Over the course of a 50-year career, someone who works a typical 40-hour week will spend—depending on vacations, holidays, sick leave, etc.—between 80,000 and 100,000 hours at work. That can feel like a painfully long time if it is spent somewhere unpleasant, which is why it is important to create a work environment that employees look forward to being in.
An office with barren walls, hard chairs and a noticeable absence of any friendly “hellos” is not likely to bring out the best attitude or quality of work from anyone. Fortunately, a little extra effort can go a long way. Here are some simple ways to make any office much more pleasant and enjoyable.
Taking time to acknowledge important events in the lives of others helps make them feel noticed and valued. Not only that, it fosters team unity. Passing around a birthday card to sign gives coworkers a chance to express positive sentiments, and bringing everyone into the conference room for some cake provides opportunities for conversation, bonding and celebratory indulgence.
A drab, impersonal office can feel rigid and uncaring. Giving an office a bit of character really helps improve the atmosphere. It also establishes a sense of company identity, contributes to creativity, makes the office feel welcoming and conveys the message that staff members are worthy of pleasant surroundings.
In the hustle of a busy workday it is easy to forget that the people in the office are, in fact, people. They become either assets or obstacles, and courtesy can fall by the wayside. If everyone makes an effort to remember to say “please” and “thank you,” it creates a supportive environment that is much more conducive to effective teamwork.
Having treats and snacks around the office—whether they are cookies or something else—is just one more way to build a sense of gratitude and community. Plus, it is kind of hard to be unhappy in the presence of yummy food.
The atmosphere of a workplace can make a phenomenal difference in the way employees experience their 80,000 to 100,000 working hours. But, if everyone involved in a company shares the responsibility of creating a positive environment, it is easy to make those hours much more enjoyable and tastefully satisfying.