It pays to focus on your team members’ happiness. The “100 best companies to work for in America” earn shareholders 3.5 percent higher annual returns that typical industry averages, according to a University of Pennsylvania study.

A pleasant office environment boosts team member contentment. Office amenities, functionality and design all contribute to employee satisfaction, according to a 2013 Gensler study.

I can tell you from experience that of the nearly 50 companies I coach around the globe, those with pleasing office environments engage happier employees and earn higher revenues.

The good news, you don’t need a bulldozer and a construction crew to achieve a more gratifying office environment. Reinvigorate your workplace with these five tips:


Let the light in. If you have blinds covering your windows, open them. According to a new study by the Swiss Institute of Technology, people who spend more time in natural lighting than in artificial lighting have increased productivity and alertness. Another study by Oxford University shows employees who sit by a window receive 173 percent more white light and therefore relay more “vitality,” than workers without a window.

If window seating isn’t an option in your existing office space, urge your team members to spend some time outdoors during their lunch breaks to soak up some vitamin D.


Streamline with Technology. Incorporate technology into your office protocols to simplify processes for your team members’ ease. Better yet, choose multi-faceted technology so you can streamline your technology procedures. With so many apps and programs, you have so much to chose from, but logging into numerous platforms is irritating and cumbersome. 

I attribute the success of my first company largely to that fact that we had technology that encompassed our CRM, sales management, billing, etc. Because of our technology’s simple accessibility, our team was always organized and aligned, which increased our overall happiness and success.


Reduce noise. If a handful of your team members like listening to music while they work, make sure they wear headphones. Background noise is more than annoying to other team members—it’s a health risk.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, ambient noise increases general stress levels and aggravates stress-related conditions like high blood pressure, coronary disease, peptic ulcers and migraine headaches. Monitor your workplace noise to enable focus and better health.


Promote healthy living.  This one hits home for me. I was in a bit of a slump last year. After taking some time to reflect, I realized I was neglecting my personal health. Once I started taking time to workout and eat healthy, my mood and drive drastically improved.

Realizing how healthy living positively affected me, I encouraged my team to take time on their lunch breaks to workout and grab some fresh grub. I’ve noticed first hand that the midday physical activity heightens my team members’ focus. Further, the ability to take time for themselves increases their feeling of balance.

Need more incentive? A study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health shows that organizations with highly effective wellness programs report significantly lower voluntary attrition than do those whose programs have low effectiveness.


Serve appreciative clients. Do some of your clients or customers suck the energy out of your organization? Do those same clients usurp more of your time and money than necessary? Fire them. You and your team will be happier and more successful if you dedicate your time to clients you like who like you back.


Chances are, your team members spend more time at the office than at home. Let your work family know you value them by giving them a positive and healthy home away from home.


Originally published in The Tennessean.

Photo credit: