[This article was written by Alison Price Bergh.]
As a small business owner, you have many considerations on your plate – not the least of which
is nurturing a skilled and knowledgeable staff, and keeping them happy. Creating a space that is
conducive of creative problem solving, collaboration and team building is no small task.
But you will find, if you offer a work environment to your team that is comfortable, safe and
thoughtful, their productivity will skyrocket – and they will be content to help your business grow
for years to come.
First, think about the space you want to create. Do you want it to be warm and inviting, helping
create an environment of comfort and “home away from home” for your team? Do you want it to
be clean, cool, and modern, with lots of room to breathe? Or maybe a space that brings out the
historical aspects of the building, with movable furniture for immediate creative movement
It’s also important to consider the longevity of the space you choose. If you own the building,
look at the “bones” – does it need any repairs? For instance, commercial roof replacement ,
gutter cleaning or window upgrades could make all the difference between a space that you’re
happy to occupy for years as your business grows, and one that you’re itching to move from as
soon as possible. Moving can be just as stressful for a business team as a family, and
especially if you’re wanting to create a homelike feeling in your office, setting up a feeling of
stability is key to comfort.
Obviously, the old model of cramped cubicles and fluorescent lights is out – and with good
reason! Studies show that there are simple design elements that you can incorporate into your
office space that will keep office morale high and increase productivity, too.
Open office plans have been all the rage the past few years, but though they can generate
innovation, they can also promote resentment and claustrophobia between employees. As
always, considering everyone has different levels of sensory input and social interaction that
they can handle, giving the option for some people to work in their own space can be more
beneficial in the long term.
Creating private spaces within the office for employees to choose to work alone or in small
teams will also help reduce ambient noise, which can be very helpful for productivity. Your
employees will feel safe and secure with the many options to choose their ideal workspace, day
by day, and project by project.
Natural light and fresh air are easy to incorporate into your space – just take down the old blinds,
and open the curtains! Sunshine has been proven to promote a positive attitude and vitamin D
keeps the immune system healthy. In temperate weather, you could even open the windows,
and allow your employees to “enjoy a breath of fresh air” – literally!
Finally, wouldn’t you enjoy a day in the office where fresh filtered water and healthy snacks are
accessible? Many employees report better moods and more productive days when they feel
secure knowing that there are nourishing pick-me-ups available in their workspace. That keeps
them from leaving to pick food up, keeping the brainstorm going and promoting office
As you can see, when it comes to creating a productive team, there are so many elements to
consider. But you can take steps today to plan for your ideal workspace! And from there, you’ll
start attracting the team you need to help your business grow and prosper for years to come.
Alison Price Bergh is a writer, artist and performer who resides in Asheville, NC. She
studied language, writing and music at The New School in New York City, and is an
accomplished poet and songwriter. Alison’s other passions include cinema,
horticulture and rock climbing, and she enjoys exploring this beautiful region she
has chosen to call home.