A Zen Workplace: Developing Happy and Productive Employees

Many new entrepreneurs create their startups out of their own rooms or garages. Their clever minds and intense passion allow them to see inspiration amid the clutter and cramped spaces. But once they’re ready to take their business to the next level, they would have to find a proper office space, one that would accommodate a team and house the business’s needs safely.

But nowadays, offices are more than just a place for working. They’ve become the second home of employees, given that they spend a better part of their days at work. As such, they need a workplace that’s healing and inspiring so that they would always be motivated, productive, and contented.

You might’ve been able to see inspiration from clutter and tight spaces, but your employees most likely couldn’t. So here are the ways to create a zen environment in your startup’s headquarters:

Find Out What Your Employees Seek

The best way to ascertain that you’re giving your team an inspiring space is by asking them what your office currently lacks. You may give out surveys to do this and match their answers to the data from your own research.

According to the Fellowes Wellness Trend Report, employees seek a healthy working environment. 87% prefer an employer who offers healthier workspace benefits, such as wellness stations, fitness perks, sit-stands, healthy food, and ergonomic seating. Meanwhile, a whopping 93% of employees in the tech industry said that they would be less likely to leave a company that offers the same healthier workspace benefits.

Privacy is another major need for employees. One company, ROOM, has addressed this need by providing private phone booths, which are sound-proofed, ventilated, and powered, so that employees who need to make a video call or have uninterrupted work time can stay focused.

Office design plays a significant role in the well-being of employees as well. In fact, an international organization has set requirements to create productive and comfortable indoor environments. These are known as the WELL Building Standard™. It is the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces, and communities to establish features to support and develop human health and wellness. The WELL Building Standard is the first standard that creates design around human health and well-being. It has seven concepts for healthier buildings: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.

Considering all of these, note every common feature or benefit that your employees are looking for, and align them with the seven concepts of the WELL Building Standard.

Use Inspiring Paint Colors

The color of a room impacts the way we feel when we enter that space. That’s why many interior designers recommend neutral colors; they make a space look cleaner, invoking feelings of calmness.

In an office space, blue is a good color because it elicits productivity. However, don’t paint your entire space with the same color, or else the environment will feel overwhelming. Instead, mix and match colors that look easy on the eyes, or assign a specific color for every room. For example, forest green for meeting rooms, because green’s earthy hue inspires the mind. And for vast, common areas, consider a pale-gray white; it would calm the space down and balance out the effects of all the activity going on.

Incorporate Aromatherapy

diffuserA spa may be the first thing you’ll think of when you hear aromatherapy. But offices can definitely use it too, and there are actually scents that help boost productivity.

Pine increases alertness, cinnamon improves focus, lavender reduces stress, peppermint brightens the mood, and any citrus scent wakes you up and lifts your spirits. Use these scents in the proper places (The citrus in your lobby, for example), and no room in your office will feel depressing or miserable.

Utilize Outdoor Spaces

If you were lucky to land an office space with a garden, allow your employees to take short breaks in that place. Commercial landscaping refreshes the mind, engages the senses, and gives your employees something beautiful to look at. Moreover, it makes them close to nature, which we all need to unwind and de-stress.

The grass alone already provides a handful of benefits. It naturally cools the air, captures pollutants, produces oxygen, and absorbs smoke particles. Suffice to say, walking on the grass will rejuvenate your tired employees and give their lungs clean air.

Landscapes also muffle the city noise, which distracts employees and increases their stress. Therefore, while you’re still looking for your first office space, choose the one with a landscape, or purchase a property where you can design your own healing space and garden.

Zen workplaces are also the new normal, thanks to the world’s increasing awareness about mental health. Giving your employees a healing and inspiring environment is the least you can do to ensure their happiness, so give the space all you’ve got.

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