Article Posted by Jimmy Culvin in All-Rants,
Decorate Your Work Space
are one of the things about which managers are most conflicted. Some believe that decorations add undue clutter and distraction to the workplace
, which is a fair belief. Others think that the benefits, whether real or imagined, of these decorations is more than worth the possible distractions that they might offer. There are two sides to the argument, but three very convincing kinds of decorations that may sway your vote to the side of the decorators.
The “Fresh” Factor
One of the reasons that so many people dread going to the office in the morning is their perception of it. Words like “stale,” “boring,” and “moldy” are sometimes misnomers. They are often applied to many places that are perfectly clean, but may smell of chemicals, or simply have a sort of old-fashioned feeling to them. If this applies to your office, you may want to invest in some fresh decorations and fixtures to keep your employees reminded of green growing things. Spider plants for each employee are a great start—encourage them to bring creative planters from home, or let their kids decorate a generic one that you provide. A fountain in the office is a bigger investment, but a small one in the corner surrounded by cheap potted plants can give your office a very cool modern vibe without adding much expense, and can make your employees feel much more comfortable.
The “Cute” Factor
Office Decorations Can Increase Productivity
Have you ever wondered why companies are so quick to put pictures of babies and kittens on calendars? There’s an actual reason for that. In a study of Japanese office workers
, the study measured productivity before and after looking at a picture of something. Those who looked at something termed generically “cute,” such as a kitten, puppy, or small baby, experienced a huge boost in productivity afterwards. Those who looked at any other kind of picture—something familiar, something neutral, something sexy, or something sad—did not experience a boost or a hindrance from one direction or another. Simply stocking your office full of cute calendars or giving out cute pictures for employees
to set on their desks can make a huge difference to the productivity of your employees, and for a tiny fraction of the cost of a seminar on the subject.
The “Comfort” Factor
Encourage Your Employees To Bring Photos Of Their Love Ones
Make your employees
hate coming to work less. That’s the goal of many productivity managers, but it’s something that many people find very difficult to understand on a personal level. The act of bringing pictures of family, friends, and other comforting things to work is an act of trust. No one wants to have those pictures disrespected. Make sure that if you are going to invite your employees to bring pictures of loved ones and beloved things from home, that you’re creating a workplace where everyone feels comfortable doing so. That means that even if the weird girl in the corner brings a picture of Naruto and has it professionally framed, you shouldn’t say anything. That can be interpreted as harassment. Much better is to simply let people bring what they want to bring, if that’s your decision. The only caveat to that is to make certain that you never make comments on anyone’s family pictures (outside of reason—if they ask, “Isn’t he getting big?” you’re more than welcome to agree). If anything should be misconstrued, you can be on the hook for an infinite number of lawsuits.