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Quality of Life
What makes you happy to be working?
“Describe your ideal work environment.”
We can do things to make people feel happy, appreciated, valued, and respected in our workplaces. Many of them don’t cost much (or anything.)
If no one has allergies, consider having a pet-friendly office. Establish rules (quiet, friendly, housebroken, etc.), and consider starting with 1-2 days a week (possibly Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, so the pets don’t have more than one left-home-alone day in a row.
Check that the lighting, the temperature, and the sunlight exposure are in a good range for everyone. Traditionally, offices were heavily air-conditioned in summer so that men could wear their suits throughout the year. If your office is more casual (and most are these days), you may find that you can save money, save energy, and have more comfortable people with a temperature adjustment. And check that the angle of the sun (which changes during the day and throughout the year) isn’t blinding people or shining on their computer screens in ways that make them hard to use. Shades might make a real difference.
Stock staff favorites in the break room. Consider sending out a survey or an email and asking what people want stocked, including items that meet dietary restrictions (gluten-free, kosher, vegan, etc.). Many firms offer free coffee and then have a variety of items for purchase, and one person’s preferences may not be what the rest of the staff would have chosen. Some firms also schedule food trucks to come to the building—ask which ones people would like, and let your staffers know in advance when each is coming. Bring in food for lunch-and-learn meetings. Food is foundational for a sense of quality-of-life—it’s a large selling point for colleges these days, and it can be a retention factor for firms in a competitive market.
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