Starting up a new office means making decision after decision that can seriously affect the outcome and direction of your business. Even the small decisions can have a butterfly effect that goes beyond what you thought it could. Because of exactly this, you’re probably agonising over every single decision you make as an owner or stakeholder, and putting a lot of time and effort into ensuring your new office is a success, as you should be. To help you with at least a few of your decisions, we’ve put together some of the top tips for starting up a new office.
Showing your employees that you care about them and their career is one of the absolute best ways to invest in your employees. You will be amazed at the return you get out of their productivity and personal investment in the company, when you return the favour and invest in them. Send your leaders to leadership workshops and your employees to team building exercises. Promote continued coaching on leadership throughout the year to make sure your leaders are supporting their team’s growth as much as possible.
Make learning a priority for your employees by allowing them the time to pursue classes, workshops, and lectures that are related to their role. Have them break out of the routine annual classes that they’re used to. If applicable, allow employees to come back from these events and either write a review and what they learned, as well as what would be helpful for other employees, or perhaps even give a short talk in a meeting to go over it. These types of collaborative learning opportunities shows your employees that you care about them excelling in their role, and their future roles with the company. It also makes your employees feel as though they have a home, and a leader who wants to see them stay with the company.
Have a culture of collaboration
Employees typically report a higher job satisfaction and engagement in their roles if they feel like they are valued. If you’re interested in measuring job satisfaction in your own company as a baseline, try these three tips. While providing them with learning opportunities as seen above and keeping them safe and healthy as we’ll go into below, are both key components of employee engagement, one of the best and easiest things you can do to keep them engaged is to create a collaborative culture.
Ask for feedback using some of these feedback tips, and actually use it from all of your employees, no matter what their status or influence in company is. Teach your leaders to encourage respect of their direct report’s opinions and values. Allow for anyone in the office to contribute to issues, even if they are well beyond their skill level.
Keep safety the priority
You’ll never be able to expect high performance and employee satisfaction without keeping workplace health and safety the absolute priority for your new office. Even if your office runs primarily administrative duties, and doesn’t involve lots of heavy lifting or using large machinery, or any other particularly hazardous activities, it’s still possible for your employees to be at risk.
Even simple injuries like repetitive movement injuries such as carpal tunnel or tendinitis can set an employee back for a while, both in costs and productivity, which both will eventually affect your bottom line cash flow. Avoiding these injuries isn’t possible in every situation, but you can still provide education and training around proper ergonomics and at the very least, allow for employees to have accommodations made to their workstations if necessary. Going back to education, allowing or even requiring your employees to get their workplace evaluated and learn how to do it themselves will not only keep them safe, but show your employees you care about their health at work. Here are just some examples of different desk equipment that can help avoid injuries.
A large part of healthy and safety for employees is also making sure that their work and life balance is appropriate. There are countless studies that show that employees with better work and life balances are more productive, happier, and more fulfilled in their roles than when they are a slave to their job. Depending on your type of office, you might be able to allow for flexible working hours. Or, if you need your business staffed at particular hours you could potentially allow working from home, or other flexible arrangements.
Keep your office design simple
It might not seem like it, but the flow and design of your corporate office can make a huge difference in the productivity and culture of your office. Certain types of open desk seating can help create a collaborative office that encourages constant feedback and popup meetings, but it can also make it difficult to create stability or confidentiality in the office. Noise is also a common issue with open plan seating, so determining what kind of noise levels your office typically creates is important when deciding on the design as well. Decide what is best for your type of office and what you’re trying to achieve, by viewing other commercial office interior design models and requesting feedback from them with how it works for them.
Stay within your budget but don’t be afraid to take risks
It can be tempting as a new business to stay safe. You’ve probably invested most, if not all, your savings into this venture, and taking any risks sounds absolutely terrifying and stupid. But if you want to grow, you’ll inevitably need to take risks to move forward. You can strike a happy balance between staying safe and being willing to jump into a risk a little bit by talking with financial advisors in Auckland to find out just where you can afford to risks.
Keep these tips in mind as you start your new office, and you’ll be creating an office where your staff respects you, enjoys what they do, and stays safe while doing it.