By Alison Price Bergh
Congratulations – your small business is growing! Armed with a dream, lots of hard work, and positive intentions, you’ve made this idea a reality. And now you’re looking for ways to maximize your employees’ productivity, while creating an environment of thoughtful care and sustainability.
Utilizing a coworking space can be the best answer to meet these needs, and more! Coworking allows access to shared resources, as well as promoting networking, business growth, and innovation. Your employees will be able to utilize the knowledge that comes with collaborating with other like-minded individuals, and as the business owner, you’ll enjoy the benefits of communal cost-sharing.
So, where to start when it comes to crafting a space that makes your employees feel safe and nurtured, nourished in their creativity, and free to successfully collaborate as a group? There are several important things to consider that, when implemented, will have a lasting positive effect on the growth of your business and the satisfaction of your employees.
First, consider the building itself – its design, location, and sustainability when it comes to upkeep. You want to select a building that offers a sense of longevity for your employees: a space that makes them feel secure, and able to make themselves at home; a space that makes them feel proud to come into work every day. Securing a great support system with experts to call when you need a specialized service – like an interior designer, a talented landscaper, cleaning services and commercial roofing services – ensures that help is only a call away when you need it.
Also, what amenities do you feel are necessary to build into the space in order to create this welcoming feeling for your employees? What do they need in order to be the most productive?
Offering healthy snacks and fresh, filtered water are beneficial, not only for your employees’ continued physical health and wellness, but also for their effectiveness at work. Keeping their bodies nourished allows their creativity to flow freely, reduces the possibility of having to choose between finishing a project or caring for one’s digestion, and communicates your concern for their happiness and well-being.
Are you affected by light and air quality in your workspace? Studies show that your employees are, too, and it’s affecting their productivity. Air quality has been cited as the most impactful factor in physical wellness, and that’s understandable – every breath we take becomes part of us, after all! Investing in a high quality air filter is an important step in creating a welcoming space, and don’t shy away from fresh air, either – when it’s warm enough, opening the windows to fill the office with the scents of nature has a lasting effect on stress and tension.
Natural light is also an important addition to your coworking space that can create positive effects on your employees wellness and productivity. For those with sensory issues or sensitivities to light, replacing fluorescent lighting with natural lighting can make all the difference in keeping them happy, engaged, and part of the team.
And lastly, never underestimate the importance of time as a resource. Creating a company culture that not only allows, but encourages, your employees to take time out of their day for self-care is paramount to building and maintaining a healthy team.
Setting aside quiet areas in your coworking space will allow your more introverted employees to work alone, or one-on-one, whenever they need. You could even set up a small yoga or meditation area in the space to encourage your employees to take a moment and stretch, connect with their breath, and feel refreshed! Making it known that taking frequent breaks to go outside and take a walk is a welcomed use of their time will go far in ensuring that they feel cared for.
And that is what will stand the test of time for your business – building a team that knows their mental, emotional, and physical well-being are all important and worthy of consideration. You can communicate that with a thoughtfully-designed coworking space, and you will see the benefits for years to come.