and, for employees, much more productive if they aren’t constantly adjusting or battling back pain.
- Ergonomics are your (and everyone else’s) friend. Back to that “ergonomic equation,” discussed above. Ergotron.com emphasizes Neutral Posture + Voluntary Motion + Rest = Comfortable Computing, something most all of us will be doing for much of our days. Take the time to be sure the center line of your keyboard is level with the height of your elbow, and your wrists remain flat (sometimes necessary to tilt the keyboard back by 10 degrees to accomplish). Remember that even when your workstation is set up to ergonomic perfection, fatigue is still possible and likely. Take breaks often and stretch your limbs to stay as fluid as possible, especially if you are repeating small muscular tasks over and over again.
- Keep it Clean. Simply put, mess equals stress, and this can especially be the case if you share your workspace with others or it’s visible to clients. It’s also an easy way to impress others by looking more put together and on top of everything.
- Check your dress code. Some fields have good reason to enforce dress codes, but be sure they aren’t without reason and they allow yourself and your employees to still be comfortable. It can be arguably harder to work in an environment when you must wear a suit or restrictive button up with a stiff collar every day. It may be wise to have casual Fridays in place, or to put out a memo when guests or clients are expected and higher-end dress is required.
- Temper the temperature. Sometimes there is nothing worse than being too hot or too cold, and this can heavily impact your productivity. You don’t want to be making typing mistakes because you’re shivering! If you can keep a temperature reliably stable, that can be helpful to best predict and plan for, via sweaters or fans. But a wild range of extremes may be cause for some employees to be so uncomfortable, they might not stick around.
Be sure all of the above aren’t inhibiting your business productivity! If you happen to work in a shared office, like some of our Denver Virtual Office locations, there may be some aspects beyond your control, such as guest seating and temperature. But in general, we try to offer members as much freedom as possible, where possible, to maintain a quality atmosphere that works for a multitude of businesses. If there’s anything you’d like to change in your office, let us know! We have access to catalogs for helpful supplies, as well as likely know a business owner or two who makes their living off of creating effective work spaces.