There are two types of people in the world: those who loved working from home last year, and those who didn’t. For some of us, we couldn’t wait to get back to our cubicles. But for others, we’d be happy to Zoom into the office for the rest of our careers. At the very least, most people found some level of comfort in being able to work from home, where all of their everyday comforts were within reach. As we slowly begin to migrate back to our offices, it’s normal to feel a little bit ‘off’. After a year of working from home, it can be jarring to return to a normal office setting. So if you’re struggling to find ways to make the transition back to the office just a little bit nicer, this is the article for you. As a business owner, a HR professional, a team leader, or anything in between, these are 5 things you can do to welcome your team back to the office.
1. Make sure everything is properly cleaned
Not only does clutter and mess look unprofessional, they also have genuine psychological impacts on peoples’ ability to be productive and to feel motivated. Cluttered and messy spaces can heighten our stress and anxiety levels, which is the last thing that you want for your team as they make the transition back to the office.
After a year of lockdowns, there’s likely some odd bits and pieces that have slowly accumulated in the space. Consider hiring a cleaner to do a thorough clean of the space before your colleagues come back in. A clean and tidy office will do wonders for your team’s productivity and general wellbeing, so it’s well worth the time and investment.
2. Add some greenery
Indoor plants can make a huge difference to the general vibe of the office. They improve air quality, they bring in colour and warmth, and they can even enhance mood and concentration. A 2014 study into the long-term effects of office plants concluded that indoor plants and greenery significantly increase workplace satisfaction and decrease stress and anxiety levels. Just a few pot plants can immediately transform an indoor space. If your office has a balcony or rooftop, consider hiring a gardener to create a welcoming space for social and community gatherings.
If you’re worried that the plants are just going to die, you should opt for plants that don’t require lots of maintenance. ZZ plants and Snake plants are good low-maintenance options. Worst comes to worst, you can just bring in a gardener every now and then to do all the maintenance and treatment works for you.
3. Add some homey touches
Home is where the heart is, so it’s a nice idea to encourage your team to customise and personalise their own spaces. Things like photos and their own coffee mugs can have a huge impact on their perception of their workplace. A lot of organisations have started to move away from uniform cubicles and stereotypical offices in favour of homier offices, decked out with domestic style finishes. Adding residential furnishings into your workspace will make the space feel warmer and more inviting to your team. Couches, cushions, rugs, bookshelves, and coffee tables are a good start.
4. Change up the lighting
Harsh office lighting can be extremely jarring, especially since many of us have become acclimated to the warmer and softer lighting of our homes. Bad lighting carries both physical and mental repercussions; eye strain, headaches, stress, and anxiety are just some of the effects that poorly designed artificial lighting can have on your team. The best way to tackle this is to incorporate more natural light into your office space. If this isn’t possible, you could look into hiring a lighting specialist to redesign your office’s lighting system and to install lighting that mimics natural light. Well-designed light will not just reduce eyestrain and headaches, but will also help to lift your team’s mood and increase their general productivity.
5. Hire a mobile cafe to lift spirits
A little goes a long way when it comes to boosting employee morale. Once upon a time, big team buffet lunches may have been the way to go, but in a post-pandemic world, this might no longer be the best course of action. Instead, you could consider hiring a mobile cafe to come to the office once a week to treat your team to a nice afternoon tea or a chill lunch. With a mobile cafe, your team can enjoy a full cafe experience without ever having to leave the car park.
Booking a Jim’s Mobile Cafe van is a great way to make your team feel valued and cared for. With a selection of hot and cold beverages as well as baked goods to choose from, it’s a no-fuss, COVID-safe way for your team to relax and enjoy some fresh air and also each other’s company.
If you’d like to book in for a morning tea, afternoon tea, or light lunch, reach out to us at Jim’s Mobile Cafe! We come to offices and workplaces all across Melbourne, so we’ve seen first hand how these small gestures can completely brighten up someone’s day. Call us on 13 15 46 or enquire online today to book in a time.
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