Jobs and teams

Create an inspiring working environment and improve your employees’ every-day work routine - Part 1


Why to create an inspiring working environment?

The work space in which we perform our daily tasks or collaborate with our colleagues affects more than we can imagine the work well-being and productivity. Having a smart and modern workplace that is well suited to the needs of the moment is certainly something very useful, which will positively influence the success of any activity we are carrying out. The world of work is changing rapidly and with it also the work spaces that must always be more modern and functional. Work areas of this type allow a productivity and professional growth that influences in a decisive way, even if at first sight we do not notice at all this incidence.

How can you improve every-day work routine?

Not all companies can think of making a radical transformation but even a partial change or adaptation based on their budget can be a first step and an important signal.
Here some example of best practices that you can easily implement on workplace to make the office a more comfortable place to live for employees, who spend about two-third of their weekdays at work.

Relax room

An idea often used by companies that take care of their employees is to provide a dedicated space within the office, where employees can relax and have fun (within reasonable limits), in order to perceive well-being and also improve the relationship with colleagues, boosting team working as well! In fact, giving them ten minutes after several hours of work for a moment of leisure is very important and allows to refresh ideas and rest physically and mentally and then return to work with maximum concentration. Some ideas could be to decorate a room with sofas, relaxing armchairs, reading corner, games, aromatherapy with essential oil diffuser and maybe paint the walls with colours as light green or blue which stimulate relax and calm.

Healthy corner

In the workplace, a nutritious diet is crucial to the health and wellbeing and overall success of employees, so companies should make a priority to invest their time and resources in ensuring this as a guarantee in the workplace. Designated areas for food storage and access to kitchen applications for food preparation encourages employees to bring in and make their own lunches. In alternative, many companies have already decided to provide employees with fresh fruit, vegetables, tea or infusions, yogurt, nuts, all day available on the healthy corner, ready to eat for a healthy break. For many of today’s busy employees, they are lacking in the time and the motivation to give a second thought to healthy eating on top of all of their pressing work duties and responsibilities.

Coffee machine

The reasons why entrepreneurs should consider installing a coffee machine on the workplace? First of all because it’d increase the productivity of employees. In fact, researches shows that consumption of coffee increases mental alertness. So, it’s a good remedy against sleepiness at work. It also improves focus and concentration. It means employees will be able to concentrate on their work properly. On the other hand, a coffee machine enhances engagement and team building. Employees congregating around the coffee machine and discussing things related to their projects are like small team meetings. It boosts employee engagement and enhances teamwork. This is another important reason why you should consider installing a coffee machine at your workplace.

Decorative elements

bringing nature into the office, by adding plants can be a good way to inspire creativity and a feeling of wellness, in fact plants are very useful from a psychological perspective. It’s not necessary to have many types into a small space, it can be enough to have a small plant on each desk and something little bit larger in some corners of the office. In 2014 a research found that the presence of a plant in the office or on the desk can increase productivity by 15%. Also encourage people to decorate their desks with personal items like a photo or significant image can help to feel comfortable, reducing workplace stress and dissatisfaction. Specific studies have shown as painting the walls with colour as orange or yellow facilitate worker’s concentration, creativity and the overall performance.

Necessary human resources

For the most of suggested best practices any external human resources are needed, except from the suppliers of identified item/furniture to purchase.

Estimated budget

The budget needed to implement these workplace innovations varies depending on the furniture chosen by the employer. For each type, different solutions can be found on the market. The only thing to do is to choose the one that is most suitable to the economic resources available. More details can be found on the table.

Expected impact

Example(s) of prior application

Company name: Pane&Design

Number of employees: 29
Location: Milan, Catania, Ragusa (Italy)

How the WPI was implemented?

Pane & Design is an italian tech company, specialized in web development, recently they set up also a digital academy. One of the main value of the company is to be innovative and take care of employees, in fact since 2012 they implemented several workplace innovations, such as creating a relax room with games for employees and open space workplace. The company experimented that an open space environment encourages interaction between colleagues, brainstorming and team building also among people working on different projects. The major risk may be a little increase in chatter, jokes and concentration difficulties, but they noticed that people that are new with this kind of climate, do not take more than 2-3 weeks to settle for do not exceed and avoid bothering colleagues. It is fundamental the role of managers to recall a bit of order if the level of interaction become too high or lasts too long.
Pretty large desks (140 cm) allow HR to customise them with their own objects, just keeping a good level of order, somebody bring their bonsai and keep it next to the screen taking care of it from time to time. They are also experimenting the possibility to bring pets at work (as long as they are small and very well behaved).
They have a very comfortable Break Corner where people can keep their food and eat with colleagues for lunch. In addition, company allow employees to play table football or multiplayer video games after lunch. Table football has become a real must at P&D, with periodically business match within 3 offices. They developed a software to track each match and player and team ranking is created, at the end of the year the best team of each office will play the final match against the best team from other offices.

Results obtained

Implementing a comfortable working environment had positive effects on staff motivation and therefore on productivity. One benefit that management noted thanks to open space environment is that it becomes much easier to capture any “hot” issues or problems of HR by listening to their talks. This is a more explicit way but allows managers to be aware of any critical issues well in advance.
By creating a break area and provide employees with fresh water, coffee and a comfortable kitchen, the company experimented many benefits:
● Money and time saving: it’s cheaper and faster than going out for a lunch every day, leaving more time to engage in other leisure activities;
● To promote healthy lifestyle: it is easier by cooking their own healthy food rather than going to the fast food;
● To Facilitate Team Building
Everything was done with small investments but the impact on people’s mood could be seen immediately. It is also important to think about the cost of not offering these benefits! How much does the company cost a less productive day? Adopting these good practices is a deterrent to high turnover, avoiding to find a replacement when a person leaves and go to work in a workplace where they will probably feel more welcome!

Reference (website) :

How can I acquire a voucher for implementing workplace innovation practices? ​