Who hasn’t seen this line on a job advertisement for a start-up – ‘Great atmosphere and tasty lunches included’? But, how do you ensure you deliver that promised haven and make sure that people are productive and happy to work for you? What to do? Well, there are quite a few things actually.
Let’s talk about health.
Comfortable Office Space
I understand that you might not have extensive resources to create a fantastic office space, but you should really spend a bit more to make sure it’s comfortable and welcoming. Would you feel inspired while battling a cold? Doubtful! Make sure the space is adaptable to all seasons. Make sure that the work desks and chairs are the right height and optimized for comfortable productivity. Perhaps have a ‘soft corner’ with sofas and cushions where people could relax.
Also, think about colours. I know that you want to make it ‘fun’, but maybe lay off the hypnotizing patterns that will distract attention and cause headaches? Ask your interior designer for suggestions, do a little research yourself on what shades are best for creative environments. And keep in mind there will be other people working there – try to stay impartial as far as colour selection goes.
Let the sunshine in!
Fantastic words, don’t you think? And exactly what you need. You want a space with a lot of natural light to keep everyone awake and focused. Sure, artificial lighting is essential, but only as a ‘tool’.
Studies have linked natural light in the office to productivity, vitality and even better sleep!
You want those heads clear and inspired? Make sure to bathe them in natural light!
You know pizza is not a vegetable, right? ☺
Your startup should make sure that there are plenty of ‘healthy’ foods available throughout the day, as well as nutritious lunches (if you chose to provide it). Why? Because people snack! And if they have fresh fruits and veggies all around them, they are bound to snack on them. Don’t forget to mix it up – have a couple healthy dips, yogurts and drinks available so things don’t get boring.
However, let’s not forget that brain needs a bit of sugar to really kick it into high gear. Our suggestion is to have dark chocolate available for those sweet cravings.
In moderate quantities it’s actually highly beneficial for you, and let’s be honest – no one can scarf down lots of dark chocolate!
Now that the food is sorted let’s talk about exercise.
I know, makes you groan with exasperation, doesn’t it? But we’re not talking about luncheon marathons here! Get a Ping-Pong table. Organize team walks. Get those magnificent bums moving! A 15-30 minute walk will do you and your team bucketloads of good. If only the weather allows, get everyone out of the office at least every couple hours. That Ping-Pong table will also do you good on days when the weather is miserable. Pick up a paddle and challenge someone, keep the challenge moving and so will they!
Finally, if you simply cannot spare your time to get people involved in physical activity make a deal with a yoga studio. Sounds new age-y, I know, but free (or really cheap) classes will get people signing up, interacting with each other and yoga will keep both their bodies and minds healthy. Win-win!
There, doesn’t that give you a million ideas? Run! Implement as many as you can and enjoy a happy, healthy and productive environment!
Don’t forget to share this with your start-up buddies!