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Does your office environment make for a happy workforce?

Does your office environment make for a happy workforce?
Created on 28/04/2011 13:58:00

What facilities support a more contented working life? Does it make a difference where your offices are located?


Does your office environment make for a happy workforce?

What facilities support a more contented working life? Does it make a difference where your offices are located?

Companies choose office locations with great care, but there are so many constraints—time, budget, availability—that the ideal list of requirements often gets compromised. Here, we'll focus on how your choice of office location and environment can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

1. What are your offices like inside?

For many companies, the office is where their staff spend the majority of their weekday lives, so an environment that is light and airy would surely be preferable. However, not every office has access to natural light, so it is crucial to make the most of the daylight by not obstructing windows. A sense of space is also key and high ceilings, furniture and artificial lighting can all add to the overall effect.
Air conditioning is becoming more important to workers nowadays: firstly, because people are becoming accustomed to it; and secondly, because the amount of IT equipment running in a typical serviced office nowadays can cause the air to be warm and stuffy, even in the cooler months.
And where will employees spend most of their time in the office? Seated at their desk. So, the furniture needs to be of acceptable ergonomic design and compatible with general comfort and health and safety regulations.

2. Are your office surroundings conducive to work—and play?

To pick one good example of what helps keep employees happy, at Langstone Technology Park, a provider of serviced offices in Hampshire, the 3,500 workers doing business at the site have access to landscaped grounds that include a courtyard and outdoor picnic tables. As well as being aesthetically pleasing and a nice place to welcome with visitors, employees also value the thorough security provided, such as the Security team walking with workers to their cars at night.

Elsewhere on site, still just a few moments' walk from the desk, are extra amenities for employees: a Starbucks cafe, a restaurant serving delicious freshly prepared food, a gym and outdoor fitness classes, an occupational health centre; and an ofsted approved pre-school nursery. The bonus of all this attention to surroundings is that employees feel safe, looked after and can refresh themselves properly at break times.

3. What does your office have nearby?

The location of a serviced office is a crucial thing to get right. If you can balance the needs of a convenient destination for road and rail commuters as well as a close-to-town location for those who walk to work (or like to shop at lunchtime), you will be a long way towards keeping employees happy.
To take another example from Langstone Technology Park's serviced offices in Havant, the workspace is located just off the A27 near the A3(M), conveniently close to the M27 corridor that serves south Hampshire commuters. However, it is still close enough to the town centre and retail park that employees can save time in their personal lives by running errands during their lunch break.
If you can serve your employees' desires for airy, spacious workspaces with helpful services on site and good location, you're hitting all three of the crucial ways in which your choice of office can help promote a happier working environment.
 

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