The key to a great performing business of any sort are engaged, dedicated and professional staff. Employees who aren’t challenged, valued or adequately reimbursed are going to slack off, perform at less than full capacity and end up costing your business money. Workers who are treated well will work for you and remain loyal and functioning at a high level. But even the most dedicated workers can flounder in an environment that’s not conducive to creativity and collaboration. While your company may not be in Silicon Valley and can’t afford to invest in salad and juice bars, slides and nap pods, there are still some things you can do to enhance your workspace. Read on to find out more.

Magical Beans

No, we’re not talking about the sort that grow a giant beanstalk, although that might make for an interesting Xmas party. These are the sort of beans that are ground into magical productivity powder – coffee! Office coffee machines by Corporate Coffee are a great way to keep your staff happy. Everyone likes a free drink, and free coffee is even better. Your staff will save hundreds of dollars a year by avoiding the local cafe, and you’ll keep them in the office for longer. If your office is a double story consider installing a machine on each floor so people don’t have to stray too far from their workstations to grab a refreshing cup of joe.

Collaboration Nooks

An emerging trend is little nooks and spaces tucked away in the office where people can sit and have informal meetings and collaboration jams. These should be less formal than a meeting room – comfortable chairs or couches with a small table between them is a good idea, or restaurant style booths work too. Make sure that they are well-lit and positioned far away enough from people’s desks that your staff can sit and brainstorm without disturbing anyone else as they go about their work. You can even place little fiddly toys and bits and pieces on the table so people can fidget as they talk.

No Unpaid Overtime!

We cannot stress this enough. Many Australians work for free most weeks. Your staff shouldn’t be doing a minute they are not being paid for. If they are you are saying that you value their labour more than their wellbeing. Unpaid overtime leads to burnout, and burnout leads to turnover, and turnover leads to loss of productivity and profit for you as you pump more money into onboarding and training new staff. Keep the staff that you have happy and rested and they’ll work miracles for you. While we’re on the topic….

Encourage Breaks

Most modern awards and Enterprise Agreements allow for one unpaid meal break and two paid tea breaks per eight-hour shift. Make sure that your workplace understands this and encourages people to have their breaks. Some offices instigate a “no lunch at your desk” rule to make sure that people have at least half an hour away from their task so they can eat a nice meal and chat with their colleagues at the lunch table. Consider getting the daily paper into the lunch room so people have something to flick through while they eat.

Summing it Up

Invest in a coffee machine for your office and watch people get really productive. Create some nooks and booths where your staff can collaborate and brainstorm. Make sure you don’t have a culture of unpaid overtime, and encourage regular breaks. Do this and your people will be happy and make you money for years to come.

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