Woman looking at binder in office
Hybrid work
Facility management

9 ways how to make an office more welcoming


May 2, 2024


May 2, 2024

Hybrid work has reshaped our view on how to make an office more welcoming. With a 30% drop in on-site attendance1, the challenge isn’t just to get employees back but, most importantly, to make them want to come back. When the workplace is inviting, productivity and morale increase, making it a better choice than home. It’s imperative because your team members need a good reason to come to work instead of operating from home.

Yet many business spaces today don’t meet these changing demands. They’re outdated and don’t fit hybrid workforce needs, causing dissatisfaction and inefficiency among their teams. CRE and facility managers face real challenges regarding this topic, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

So, we’re sharing nine effective ways to make the office attractive and turn it into a place your employees love and 6 reasons why this shift is paramount. We will cover everything from an optimized layout to ergonomic furniture and modern, people-centric technology. Are you ready to transform your office space into something fun and exciting? Let’s look at these nine key recommendations, then!

9 recommendations on how to make your office more welcoming

1. Create an office space with various types of workspaces

An office space that fulfills your employees’ needs is key to boosting their productivity. Make it more appealing by incorporating a variety of workspaces for different tasks and preferences. Include hot desks for flexibility, assigned desks for those who like permanent spots, and open spaces that encourage spontaneous collaboration and communication. Add cubicles for focused work, meeting rooms equipped for teamwork and client presentations, and cozy office lounges for informal gatherings or relaxed solo work. 

Design each area with its specific use in mind, ensuring that your employees have the right environment for whatever their workday holds. This diversity enhances functionality and makes your company a dynamic and appealing workplace.

👉 Cubicles vs. open office, what’s the best option?

2. Design an office environment fostering social interactions and collaboration

Designing an office that promotes social interactions and collaboration significantly enhances creativity and team cohesion. To achieve this, consider creating open spaces that are easily accessible, inclusive,  and inviting for everyone. Equip these areas with flexible seating arrangements and movable furniture to accommodate different group sizes and types of meetings.

You can also include relaxed spaces like lounge areas and large shared lunch tables where employees may gather casually. These spots encourage informal chats and brainstorming sessions, often leading to innovation and a higher sense of community at work. By integrating these elements into your setup design, you create an environment supporting collaborative work and strengthening team members' relationships.

3. Invest in ergonomic furniture

Investing in ergonomic furniture is essential for creating a healthy and productive workspace. Ergonomic chairs, desks, and accessories support the natural posture of the body, reducing strain on the back, neck, and wrists. This leads to less fatigue and fewer work-related injuries. By providing adjustable chairs and tables, you allow your employees to customize their workstations to fit their individual needs, enhancing comfort and efficiency throughout the day. 

This kind of attention to employee well-being boosts morale and increases productivity by keeping everyone comfortable and focused. By prioritizing ergonomic furniture, you’re investing in your team’s health, showing a commitment to their overall job satisfaction, and making WFO (working from the office) more enjoyable than WFH (working from home).

4. Play with colors and biophilic office design

Incorporating biophilic design, which involves adding natural components like plants, exposure to natural light, and using materials such as wood or stone, not only leverages your office but also improves air quality and mental health. Integrating colors and natural elements significantly impacts your staff’s well-being and productivity. 

Implementing colors strategically enhances your team members’ mood and energy. For example, blue hues foster calm and focus, while greens create a restful area that reduces eye strain. This approach lowers stress levels and higher employee satisfaction, making your workspace a healthier and more inviting workplace.

💡 Learn more about the impact of office layout on productivity.

Man on laptop on couch surrounded by plants
Office with biophillic design

5. Consider implementing a workplace pet policy

Considering a workplace pet policy could be an innovative and effective way to enhance your office atmosphere, especially in a hybrid work environment. Allowing pets on-site reduces stress, increases job satisfaction, and fosters interactions among employees who might not usually connect. This policy benefits your flexible workforce by making work days more appealing and enjoyable as they can bring their four-legged friends. This undeniably encourages more in-person attendance and collaboration. 

The presence of pets can make the workplace feel more homely and welcoming. This is especially helpful when trying to balance the ease of home with the professional setting of the workplace. Before implementing such a policy, ensure you establish clear guidelines to address any concerns around allergies or phobias to maintain comfort for all employees.

6. Organize office events and team-bonding activities

Organizing office events and team-bonding activities is a fantastic way to build a stronger community within your workplace. Regular social events and team-building exercises bridge the gap between remote and on-site days, fostering unity and collaboration among all employees. Whether it’s through creative workshops, outdoor activities, or casual get-togethers, these events motivate people to come to the office and enhance relationships that might not develop as naturally when teams are physically apart. 

Implementing such activities boosts morale and enhances teamwork, making your workplace more dynamic and appealing. Plus, this approach is crucial for maintaining a cohesive company culture in a hybrid setting, where employees might otherwise feel disconnected.

7. Keep your work environment clean and clutter-free

Maintaining a clean and clutter-free workspace is crucial for fostering an enjoyable office experience. A neat space enhances focus and efficiency and contributes to a healthier atmosphere by reducing dust and allergens. Regular cleaning and tidying help ensure that your employees have a pleasant and functional work area, whether coming in every day or just a few times a week. 

This practice is relevant in shared spaces and hot-desking offices common in hybrid models, where cleanliness directly affects multiple employees’ daily experience. Encouraging everyone to keep their areas tidy and providing adequate storage solutions make a significant difference in maintaining an orderly environment.

👋 Check the 12 desk-sharing etiquette for a thriving work environment everybody enjoys!

