New year, new me. The infamous phrase we’ve all uttered at least once in our lives as we begin another lap around the sun. Yes, we want to rid ourselves of gluttonous habits and return to the healthy standards we claim to hold high. It’s a conviction often short-lived, as we soon fall back into comforting patterns for another year.
It’s also a conviction that’s not exclusive to our personal lives. We often crave the same fresh start in our professional spheres. One way to satisfy this craving is to upgrade your office. An office upgrade can be as complex as a complete overhaul or as simple as adding one thing and taking out another. Either way, it’s less about soul-searching and more about creative and practical use of space.
Feel ready for the transformation? Here are six easy office upgrades for small business owners.
1. Serve snacks with that coffee
‘No coffee each day leads the worker astray’ the expression goes… or something like that. Either way, save the collective hours wasted of your colleagues heading to the local cafe by installing one of the best automatic coffee machines in South Africa into your own office, for a barista-grade hit every time, that saves money and packs a punch.
Once you’ve installed that sparkling new coffee machine, it’s time to shift your focus towards office snacks. They can be naughty, nutritious, or both, it doesn’t matter. And like coffee, they help boost morale as well as efficiency. The same way a piping hot coffee revs the engine and starts your working day, a mid-afternoon snack can lift you from a post-lunch slump or reset your mind after back-to-back meetings in the boardroom.
Another fun thing about snacks is their ability to promote interaction in the office. Snack breaks help your team release steam. And if you give your staff the chance to choose what snacks they eat, then even better. It’s one less thing they have to think about before they leave the house in the morning.
2. Standing desks
On the topic of wellbeing, if you haven’t converted to the wonders of a standing desk at work, now’s the time to raise yourself from your chair and rejoice. Standing desks will instantly transform your office from a long-haul flight into a space where everyone moves freely. From connecting with colleagues better to feeling much less pressure on the spine and lower back, standing desks are a no-turning-back office upgrade.
If you’re excited to add more physically beneficial items and initiatives to your office, consider getting your staff yoga mats, foam rollers, and exercise balls. Then, take time out from work to use them. Whether you stretch and exercise together or alone is irrelevant; just having the option is often enough for staff to engage.
At first glance, you might be thinking ‘how is decluttering an upgrade’? Which is a valid point. What’s also important to recognise is that clutter often hides — literally and figuratively — poorly-used spaces. So take a moment to take stock of everything that’s currently living rent-free in your office.
Undoubtedly, you’ll find there’s a lot of stuff that can go. Be vigilant in your decluttering. Throw anything that’s of no use to man nor beast. Donate old furniture. Pretty soon it’ll start to feel as though your office is growing. And once you start feeling that way, you’ll know you can make even more upgrades, and your productivity mindset will keep growing among your workspace too.
4. Make use of vertical space
If your office is like most offices, all that decluttering will give you back valuable floor space. But did you stop to notice how clean and free the walls and ceilings in your office are? Probably not. And unless you treat vertical space like an art gallery, it’s likely going to stay that way.
Well, it shouldn’t. Utilising vertical space is one the best office upgrades. The reason is simple: it keeps the clutter from blooming. By installing vertical cabinets and storage spaces, you keep the floor clear and remove the need for staff to bend down for files and office equipment. And the plants you’re always trying to find a place for can now hang from the ceiling. You may even opt to hang up some great motivational posters, inspiring artwork or even some training resources to ensure that staff can always learn a little something.
5. Upgrade the lighting
This upgrade is similar to decluttering. By upgrading the lighting in your office, you’re better able to recognise what works best in your office, from storage to desk configurations. Really, though, this upgrade is all about improving the office experience for your staff. Improving accessibility, reducing eye strain…these are the immediate benefits they’re likely to enjoy once you brighten the place accordingly.
You’ll also brighten the collective mood of your office. Introducing more natural light, for example, is a healthy alternative to wall-to-wall LED lights. Yes, it might invite some to daydream when the sun is shining, but they’ll be smiling nonetheless. A happy workspace is a productive one.
6. Get your staff onboard
If you involve your staff in your upgrade decisions, it not only promotes better connections, it makes them feel wanted and respected. Also, by getting everyone involved, you open the door to more creative solutions to your office fitting. And, you have more chances of pleasing everyone, and loyalty is a powerful weapon when it comes to value, so – the more the merrier.
See, upgrading your office is not as difficult or as daunting as it looks. With patience, care, and an open mind, you can make your office a place you genuinely enjoy visiting each day. If you can capture this infectious feeling and pass it on to your staff, everyone wins. Good luck!