"Working from home". These three little words seem to resonate with the average British worker as strongly as "cup of tea?" or "dress down Friday".
According to a recent survey, more than 44% of the UK people prefer to work from home rather than head into the office and as much as employers sympathise with this preference, it isn't always practical.
To combat this, companies should work towards turning their office into somewhere employees actually want to visit. This can be achieved by taking inspiration from the home and bringing these themes into the workplace.
Below, Businesses Energy Comparison site Love Energy Savings have looked at the steps employees and employers can take to make their office feel a little bit more like home.
The more time you spend in an office, the more you think of home; which is why experienced staff typically deck out their desks with personal items reminiscent of their household.
Every office desk can be an extension of an employee's home – as if it has been picked up and physically moved to the workplace. Staff should be encouraged to prop up pictures, add memorabilia, and even use their own personal equipment to make their workspace their own.
Kicking the dress code
One of the major deterrents for office-based work is stuffy, corporate clothing. Some people feel far more comfortable and confident in casual wear – which can facilitate productivity and creativity.
As such, many companies are kicking dress codes to the kerb. The one snag is that hoodies and tracksuit bottoms aren't exactly appropriate if you're meeting an important client. A good way to get around this is to make clear the attire expected in a client meeting and the attire expected for the basic day to day.
A real pleasure of home working is the ability to cook whatever you like, whenever you like. There's no need to worry about what the boss might say. You can snack to your heart's content!
Lots of offices are relaxing on the food front nowadays – realising that letting staff eat their favourite foods at their desks is a small price to pay for higher productivity. More companies are also investing in superior kitchen equipment to facilitate the storage and cooking of tasty, healthy, morale-boosting, productivity-fuelling meals.
Flexitime and freedom
Being forced to sit in the same chair until a specific time instils a prison-like mentality in employees. At home, though, they can pick and choose hours.
Offering flexible working hours can make the workplace seem all-the-more appealing. It provides staff with an element of control over when they start/finish – which in turn can boost motivation and overall job satisfaction.
The days of dreary grey office cubicles are almost behind us – but a lot of workplaces still aren't all that comfortable for staff.
To transform the office into a place that employees actually want to travel to, a business must invest in comfortable furniture and décor. Sofas in a chill-out zone, plants speckled around the room, colourful wallpaper… All of the above contribute to a homely sort of space that people enjoy working in.
Ultimately, there are three defining attributes for an engaging office: familiarity, inspiration and comfort. People love working from home because these are in abundance. By bringing home into the office, a company can boost employees' happiness and productivity.
And that's exactly what we've done right here at Love Energy Savings. Take a look at our Careers page to learn all about why our company is such a fantastic place to work.