Research shows people are happier if they like their office space. What is one tip you would give a fellow entrepreneur looking to make a fun, employee-friendly office upgrade?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Put an End to the Dog Days
Are your employees down in the dumps? There are few things that make people happier than puppies. Allow your employees to bring their pets to work one day, or have the local animal shelter bring some of their newest arrivals over for playtime. You will see pawticular improvement in your employees’ morale.
– Benjamin Leis, Sweat EquiTees
2. Offer Service Perk Upgrades
Beyond physical space adjustments, some of the best upgrades to an office environment involve service perks. For example, some hip companies have a weekly shoe shine, massage or mani-pedi opportunity covered by the company. Since people are living at the office nowadays, bringing fun services into the office environment on a consistent schedule will make employees love the space more than ever.
– Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
3. Open Up a Family-Style Kitchen
One tip for an employee-friendly office upgrade is having a family-style area for eating meals. A kitchen table with multiple chairs immediately changes the dynamic and opens up a communal space for conversation away from everyone’s desks.
– Caroline Ghosn, The Levo League
4. Make It Fun(ctional)
We recently added a meditation room to our office. On one hand, it’s a novelty, and it’s fun to say you have one. More importantly, though, our employees actually use it. It benefits them because it’s a reasonably secluded spot to unwind in the middle of a stressful day. The added bonus is that it increases their productivity in the long term.
– Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving
5. Think Convenience
Some of the best offices I’ve ever seen offer the added benefit of convenience. Convenience can come in many forms. The best examples are in-office gyms, spas and barbers. Offering these elements within a workplace allows your hard workers to schedule their personal time within their work hours, rather than externally. This nurtures greater productivity and employee happiness.
– Logan Lenz, Endagon
6. Feature a Fun Zone
Just as it is important to have a work area that is organized and conducive to productivity, it is equally important to have a communal gathering space that affords a break from the daily grind. This space can be anything — a corner ping pong table, a comfy lounge or a kitchen bar — so long as it encourages staffers to relax or be social for a bit.
– Alex Lorton, Cater2.me
7. Reflect Culture Through Office Space
Just like our home reflects our personality, the office should reflect our company culture. If your startup is in the health space, offer free gym memberships. If your company values constant learning, start a book club. If your environment is collaborative and positive, share kudos publicly on a high-five wall. We’ve seen the embodiment of our culture become more important than the furniture.
– Shradha Agarwal, ContextMedia
8. Purchase a Soul Seat
I tested out a Soul Seat (www.mysoulseat.com) the other day, and it’s the most comfortable chair I’ve ever sat in. It’s built by a yoga instructor with the idea of active sitting in mind, and it has dramatically improved my posture throughout the day.
– Kelsey Meyer, Digital Talent Agents
9. Incorporate Mood Boards
We have mood boards all over the office with pictures that inspire us, make us happy and articulate our brand. It’s a great way to feel inspired every day when you come to work.
– Kit Hickey, Ministry of Supply
10. Make Your Office a Company History Museum
Use the cast-offs from previous retail interiors, marketing campaigns or art installations that used to occupy your business interiors. There’s no better way to keep employees connected to where the company came from, and it keeps everyone in the organization humble to know that the executives are working on vintage furniture.
– Michael Portman, Birds Barbershop
11. Keep It Open
Lose the cubicles! Keep an open area where people can see each other work and interact, including the executives. Have a dining area with a loaded refrigerator or free vending machines. Make them feel like they are at home, and they will be more productive.
– Ak Kurji, Gennex Group
12. Set an Example With Family Time
Everyone is welcome to have family (including dogs) come by our office anytime. As an executive team, we set that example by being sure that our families DO come by. We’ve got five toddlers running around at different times. Including the family in the workspace makes people comfortable, brings the team closer and helps create an environment of understanding.
– Wade Eyerly, Surf Air
13. Make It a Playground
We bring as many unique and creative activities in our office as possible to help give our team easy outlets when they need some time to recharge. We make sure to schedule gaming tournaments, cookouts, happy hours and pick-up hockey games on a regular basis. We also own every video game console known to man, an office gym and a kitchen fully stocked with everyone’s favorite drinks and snacks.
– Eric Corl, Fundable LLC
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