Office Innovations That Are Making The Work Day More Bearable

From time to time, companies like to throw their employees a bone to show their appreciation for all their hard work. These gestures typically show up in the form of bonuses or better compensation, but they can also rear themselves in other ways, such as changes to the office layout. 

Now, we should say that changing the office for the better isn’t always solely for the benefit of workers. Bosses will usually only do it if they feel that it will help company performance. But even so, changes like these don’t come along very often, so most workers are grateful. 

Here’s how businesses are innovating and improving their offices in 2020. 

Pets In The Office? Yes, You Read That Right!

While people love to post photos online of their dogs “typing” at their laptops while they work from home, it seems that the same memes are coming to regular company offices too. People love their dogs, and office managers hope that by allowing them in the office, they’ll boost mood and improve productivity. 

The idea of a dog helping anyone do anything more productively seems a little far-fetched. Dogs are famously needy and always seeking attention. Bosses, however, believe that despite their attention-seeking ways, they’ll cheer up their owners so much that output will more than compensate.

More Plants And Greenery

Most have a somewhat sterile appearance. Managers tend to go as neutral as they can to avoid adding to costs or creating visual distractions. But now there’s evidence that adding a little greenery has profound benefits. 

We’re not just talking about the obvious either, like improving air quality. No - research suggests that plants help to reduce stress by calming the parasympathetic nervous system. Why, though? It has to do with our evolutionary history. Evidence suggests that we feel safer in forest environments, helping us to feel calmer, almost unconsciously. The more greenery in the immediate background, the better we feel, according to

You can understand why office managers might like this idea. Less stress means happier employees, more staff retention, better output, and superior customer service. Expect magnolias in an office near you soon. Or, failing that, a few cactus plants on the window sill. 

Sound Proofed Spaces

Controlling the noise environment in offices is crucial. You want spaces where people can work in silence, but you also need areas where people can come together. Libraries figured out the formula years ago. You enforce a policy of silence in the main workspace and then offer people sound-proofed side rooms where they can work together as a group. 

Of course, offices aren’t as dreary as libraries, and silence policies rarely operate. But companies still need spaces where their employees can chat without disturbing other workers.

As points out, it is now easier than ever to regulate the sound environment in an office. You can have quiet spaces, mixed spaces, and areas where rowdy meetings are welcome. Usually, it’s just a matter of making a few small changes. 

Hotdesking Without Limits

Hotdesking is a bit of a “love it or hate it” concept. Some employees like the idea of waltzing into the office and sitting wherever they want. It provides some welcome change to the daily drudgery. More territorial colleagues, however, hate it. 

With that said, most offices are going down the hotdesking route. Mostly, it’s not employees driving this, but the bosses attempting to reduce the size of their offices to cut costs. By getting more people to work from home on any given day and implementing hotdesking, companies can cut costs. 

Music Rooms 

Employees often need to let off steam at work. Music rooms are a way for them to do this constructively instead of firing off rage-filled emails. LinkedIn, for instance, has a music room at its offices in California with keyboards, drum kits, and stage lighting.

Movable Desks

Movable desks are becoming more popular in some offices. Skullcandy, for instance, decided to try it at their head offices in Zurich. 

The basic idea goes something like this: if you allow employees to move desks around, they can work together more collaboratively and effectively. 

Having movable desks is more of a logistical challenge than you might think. You need to think very carefully about electrical outlets and how they move as the tables move. Furthermore, you need to put the tables on lockable wheels so that they are easy to move. The last thing you want is a tribunal because somebody’s put their back out lifting tables, citing “company policy.”

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