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The office is the central hub of most business operations, so it makes a lot of sense to ensure that it is a place your employees enjoy coming to. Over the past few years, many companies have looked beyond mere functionality and found to make the office a much nicer and more enjoyable place to work. The main reason for this is that a lot of research has found that the workplace environment can have a massive effect on employee well-being and productivity.

All kinds of companies have integrated various features to make the workplace less sterile and more like the sort of place employees are happy to spend their time. So, with that in mind, here are four innovative tips on how to make a cool office.

Home away from Home

Making an office homier makes a lot of sense, as the office is the place where you and your employees spend a large portion of the working week. That is why many companies have incorporated features that wouldn’t look out of place in a living room or den.

Adding communal areas with sofas, benches, and places to “hang out” can have a positive impact on communication and creativity. These informal spaces are perfect for collaboration and remove some of the traditional barriers associated with fixed office layouts.

Four Innovative Tips on How to Make a Cool Office

Get Creative

Forget the rules and create a workspace that reflects your company values. Tech companies have really led the way here by adding lots of unique spaces where staff can work individually or in collaborative workgroups.

Work with the space you have and think about the unique qualities of your business and your team members. You can try different color schemes, remove walls, create fun breakout zones, or add interactive elements to surfaces for when inspiration needs to be jotted down quickly. There really is no limit to what can be done.

Bringing the Outdoors into the Workplace

Nobody likes a sterile, gray work environment, especially if your employees’ work involves spending hours indoors at a desk. Therefore, you should aim to add natural elements to the office, such as allowing light to flow through to all places and placing plants around the site. These two factors contribute to fresher air and will keep your employees more alert.

You can also create park areas by placing features such as park benches and fountains to create a perfect place for informal chats or lunch.

Down Time

One way to make the office a more fun place—and infinitely cooler than your competitors—is to add fun elements like playrooms, swings, exercise areas, and fully fitted kitchens. These areas are great places for your employees to go and relax, but they also have many benefits for the company.

These fun areas will make employees feel valued. Employees will also enjoy spending time with one another, which will foster an excellent team spirit.