Many organisations are taking the opportunity to redesign the office environment during a period where more members of staff are working from home. When we all return to office work, things will have changed, hopefully for the better. Employers are looking at all aspects of office life, from layout to your work/life balance in an attempt to keep workers happy. Perhaps surprisingly, one of the key factors in keeping your staff happy could be running proper background and DBS checks before they even start work.
One of the most important factors in keeping office staff happy is providing them with a comfortable working environment. There are lots of different ways of doing this, and it could be as simple as making sure the heating works properly and that there is a supply of teabags in the staff kitchen. If you’re taking out desks and chairs to help with social distancing, take the opportunity to redesign the workplace with a better flow, more natural light, houseplants and calm, neutral colours. Ask your staff what they’d like to see in the office environment, or even better, give them a set budget an set up a team to manage the refurbishment for you.
Working from home has been the norm for most of 2020 and it seems certain that we’ll all be working from home even more in the future. This is a good move in terms of work/life balance but can mean that it’s difficult to switch off and move from “work” mode into “home” mode. Employers can help by setting firm boundaries about when they can and cannot contact their workers at home, or by encouraging staff to log off and take a proper lunch break as they would do when working in the office.
Staff feel valued when they know that employers are taking careful decisions about who should join the existing team rather than just recruiting anyone. Chasing up references and investigating gaps in employment history can also help your business too by helping you weed out the bad apples before they have a chance to damage your business or relationships with staff. DBS checks aren’t essential for all occupations, and for most office-based jobs, all employers can access is basic DBS information about current, unspent criminal records and convictions. If staff know that they are valued, this should help reduce staff turnover and improve perceptions of your business.
Not everyone loves team building, especially if it involves getting wet and muddy in a forest. However, there’s a lot to be said for getting to know colleagues and staff away from work. There are lots of opportunities for team building, from escape room puzzles to a simple staff night out at the pub. The best way of getting people involved is to ask their opinion on what sort of activities they’d like, and switch around the sorts of activities and the time of day they take place.