We live in a time where change is a constant. If you were to step into an office from the 1990s, the interiors would be completely different from the kind of spaces designed today. While some office layouts still focus on a traditional structure, building 8'x10' cubicles for each employee is now a thing of the past.
The modern work ethos has our leaders encouraging us to be more collaborative and creative. Our office environment needs to be able to accommodate this approach. Enter, open office layouts!
The argument that an open office culture is conducive to higher levels of productivity, is still an open ended debate. What's undebatable is the fact that each of us needs to be well-rested to be at our productive best.
The entire purpose of indulging in employee well-being initiatives is to improve the work lives of people who spend more than half their waking hours at the office. For an employer, promoting a healthy and happy workplace is a priority. A positive work environment is sure to reduce absenteeism and increase employee efficiency.
Introducing, Recharge Rooms. Or relaxing zones. Or wellness spaces. Or any name you’d like to give a designated area created for rest and rejuvenation.
Amidst the flurry of phone calls, emails and meetings, and the ever-present blue glare from monitor screens, you're bound to risk a phenomenon popularly known as “brain drain.” Spending a little time in a “recharge room” restores your mental and physical energy, leaving you refreshed to tackle the rest of the day. These zones essentially help combat stress at work, and help your employees avoid diseases caused as a result of prolonged periods of sitting.
Here are a few reasons why you need a recharge room in your office.
People need breaks
Measuring productivity based on the number of hours invested in a given task is not a very reliable organizational metric. Though many companies follow this trend, the absurdity of this approach is now more evident than ever.
Some modern workplaces follow a work-interval model that is embedded into their work culture. Here, employees are expected to spend a certain amount of time working (say 30 minutes), followed by a short break (say 5 minutes). This system allows individuals to keep their morale up and stay at the top of their game for longer periods of time. However, this practice isn't universally applicable to all industries. Think about creative tasks, where you can't complete a sensitive element of design because it's break time. In these cases, it becomes necessary for employers to stick to the traditional rest model, where there is definitely a need for recharge rooms.
Showing that you care
Loyalty is a two-way street and you can't expect employees to act differently if their employers show a lack of interest in anything but the business. Think about this phenomenon from a pragmatic standpoint instead of a sentimental one. If your employees think that all you care about is results, they'll constantly be stressed about underperforming or making mistakes.
People need to feel like they’re a part of something substantial when they're working for you. A gesture as small as buying a new coffee machine implies that you're putting your employees first. You can also invest in a recreation area to show how much you really care. For startups working on a budget, you can rent everything you need for the recreation room in your office.
Prioritize team building
A popular misconception about team building is that it can be encouraged through corporate field trips, team-building exercises or a post-work catchup at a neighborhood drinking hole. Keep in mind that this goal needs to be achieved through a harmonious and collaborative office environment.
A recharge room can garner this effect instantaneously. It provides the conditions that are required to nurture a conversation-stimulating environment. To develop the ultimate work relationship, your employees need to be encouraged to try and learn more about each other. Millennials thrive on convenience. They are more inclined to join your team if you work out of a well-planned space. It’s important for our leaders to understand that revitalizing works differently for different people.
Listed below are a few ideas to create themed recharge rooms so your people can choose how they want to relax.
Design a 'recharge' space
This may sound a tad anti-social but it's only natural for your employees to be on their phones when they're on their breaks. They may want to stay in touch with their families or make plans with friends for the latter half of the day. Why not develop spaces equipped with cutting-edge technology like Wi-Charge? Designated areas will help to prevent the clutter that is an inevitable result of too many cables and sockets. Your employees will thank you for facilitating the convenience of not carrying their phone chargers to work.
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Who doesn’t love a games room?
Humans are competitive by nature. At this very moment, someone is trying to get better at something that you think you're really good at. Internal competition is what keeps team members on their toes and brings out the best in them. Combine video games with indoor games. Bragging rights over a game of table-tennis or FIFA promotes a competitive setting at the workplace. Bean bags & ottomans in front of TVs with table-tennis/foosball tables in the background will create an action-packed recreational space that is guaranteed to keep everyone happy.
Create a tech-free zone
We've discussed that your people need a break but not what they need a break from. Imagine the average office with all its noise and distractions. Even when you're not focusing on a task, gathering your thoughts in an environment like that can be difficult. This is exactly why you should consider a tech-free zone for your workspace. Furnish it with comfortable seating and some beautiful wall decor for visual stimuli. You can also consider adding some green elements to the space for a refreshing look and feel. Here's the best part, a tech-free room tends to be a fairly low-cost project.
Construct a gym area
Staying focused is one of the biggest issues people face in a competitive work environment. Incorporating a gym area at your workplace will keep employees active and give them that much-needed boost to stay refreshed and alert. Popular opinion dictates that such a project can be an incredibly expensive initiative. But, all you have to do is get the floors of a room padded, put together an upbeat playlist and add some basic equipment (like skipping ropes) to the space. By focusing on employee health, you’re ensuring that they're taking fewer sick days and are always on their A-game.
Don’t rule out sleeping pods & phone-booths
Get Phone Booths For Your Office!
Studies suggest that a 20-minute nap can drastically improve your productivity. Most recharge rooms will tend to get noisy and privacy might be hard to come by. You can consider investing in sleeping pods and private booths. Place these pods in a remote area of your office where the lights can be dimmed. Given that phone booths are primarily used for personal solace, make sure that they're comfortable, soundproofed and well equipped with power/USB outlets.
There's no denying that recharge rooms are vital for your team’s productivity. Remember that staying on top is quite hard and your employees need all the help they can get. Fortunately, this is something that both parties (you and your team) stand to benefit from.
An employer must be careful and ensure that recharge areas suit an organization’s vision and culture. So don't go rushing to install an arcade room just yet. People working in noisy, intense settings may prefer a meditation room, while a games room might be the best option for employees engaged in more repetitive projects. Recharge zones have to be monitored and used responsibly. Your office environment will determine what type of recharge station is appropriate and beneficial for your workplace. Get creative and you’ll soon see a change that will only bring you closer to your business goals.