Curating the Workplace Vibe
Yes, you can change the way the office feels
We all know that the way an office feels has a lot to do with the way an office is managed. If the boss comes in and the gravity and tone of the room physically shifts, good or bad, it says a lot about the leadership. That’s not what we’re getting into here. Changing bosses is far more difficult than adjusting the office environment to improve moral or to create your desired atmosphere.
Many businesses don’t have the luxury of designing and building their world headquarters, the way Apple or Amazon are able to do. Instead, most of us find ourselves working in office parks, strip malls, high rises, and home offices. It doesn’t matter that you cannot change the physical location or design of your space. You can still imbue a sense of calm or stoke a sense of urgency with choices and changes to whatever environment you find yourself in.
Before you begin making changes or calling the junk hauling company, take minute to assess the current tenor of the office. Are folks generally happy? Sluggish? Worried? Quiet? And then take some time to think about what you would like to see embraced or what you’d like to see changed.
If you want a quiet, calm office where people work uninterrupted, what is helping you achieve that, and what is taking away from that? If you’re in a sales office, you might want the opposite: A busy, buzzing place that creates its own energy and motivation. The practice is the same. What is keeping the office from being that place? And what is working in your favor?
You’ve looked around, and you know where you want to take things. Well, you share the space with anywhere from one to a thousand other people. You need to know what they think. But don’t just ask them what they like or don’t like about the office. Let them know what you would like to see, and ask them what is holding that back or what would help that along.
When we include others in the decision making, we get a lot more buy-in and confidence as we go about changing things in the workplace.
Create an attack plan, and stick to it. Or use the plan we have outlined below. No matter your approach to restyling or reshaping the office, we cannot help but recommend starting with Go Trashy, the junk removal app. You cannot begin moving things around or improving certain aspects of the office until you’ve thoroughly cleaned out and cleared up the space.
Remember to keep everyone involved and doing their part to hone the atmosphere of the office by keeping them in the loop.
Easy, Efficient Changes
As we just wrote, start by getting rid of absolutely everything you don’t want or need. If you are looking for a quiet space, get rid of distractions and clutter. If you want folks feeling energized, get rid of the fatty snacks, the soft music, the curtains, and maybe even the couches.
Set up the flow of the office as if you were entering it for the first time ever, but this time, have your new office environment objective in mind. From the first steps through the door, what can you do to introduce the vibe and feel you desire. A water feature? A privacy screen? A flat screen?
Keep tabs on the changes you’ve made and test out what is and is not working, then adjust the space again. Keep testing different things until you’re getting more of what you want. The easiest way to answer an employee when they say “Why did we have to change X” is to show them the test that proves it works.
Every year or so, it’s time to start all over again at the top of this blog. Ask yourself what office environment you need now, then take a look at what is or isn’t working toward that end.
And get creative. You can always return an item or change your mind, but try fun, creative solutions, even if you feel a little silly doing it. I never thought I’d like the fake plants in my dark office, but it works for me.
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