As We Return to the Office, Here’s Some Spruce Ups

less is really better

As we begin the inevitable return to the office, you might find it a little shabby. Here are some things you might do to spruce up your office space.

return to the office

Return to the office

Employers seem committed to getting employees to return to the office, while employees are less enthusiastic.

Post Covid, companies find employees don’t want to come back to the office and will try anything to get them to return. For instance, Google is offering bribes and using office attendance at least three days a week as part of an employee’s performance review. Salesforce will donate $10 a day to charity for each day employees work in the office. Unthinkable before the pandemic, the notion of working from home is the preference of many office workers who found working from home less stressful, saved time (no wasted commutes), and allowed them more flexibility to achieve a better work/life balance.

Despite dramatic evidence that working from home increased productivity and lowered company costs (less space needed to house employees, for instance), employees argue in favor of a return to the office for everyone.

From their perspective, employers want workers to return to the office as a means to:

  • exert more control over workers and ensure they put in the hours they’re getting paid for (although data shows that neither of these is a valid concern)
  • collaboration between workers in the office generates innovation and ideas (again, the data from the post linked above disputes this claim)
  • under financial pressure, some companies (like Elon Musk of Twitter) are using return-to-work policies as a means to get workers to quit; resulting in a leaner, less expensive workforce
  • enhance the ability to mentor workers, especially younger workers, to enhance their career trajectory
  • bind employees closer to the company and their colleagues to increase loyalty and reduce turnover

We could argue over whether any of these supposed advantages of a return to the office is valid but the reality is many firms are committed to having workers in the office three or more days a week. That said, you might find the abrupt shift from office to home left your office looking a little shabby. Here are some things you can do to make the experience nicer for everyone and reduce the opposition at least somewhat.

Spruce up your office with these three easy tips

Everyone wants their office to look nice. Not only does an attractive mean everything is visually appealing, but it’s nicer to work in and boosts morale among employees. You might even find a few safety concerns over the way the office looks now that the pandemic is over. You don’t have to do a lot or spend a lot to spruce up your office. Nor does it have to be complicated as there there are more than a few ways to make your office look nicer and improve safety.

All you’ll need to do is spend a little time on the right areas and you’ll have more of an impact than you could’ve thought. If you want to encourage the return to the office, making the place a nicer place to work, it’s worth diving into three easy ways to do so.

investing in your employees

1. Untangle cords

With the number of computers and other electrical equipment around your office and the way employees grabbed things in a hurry before being locked out, it’s natural to have quite a few cords running around the place. There could even be quite a few of these on and around each desk, where they might represent a safety hazard. It’s easy for these to get tangled up and make your office look like a mess or offer the potential for an electrical fire if they’re frayed or the outlet is overloaded.

The easiest way to work around this is to untangle them and manage them more effectively. First, ensure you don’t overload the circuit by plugging in too many devices. Next, add conduit or tape down cords so the area looks better and people don’t trip over the cords. Finally, add surge protectors to any cord that’s attached to a computer or other electronic device to avoid damage if the power goes down.

You might find this easier to do if you have fewer electrical items in the first place, of course, so that is something that you may want to think about. Perhaps you can put some computers that you are not using away in storage, for instance. Or maybe you can sell some. It’s all about making the space as open as you can.

2. Update stairs

You could have stairs in various parts of your office building and it’s always worth paying a little bit of attention to them. You don’t have to completely redo your stairs to make them look nice and provide a safe environment for workers and visitors alike. For instance, getting some new commercial handrails makes a bold statement, especially when paired with a nice banister.

As minor as this seems, it adds to the office’s aesthetic in various ways. If your employees and visitors have to use the stairs regularly, it’s well worth putting the effort into this.

Of course, the most critical concern with stairs is safety. So replace or fasten loose handrails and ensure the banister isn’t wobbly. Ensure proper egress by keeping stairs free of water, dirt, or clutter so no one trips on them. Also, for commercial buildings, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires an alternative to stairs for those of differing abilities, such as those using wheelchairs or walkers.

3. Get shady

Windows let in a lot of natural light, which many might find a great thing for an office. You wouldn’t want to deal with a lot of glare, however, as this can make it difficult to see computer screens. Too much sunlight might also increase the temperature, especially for nearby workers. To counteract that, it’s worth adding a few shades or other window coverings for those times when you don’t want a lot of sunlight. Make sure the window coverings are easily adjustable and that the hardware secures them safely to the wall.

You can still let a bit of light in, but without needing to worry about the impact it’ll have on any screens. With the right shades on the windows, you can even improve your office’s style without needing to put much effort into it.

Make your office look nicer: wrapping up

If you want to make your office look nicer, you could think it’ll take a lot of time and effort, as well as a decent financial investment. That doesn’t have to be the case, however. It could be much easier and more affordable than you’d think, especially if you focus on the right areas.

Adding some shade, untangling cords, and focusing on the stairs could be all you’ll need for this. You’ll have a nicer office before you even know it.

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