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Give Your Office The Google Treatment

Posted on 04/27/14 in Great Job
Let's face it, for most of us, the atmosphere of our working environment could use some improvement. It's a natural state of affairs. When we first move into a new office, there's excitement and potential galore. As time progresses, we get swept up in the tasks of performing our jobs and we don't give it another thought. We should, because our surroundings play a significant role in how we feel about our jobs and ourselves.

office-space-with-fanEven if your company lacks the resources required to provide a Google-like office space, there is hope. Here are six steps for reinvigorating your office space and your staff - with minimal investment.

1. Observer Effect - A law of physics known as the Observer Effect suggests that the mere act of measuring something changes it. This is great news. In office terms, it means, "by planning to make changes, you are creating change." Right away, your desire to make changes demonstrates that you care about the office space and employee happiness. Congratulations, you've already won half the war and barely lifted a finger!

2. Silo Killing - Here an easy place to follow the lead of Google and other Silocon Valley companies. Wherever possible, create a new space that encourages interaction beyond the boardroom. Too often, we do our work at our computers in solitude, only gathering for planned meetings. Management frowns upon too much time spent in water cooler discussions. But, by creating one or more spaces for coworkers to interact with spontaneity, it shows that the organization values the exchange of ideas. It's why we work together in the first place.

3. Desktop Real Estate - Surprise employees with small tokens of appreciation − aside from birthdays and work anniversaries. It not only raises moral, but in the case of flowers or plants, it brings new life (and oxygen) into the office. Clever desktop items, such as branded Bluetooth speakers make the office look and sound great. bluetooth-speaker-branded

4. Collaborative Decor - Creative offices, like advertising agencies, often have spaces for free-form collaboration. Any type of office will experience benefit when employees have a space to express themselves, together. One agency we work uses a central magnetic bulletin board with bright funky magnets. Workers use this space to bring to light unique advertisements worthy of discussion. This is relevant for any industry. Employees can spotlight good work and bring it to the attention of others. It may be work from an industry partner, a competitor or a coworker. Such collaborative spaces generate more productive and lively discussions than email chains by far.

5. Redecorate - This may seem obvious, but there's a twist to it. Too often, redecoration sounds like an expensive idea and gets put off. The way around that is by tackling one space, even one furnishing, at a time. Then it's doable! Pick a wall, a piece of furniture, a lighting fixture. Make it a contest to have people submit ideas for a vote. Someone may suggest a new couch, while someone else wants a Bigass Fan. The best decorative idea gets implemented. It not only improves the office, it empowers employees and enhances esteem. Take turns and give each employee bragging rights for office decor. That's a lot of office pride!

The bottom line is that an improved work environment is good for the bottom line. The best time to make positive changes in your office is right now.

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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