The daily grind can wear a person down, lowering employee morale and productivity. If something isn’t going as well as you hoped — if you and your employees have to drag yourselves to work in the morning — you can do something about it.
But before you start pricing out expensive business consultants to figure out why your small business’s growth has flat-lined or your employees don’t seem eager to work, consider how you can shake things up first. Simple changes to your workplace can break the routine and rejuvenate you and your employees.
Of course, you don’t have a pile of extra money lying around just waiting for you to splurge on something. Here are four ways to change up your business environment without costing you a fortune:
Sketch out your workspace and then find a new way to arrange desks, workbenches or whatever business furniture you have. Shift who works next to whom, keep an eye out for labor- and time-saving improvements in the workplace arrangement and don’t forget to add some fresh art on your walls.
As long as you’re rearranging the office, find your cleaning supplies and get out the dust. When you move furniture around, you reveal areas that don’t get cleaned often (or ever).
You don’t need to hire an interior decorator to give your office or workspace a new face. If you have any employees, get their opinions on how you might spruce things up. Encourage them to decorate their personal spaces how they like.
You can find some interesting and inexpensive artwork at garage sales and thrift shops. Some pieces might be fine going straight on the wall; others might need a little care to make them look newer (or more consistently distressed).
Create a Space to Relax
You and your employees work hard, and you deserve a break every now and then. Set aside an area away from customers and make it comfortable — again with furniture, throw rugs and pillows from garage sales and thrift stores or items employees donate. Keep an oscillating fan and durable electric space heater in the area, so employees can adjust the room temperature accordingly.
It may seem counterintuitive, as if you’re encouraging employees to slack off while they’re on the job, but giving employees a place to get away from their work and maybe engage socially can both renew their energy for their work and lead to sometimes surprising bursts of creativity. Only by getting away from their work for a few moments can they take a more detached and creative look at their daily problems.
Play some Tunes
Start the morning with a few minutes of upbeat music to set the tone for the day. Punctuate the workday with more uplifting and energizing music all day long — around lunchtime, when people are taking breaks and at quitting time. A few good tunes can act as a mini pep rally, a creative spark and a massage for the brain.
Some people thrive on routine, but routine isn’t what makes a good company great. Sometimes deliberately breaking that routine is enough to re-energize a business and its employees.