Eight tips for building an office environment primed for success

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When we started out on the Hayward Hawk journey, we pooled our thoughts on how to shape our office environment. For a rapid growth company, this is one of the most important aspects of scaling effectively, so we had to get it right.

Okay, you have pizza and beer Fridays, you go on outdoor pursuits weekends, golfing trips away…but what if employees are not loving the work space they are in?

Here are eight top tips which proved decisive in creating a successful office environment - we call it the 'Hawk's Nest' 

Stay organized and keep your work space tidy
Whether a CEO or a trainee, we all have lots of paperwork to manage on our desks. That’s not forgetting the filing and organisation of contracts, forms, training material, scanned documents, stationary etc. Poor organisation impacts motivation, timekeeping and ultimately productivity. Keep a tidy office, keep a tidy personal desk space, and don’t get lazy with document management.

Make it functional, but keep it comfy
This was our exact approach to filling out the office. We wanted to create an environment where there were no barriers to carry out work, no matter the individual’s style. If you like double screens, if you like using a laptop, if you like being on your feet, if you like taking time in a breakout room, if you like writing on any wall in the office etc. We have made allowances and provided the equipment to make all of this possible, because where is the logic in creating barriers to your employees’ productivity? P.S. We bought dual white shiny new screens to use as monitors…not essential, but we love them. And our breakout room? We like to call it “The Hawktagon”.

Encourage collaboration
No matter the shape, layout or size of your office, always make sure you have dedicated spaces in which employees can collaborate and be creative. Camaraderie is infectious, creativity will spawn new ideas and the team will be more bought into their work and their colleagues. The collaboration should also feed into the wider theory that everyone’s ideas and thoughts will be heard.

Make it a collective
Giving the office more of a collective feel as opposed to a group of un-connected working individuals is pretty crucial in creating a productive, functional and happy work environment. This is highlighted even more in a small start-up - we know! Everyone has to buy into the collective idea for it to work. Simple things such as saying thanks, team lunches/breakfasts work wonders; we have our craft beer club every Friday. Encourage collaboration, brainstorming and always make time to help colleagues with difficult tasks (regardless of title or how busy you are). Lastly, we measure success based on the team’s overall performance and ability to hit targets. Individual targets are important, but we succeed and fail, always as a team.

An office with natural light is must in our book. Poor lighting can lead to a range of health issues including blurred vision, headaches, eyestrain etc., none of which are conducive to productivity. On the other hand, a well-lit office can keep your team energized, even past the 4pm slump. For us, the big windows mean that we can play our favourite game of spotting who is coming out of Argos with the most awkwardly shaped parcel.

Make training a priority
The vast majority of employees want to excel and to do good work. As employers, we need to provide the right tools for success, meaning training is crucial. It might be a bit extreme in some cases to have a corporate university like Facebook or the famous McDonalds Hamburger University, but structure is key. There needs to be a clear communication of goals and progress and a consistency with sessions rather than the more commonly found sporadic and haphazard approach. Luckily, we have access to some of the best personalized recruitment training through Recruitment Guide.

Consider some perks
Pretty self-explanatory. Employees love being treated like they are the best, and often this leads to them performing like they are. Here are some links we found highlighting some of the best perks out there:

Always start a Monday morning with a themed quiz. ALWAYS
So far we have covered recruitment, US presidents, Irish history, wine, James Caan CBE, DB Cooper, capital cities, Olympic history, emerging technologies, UFC… It may not directly improve our recruitment skills, but we make a top pub quiz team!

By Anthony Stuart, Associate Director, Hayward Hawk.