Anything you can do to keep your employees (or your client's employees) happy in the workplace will probably pay off in terms of productivity – and your bottom line. Why? Because happy employees are less likely to look for another job.
Myriad studies conclude that retaining employees is far more cost-effective than recruiting and training new ones. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, it costs more than $4,000 on average to fill an open position. That doesn’t include the loss in productivity incurred before identifying a replacement.
Offering a competitive salary and great benefits is definitely one way to keep employees happy. But, even the best compensation package won’t be enough to keep most employees in a work environment that’s unpleasant or overly stressful. After all, the average employed individual spends roughly half of his or her total waking hours at work on any given workday. Therefore, it makes good business sense to invest in making the workplace pleasant through your office design. If you don’t have an office relaxation area, perhaps you should consider adding one!
Office Relaxation Areas: A Growing Trend
There are plenty of reasons why Google has made the top of the list – multiple times – for best company to work for in America. One reason is an amazing campus full of amenities, including gardening spaces, nap pods and easy access to bicycles. Under Armour boasts a full-service gym including onsite basketball court. Yelp’s Scottsdale office includes game rooms, a beer station and a relaxation room set up like a spa, with massage chairs and scented candles.
Worried About Too Much Relaxation? Set Limits.
Yelp ensures that employees don’t spend their entire workday in the spa room by requiring employees to schedule their use in 30-minute increments. If you’re concerned that a relaxation room will result in too much employee fun, bonding or napping, you can set limits or open up the space only during certain time periods. Or, you can create a space that is zen-like and peaceful in a more passive way.
Office Relaxation Room Ideas (If You’re Not Google)
You may not have the budget to purchase 1,000 bicycles or create an in-house gardening area for employees, and you don’t have to! A successful office relaxation space is any space that allows employees to take a break from sitting in their office furniture, staring at their computer screen, talking on the phone or shuffling paperwork. All you really need is a dedicated space that’s inviting and peaceful.
Some very do-able ideas to create a relaxation room include filling a space with plush, oversized chairs, sofas or hammocks. Or exercise balls. Or punching bags. Or floor pillows. Or yoga mats. Add soothing music and soft lighting, incorporate a large aquarium, or even add an indoor koi pond or waterfall feature. Aromatherapy is an inexpensive way to calm the nerves, so are plenty of plants. And why not set out eye masks and ear plugs for those who need a cat nap?
A relaxation room that appeals to employees of the company across the hall may not appeal to your employees. And vice versa. The only way you’ll really know what features will make your employees happy is to ask them. Create a list of ideas you’re considering, and that you can afford, and send out an anonymous survey to your employees asking them to rank their favorites in order.
You can offer one large communal relaxation area or smaller self-contained “pods.” There are no rules and they don't need require expensive office redesigns. That’s why you shouldn’t assume you have to be a corporate giant to create a workplace relaxation space. So, if you’re considering it, go for it! Your employees will love a space for relaxation, and you’ll be making an investment in your company’s future. If you need other ideas or would like to discuss installation of your new relaxation areas contact us.