Take a close look at your current office. Are your employees engaging with each other, working on a creative project, being productive, and most importantly, do your employees enjoy being there? Or, do your employees wish they were working somewhere else (anywhere else!), such as a local coffee shop?
It’s no secret that many coffee shops have a warm, inviting aura, making them an ideal third place to get work done. While coffee shops offer coveted social environments and a nice workday escape; offices offer privacy, organizational resources, and easy collaboration with coworkers. Which leads us to the question:
How can we create a work environment that combines the best of what local coffee shops and corporate offices have to offer?
Today’s modern office requires a variety of spaces where employees can choose the best place to work based on their preferences and needs. To offer employees a place where they can take a break from their usual workspace while maintaining connections with colleagues and your organization, bring the coffee shop on-site.
1. Add a Work Café
Coffee shops are appealing because employees have the opportunity to get away from their desks. But what if you brought the café to them? By creating a lounge area or community gathering space in your office, with access to good food and coffee, your employees are more likely to want to spend more time in the office. If they feel “stuck” at their desk, this offers employees the option to bring their laptops with them and work at a community table in a relaxing environment, giving them a change of perspective.
2. Encourage Mental Breaks
According to an influential article by Phyllis Korkki of the New York Times, “A growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity — and that skipping breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion.” While it might sound counter-intuitive that more breaks lead to more productivity, when you encourage your employees to take breaks more often, you are giving them space to mentally recharge and come back with new and improved focus.
3. Provide Flexibility & Relaxation
Coffee shops promote a relaxed environment, free from worry, unlike most offices. By having a flexible, open-door policy, workers perform better. Implement a flexible weekday schedule, with employees having the option to work from home. With the rise of virtual teams, optimized conferencing areas make remote collaboration a breeze. Tabletop microphones and large monitors support content sharing, video conferencing, and remote-collaboration.
4. Designate Brainstorming Sessions
Since coffee shops are great spaces to brainstorm, bring the concept of regular brainstorming to your office. Once a week, host an hour-long, team-specific meeting where you can bounce ideas off each other. This creates a safe space for ideas, encourages your employees to think outside the box, and may lead to a game-changing idea from one of your employees.
5. Create the Coffee Shop Floor-plan
An open floor plan, modern furniture, and common workspaces can help create the inviting atmosphere of a coffee shop. Adding color to your walls and vibrant accents give your office life of its own and creates an environment where your employees’ productivity can thrive.
As an employer, the more you respect your employees’ needs for independence, encourage new ideas, and provide the space to grow, the more productive they will be. By creating relaxing environments, encouraging regular breaks, and establishing designated brainstorming sessions, you are building employee trust, confidence, and loyalty. Soon, employees won’t be thinking of ditching the office for the coffee shop, because everything that they need to be successful can be found right where they work.
Interesting in creating a coffee shop environment in your workplace? Contact us for a free space planning and product selection consultation.
For more information, check out our article on Employee Retention.