Are you looking to make your office a happier and more productive workplace? Do you also wonder if maybe you have to sacrifice one for the other?

Not so, according to recent studies. Small changes can actually make for a more satisfied and efficient workforce. Even better, many of these are quite simple and inexpensive to implement.

Start by adding a few homey touches to the office. Leafy green plants are a great way to brighten up the work atmosphere and make the environment feel friendlier. Spider plants, ferns and bamboo palms in particular are known to help clean and freshen office air.

As an added plus, according to scientists at Texas A&M University, being around plants makes people calmer and helps them better retain information. The bottom line: Add plants, and watch workers perform tasks better, with more accuracy, and yield higher quality results.

Another way to develop a happier, more productive workplace is by putting an end to hideously long meetings with unclear objectives and takeaways.

A full 46% of employees report that they often leave meetings not knowing what is expected of them. Yikes! What can you do to ease this problem?

First, make meetings as short as possible.

Sheryl Sandberg keeps Facebook running efficiently by ending meetings when the objective is met, not by the schedule. If a half an hour meeting is done in seven minutes, it’s over. Bye bye!

Another tip is to be clear in your objectives, and reiterate what every person in the room is expected to do before the meeting ends.

Finally, follow this oldie but goodie from Jeff Bezos of Amazon: If you have to order more than two pizzas, there are too many people in the room. Invite only those who need to be there, and hold the entire meeting standing up to encourage staying on point.

And speaking of standing up, workers who are stuck in the chairs, tied to a desk all day are definitely not the happiest. For that reason, encourage all your employees to take a lunch break—and then to take a walk after eating.

Time outside, away from lights and screens, are literally a breath of fresh air that allows people to come back refreshed and ready to tackle the second half of the day.

Another option to consider: Standing work desks, which are gaining in popularity and are now available at 44% of workplaces. Give your employees a new way of doing and looking at things and watch productivity rise.

A final consideration is what many people consider the best of all possible additions to a workplace: Pets.

Having a pet-friendly office is one of the biggest perks out there. 80% of employees who bring their pets to work say they feel more “happy, relaxed and sociable” because of it. Just think of the smiles this could bring to the office on a daily basis. Woof and meow!

In the end, it only makes sense: Happy workers are more productive workers. And now that you know how easy and cost-effective it is to create more engaged workforce, our bet is you’re ready to give it a try. Bring on the plants, pets, standing desks and shorter, clearer meetings!

Infographic by Faxburner.com

Anatomy of a Happy Productive Office

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