Set The Space Right

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Article By Lakshmi Vijaykumar, Senior Research Consultant – AVTAR Group

An office is said to be a home away from home. Especially if you have long working hours and you’re spending a considerable amount of time in the confines of workplace among colleagues and peers, it becomes imperative to have a working condition conducive that eases out stress levels that usually surfaces while at work. Employees should look forward to entering the premises, more so in the case of working mothers who are already leading hectic lifestyles juggling between work, family, home, kids etc. Working condition in offices plays an important role to improve productivity levels.

A workspace should be able to make a woman smile as she enters and not growl thinking about the long day haul.

Here are some tips for employers and managers to build an atmosphere that will not only enable better productivity levels among female workforce but also inspire male colleagues as well.

Loosen Up

 Many organizations undermine the importance of a dedicated space to relax and unwind. Poorly stocked kitchens, uncomfortable seating, and nonexistence of a leisure room are common grievances that most female employees come up with. While some organizations have identified the need to create leisure space, the popular myth that it might hamper productivity levels has not let companies put that into best practices. Today, employees look for more than just monetary benefits from their employers. It would be a good idea to invest in creating a space equipped with reading materials. A stress-free environment will be directly proportional to the balance sheet of both employees and employers.

 Open Door Policy

This literally means that the managers’ doors are always open for their subordinates to approach them – for feedback, conversations, and discussions. It is often seen women employees are not open to reach out to their managers with their concerns. When an organization embraces the open door policy, it means employees can walk into their managers’ rooms at any time without the hindrance of hierarchy. While such a system will enables a manager to establish employee trust, he/she will also have to be little discretionary and assertive to not encourage unnecessary tattle talking.

 Add To The Personal Touch

The workstation can either inspire or discourage an employee’s productivity. Personalizing the workstation helps an employee to build a relationship with the workspace, without any real attachment.  Don’t forget, women naturally like to have their space be done their way. It could be in the form of making it more colorful or keeping the workstation absolutely free of any pin-ups. While from adding pictures to inspirational quotes or a plant, anything can be acceptable, none of the sprucing up methods should break the company’s set rules and regulations. Remember the workspace should look pretty but not cluttered which might cause a distraction to fellow workers.

 Take A Break

Besides various illnesses, work-related stress is also a contributor towards low productivity, physical exhaustion and mental burn out. Short and long breaks from work allow employees to refresh the mind, body, and soul. Holidays help everyone break the monotony, short breaks in between long working hours during a day enable one’s body and mind to relax – soul needs a breather too. And, women love breaking the monotony. Companies must encourage short breaks that may be in form of a small walk, a chat with a colleague or any such activity that will help her keep the mind calm and stay refreshed. For employers, manage your employees’ short breaks but don’t micro-manage.

 Talking To Juniors, Taking Them Out

The relationship between senior management and junior level employees has always been almost non-existent in the past. But with years, companies have worked towards bridging this gap. A trend that was initially picked up by start-ups and later adapted by various organizations has yielded visible results. Building a relationship with junior employees makes them feel accepted by the company and gives them a sense of belonging. In turn, this also adds to the level of contribution and productivity of the employee. It is always nice to take an evening out on a Friday or a weekend lunch that will help build camaraderie among both female and male employees.

Employers make yourself available and not let anyone take you for granted….!!!!