Nine-to-five and other clichés: How to Improve your Office
Working nine-to-five, eh? What a way to make a living! Yup, you’ve heard that hackneyed opener to an article on workplaces a thousand times before. But there are two good reasons for this.
Reason number one: it’s a awesome Dolly Parton song, and who doesn’t want to be reminded of it?
Reason number two: the nine-to-five grind dominates our daily lives, and we’d all love the chance to make it a little better.
Sweden’s got the right idea. The vast majority of their workplaces have reduced the eight hour working day to six hours. Imagine that – actually heading to your office without bags under your eyes and a coffee clasped in your hands.
Meanwhile, leading scientists have been recommending that businesses allow their staff to start at 10am, as opposed to the usual 9am start of most workplaces, claiming that the later start will boost productivity and morale.
A British way of working
This all sounds fantastic, but what’s the likelihood of implementing it in dear old Blighty?
To find the answer to that question, you need look no further than the current political landscape. Secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt has said that working practices in Britain should be just as rigorous as in China. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has used a ‘strivers and skivers’ theme in the majority of his political speeches.
Britain is all about work, work, work – even if productivity falters.
So, working nine-to-five, eh? It’s still a wholly identifiable phrase with no sign of changing.
But as we toil away, we don’t have to be handcuffed to our desks. Even bosses who act like Dickensian villains don’t have a problem with giving an office some pizzazz.
DIY Office Improvements
Although a miserable office might feel too overwhelmingly dour to be improved, little things can help you feel more chipper.
Persuade your boss to buy breakfast for everyone in the office at least once a week. A spot of communal eating can help with interoffice bonding and kick-start the day in a positive way.
Moreover, ensure that your workplace isn’t an interior design carbuncle. Invest in a few office plants, soothing lighting and a place to relax on your downtime.
You’ll notice that these micro-tips don’t cost too much. That’s the trick – provided a suggestion isn’t as extravagant as Oscar Wilde’s shopping list, it’s no skin off your bosses’ nose.
But you should also appeal to your employer in terms they’d understand – cold hard cash.
With a happier office comes a healthier office. Always bear that in mind when you’re making pains to improve it. Pretty soon you’ll be able to head into your nine-to-five with a smile on your face.