8. Make the office easily accessible by removing scheduling conflicts

Ensuring your office is easily accessible and free from scheduling conflicts is essential. By implementing a workspace booking system like deskbird, people can book their desks or meeting rooms in advance. This minimizes the frustration of not finding a preferred work spot available upon arrival. Having this kind of convenience encourages employees to come to work more often since it’s easier for them to switch between working from home and on-site.

Such practices improve daily operations and support a flexible work culture by adapting the physical workspace to fit the dynamic needs of your team. This approach is key to maintaining harmony and efficiency in a hybrid setting.

9. Use workplace technology to leverage your physical workplace

Leveraging workplace technology effectively is essential to enhancing your physical workplace. By using tools like deskbird, you ensure your team members can book workspaces and parking spots in advance. This reduces daily hassles and time wasted. 

Additionally, you can use advanced technologies like virtual reality (VR) to provide immersive and collaborative experiences that are difficult to duplicate at home, motivating employees to return to work. These kinds of resources streamline operations and improve the overall workplace experience, allowing your staff to focus more on their work and less on logistical frustrations. 

Implementing such systems also supports better space utilization and planning, ensuring optimal resource use. By embracing modern workplace technologies, you’re improving functionality and committing to a smooth, efficient, and modern working environment.

📆 Start a free trial of the deskbird app to see how you can improve your employee experience with workspace booking and week planning while saving costs!

Virtual reality technology in the workplace
Virtual reality technology in the workplace

6 reasons why making your office more attractive and welcoming is a must

1. The amount of unused office space has never been that high

Because of the pandemic, on-site space usage has shifted significantly as hybrid work models are rising. Experts expect that the demand for office space in some major cities will be 20% lower by 20301. This is because hybrid work setups, where employees split their time between home and work, are still popular. COVID-19 has also sped up the trend of people moving out of urban centers. This has led to a decrease in population density, which affects workspace demand even more.

There are two dominant strategies to consider: downsizing and redesigning spaces or transforming them into more inviting and welcoming places to attract employees back. Due to these dynamics, businesses must rethink how they use and design office spaces. As trends and preferences change, this is to keep up.

2. Employees want in-person interactions but prefer the comfort of home

Many employees like working from home because of the flexibility and comfort, but they still value the in-person interaction they get on-site. Your goal should be to make your workplace as fulfilling and inviting as a home, so office days become their preferred option. By doing this, you create more opportunities for in-person collaboration and communication, which boost productivity and teamwork. 

It’s possible to shift the trend by creating a homely atmosphere in the office, encouraging employees to work there rather than at home. Start with comfortable furniture, warm lighting, and personal touches like plants or artwork to make your office feel more homey. A well-stocked kitchen, a cozy breakout area, and flexible workspaces can also help foster a sense of familiarity. When the office feels inviting and comfortable, people are more likely to come in instead of working from home.

3. Workers tend to be more productive at home than on-site

Many of your employees may find they are more productive working from home. Actually, 60.4% of workers report increased productivity because of fewer distractions commonly found in office environments. This significant statistic underscores the necessity for your workplace design to evolve. It is essential to create a workspace that mirrors home tranquility and functionality. Enhancing your office to facilitate focused work and minimize interruptions turns your office into a more appealing place to work. 

With this change, you’re not only catering to your employees’ productivity needs, but you’re also enhancing their overall job satisfaction. For this reason, it’s important to reassess and optimize your workspace layout.

💥 Discover how deskbird helps you boost hybrid work productivity and maximize efficiency!

Woman on laptop on the floor
Woman working from home

4. Many office buildings no longer match the new ways of working

Modern hybrid work models require versatile and adaptable office spaces. As a CRE or facility manager, you should transform your spaces to answer your team’s new needs. People like remote work mostly because there are fewer distractions, and they love on-site work because it’s collaborative and they get to interact with their peers. Try creating quiet zones and team meeting areas to switch between them. 

Flexible furniture and movable partitions make it easy to reconfigure workspaces to accommodate different tasks and work styles. With this level of adaptability, modern workers may collaborate during meetings and focus in quiet zones, which enhances productivity and satisfaction. This benefits both your companies and employees.

5. The office’s role and use has changed

Offices are less used for solitary tasks than before. They have become places where teams come to collaborate and where social interactions happen. Due to this shift, workplaces must be redesigned to better support these functions. The best layouts today integrate flexible workspaces that allow both planned meetings and spontaneous interactions, creating a vibrant, community-based work environment. 

Work offices encouraging creativity and teamwork have many benefits, including a stronger social fabric. This makes the process more enjoyable and productive for everyone involved.

6. The physical workplace is essential to maintaining workplace connection

Keeping connections between colleagues and reinforcing a sense of identity and belonging in the workplace is crucial. Even though remote work has become common, the office still provides a space for direct, meaningful interactions and strengthens professional relationships. Not just social, these connections foster a collaborative culture, boost employee engagement, and encourage a collective commitment to the business.

With a physical office, you facilitate social and professional interactions that keep your team productive and engaged. A welcoming environment with flexible workspaces, collaborative spaces, and versatile layouts makes connecting easier for people. Employees communicate more effectively and share ideas freely without rigid barriers, fostering a team-oriented culture.

Transforming your business to be more welcoming directly supports the needs of modern teams. This means offering a variety of workspaces, incorporating natural and ergonomic elements, investing in technology that simplifies daily operations, and adopting policies that further make the office attractive, such as allowing pets. These changes make your workplace more appealing while showing commitment to your workers’ satisfaction and comfort.

By learning how to make an office more welcoming, you transform your business dynamics and boost overall productivity. 

Start rethinking your setup space today and request a free demo of the deskbird app to discover how our workplace management software can help you improve your employee experience on-site!

1Empty spaces and hybrid places: The pandemic’s lasting impact on real estate, McKinsey.

9 ways how to make an office more welcoming

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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