There are a lot of things about working productively that are up to your employees. It’s up to them to get their email under control, to follow project guidelines, and to show up to work on time.
However, that doesn’t mean employers can’t find ways to encourage productivity!
In some cases, accommodations are necessary. For example, if you have an employee who is struggling with a workplace injury or you have an employee with a disability, you are required to provide reasonable accommodations, but that doesn’t mean someone has to request an accommodation in order for you to make things better for everyone!
Here are five accommodations you can offer to everyone that all of your employees are sure to appreciate:
- Flexibility to sit or stand
- Find ways to lower background noise
- Be flexible about break times
- Pay attention to lighting
- Offer a remote work option
Flexibility to Sit or Stand
Whether you sit or stand often comes with the job. If you’re working at a computer, you’re going to spend most of your day sitting. If you work at a cash register, you’re going to spend most of your day standing.
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Both can be hard on your body when it’s all you do all day long. Instead of letting the position dictate whether your employee sits or stands, give them the flexibility to choose.
Allow office employees to work at a standing desk so they can stretch their legs when they need to, and give cashiers and other standing employees a stool that they can use when they need to rest.
It gives everyone a chance to move their body in ways that feel good, but it also accommodates employees with physical conditions who can’t sit or stand all day long.
Find Ways to Lower Background Noise
Office noise bothers some people more than others. A condition called misophonia can trigger anxiety, rage, or panic, while others simply find it more difficult to concentrate when they can hear so many other noises in the office.
Turn off the music, if it plays in your workplace. If possible, provide more distance between cubicles and desks so everyday noises like typing and coughing aren’t so loud, and consider giving employees offices instead of working in cubicles.
Providing headphones can help too. Employees can listen to music if it helps them concentrate, while noise-canceling headphones can give employees the silence they crave.
Be Flexible About Break Times
Breaks are required for employees in nearly every industry. Although it can be tempting to require employees to take breaks at certain times, it’s much better to allow employees to take their breaks when it’s best for them.
Choosing break times is an easy way to give employees of certain faiths the ability to pray or meditate when their religion requires it, but it can help everyone because we all find ourselves needing a break at different times.
Just make sure employees aren’t skipping their breaks, or combining them together to get a longer lunch or to leave earlier. The point of a break is to provide a chance to rest in the middle of the day.
Pay Attention to Lighting
How much have you thought about lighting in the office? What works for home offices is a good guideline for what you should try at work.
Overhead lights are the norm, but indirect light is less abrasive. Tone down fluorescent lights up above and adds lamps to the office. Give employees the ability to turn task lighting off and on, and open the windows to utilize natural light in your workspace.
Offer a Remote Work Option
Working remotely can be a godsend for people who have appointments to keep and have specific preferred working conditions, but that doesn’t mean everyone likes working from home.
That’s why offering a remote work option without requiring it is a good idea.
Allow employees to work from home on certain days of the week, or ask employees if they want to work from home as part of the interview process.
Whether employees decide to work at home or in the office, they will all appreciate that you are willing to work with them individually to provide them with the best work environment for their needs.
Accommodations in the workplace aren’t just for employees who require changes in order to work efficiently. Accommodations can help everyone!
Whether they take you up on the accommodation or not, employees will appreciate that you’re giving them choices to make work easier, more comfortable, and more productive.
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