When you’re called in for an interview, what runs through your mind? What should I wear? What will they ask? Will they like me? However, it’s important to consider what you’ll be looking for when going into the office. Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, and you may forget to notice anything except walking straight in your new heels. However, the environment in which you work 40 hours a week can have a huge impact.
“Almost half (49%) said that an office makeover would increase their productivity and more than half thought a better working environment would make them more organized (64%) and enable greater job satisfaction (62%).”
—Survey of 100 office staff in London by Metro Design.
When you enter your next interview, wear something comfortable so you can focus on scouting out the office, the people, and the interactions and attitudes.
When you walk into an office, you can tell right away if the employees are happy. While they may be conversing over the phone or clicking away at the computer, attitude is tangible. Make a point to give your best assessment of how they like their working environment.
- Are people talking to one another? Office camaraderie can make a less-than-exciting job much more enjoyable.
- Do they look stressed? People who are up and about may be a clue that, while deadlines may be in place, the stress factor isn’t high.
These days many businesses are embracing a modern design and office layout. Famous companies such as Google and Pixar have revolutionized the contemporary office environment. Although huge, fully equipped kitchens and fun office cabins may not be commonplace office additions yet, many offices are embracing an open, fun, friendly concept now.
- Cubicles: Most common now are the half-wall cubicles. These don’t close you in quite as much, inviting conversation and an open concept. Who wants to be enclosed in a floor-to-ceiling box?
- Music: Many companies play Pandora or Spotify for the entire office. “74% of workers said they enjoy going to work more when music they like is played. Furthermore, 85% of workers said that listening to music at work makes them much happier,” according to The Music Works research.
- Kitchen: With a downturned economy and a focus on health in our everyday lives, many employees are turning to lunch in the workplace. If brining a lunch is important to you, consider the amenities their kitchen has to offer. Microwave? Sink? Fridge? Stove?
- Employee area: It isn’t uncommon to find lounge areas for employees in the office. This can be important if you need to get away from the computer for an hour of lunch, or just a moment to de-stress. Look for couches, seating, and games such as foosball.
While this may not seem all that important, the amount of windows and lighting can significantly impact how you like being at work and your productivity. It is advantageous to both the office and the staff to have quality lighting through various sources.
When enclosed in office walls for eight hours a day, it’s important that space is inviting and comfortable. The modern office now caters more to employee happiness, as the idea of working in an office has become less popular over the past decade. When you go in for your interview, remember to do a personal interview of the office as well. Pay might be great, but if you can’t stand being there, then what’s the point?
- Windows: It is important that employees are able to have a view out of the office. Seeing habitat outside affects happiness, productivity, and personal well-being.
- Lights: You don’t want to be working in a dark, dreary office. Be sure that the office is illuminated to your liking. Working in a dim space will become troublesome very quickly.
- Personal lamp: Some offices offer their employees an additional personal light. If working in a well lit environment is important to you, look for this.
Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics from social media to merchant services. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including background checks for lead generation resource Resource Nation.