The most successful companies and small businesses tend to be the ones with the happiest employees. Why? Employees who are happy are more motivated, productive, and creative—and will often go the extra mile, not because they have to, but because they want to. In fact, happy workers are 48.4 percent more likely to stay with a company, which reduces costly turnover. On the other hand, staff who don’t enjoy coming to work costs thousands spending due to sick time, days off, and on-the-job mistakes of unhappy employees.

Creating a positive and productive office environment is crucial for the well-being and performance of employees.

Here are several ways to improve the office environment:

  1. Foster a Positive Culture: Develop a company culture that promotes positivity, teamwork, respect, and open communication. Encourage collaboration, recognize achievements, and create opportunities for employees to bond and socialize.
  2. Bring in natural lighting to the work environment : Not only does natural lighting look better, but there is a strong connection between natural light in the workplace and employees’ quality of sleep and energy. Neurology researchers at Northwestern University found that people who work in offices with windows receive 173 percent more white light (i.e. light from the sun) during work hours and sleep an extra 46 minutes every night. Workers were better rested and therefore in a better frame of mind.
  3. Allow workstation personalization: Your employees spend a good portion of their day at their workstation, so let them decorate their area in ways that are personal and appealing to them. This may mean choosing a standing or adjustable desk, an office chair or a stability ball, and an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. They should feel free to adorn their cubicle or office with personal photos, plants, and desk lamps. When we customize our space, we feel more of a sense of pride, and that pride will extend to everything we do at work.
  4. Encourage Work-Life Balance: Promote a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible working hours, remote work options, and wellness programs. Encourage employees to take breaks, exercise, and prioritize their well-being.
  5. Support Employee Growth: Invest in employee development and growth opportunities. Offer training programs, workshops, and mentorship to enhance skills and knowledge. Provide clear career paths and opportunities for advancement within the organization.
  6. Improve Communication Channels: Establish effective communication channels to facilitate information sharing, collaboration, and feedback. Utilize digital tools, such as project management software, instant messaging platforms, and video conferencing, to connect and engage employees.
  7. Schedule fun activities for a healthy company culture: Every now and then, a change of pace is fun—and fun makes people happy and relaxed! For instance, celebrate every employee’s birthday with cake and a robust rendition of “Happy Birthday,” go out for drinks on the company one evening per month, or organize softball tournaments. When staff can look forward to a fun reward, it makes going to work a lot more pleasant.
  8. Recognize and Reward Achievements: Implement a recognition and rewards program to acknowledge and appreciate employee achievements and efforts. Celebrate milestones, provide regular feedback, and offer incentives to motivate and boost morale or you may present the employee who made the most sales with a gift card or another type of prize. 
  9. Emphasize Employee Well-being: Prioritize employee well-being by providing resources and support for mental and physical health. Offer wellness initiatives, access to counseling services, and promote a healthy work environment free from discrimination and harassment. You could also promote a “bring your son or daughter to work” day or even provide on-site, free childcare during the week.
  10. Foster Teamwork and Collaboration: Encourage teamwork and collaboration through team-building activities, cross-functional projects, and shared goals. Create a sense of camaraderie and promote a collaborative work culture.
  11. Empower Employee Autonomy: Trust and empower employees to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Provide autonomy and flexibility in decision-making processes, allowing employees to contribute ideas and innovation.

Remember that every office environment is unique, so it's important to tailor these suggestions to the specific needs and values of your organization. Regularly assess the office environment and gather feedback from employees to ensure continuous improvement.