Work culture has come a long way in the last 30 years, with employers noticing that helping to create a healthy office that their staff will enjoy can pay huge dividends in terms of productivity. In this blog, we’ll be looking at the key aspects of developing a mutually beneficial office environment.
Design a healthy office
Keeping employees engaged and happy requires helping them to feel as if the office is there to facilitate their needs. Different spaces help to break up the monotony of the working day for many workers – for example, offices that include ‘quiet’ spaces for employees to relax, unwind, and escape the work-floor have shown marked improvements in worker productivity. Moreover, companies who encourage naps for staff when they feel themselves ‘fading’ have seen an upturn in efficiency by their workforce.
Other initiatives that can help employees take greater pride in their work include ‘fun’ work spaces, where décor is altered to encourage more positive emotions, thus refreshing creativity. And of course, another important aspect to help creativity in the workplace is to allow workers to personalise their work space with décor that helps them feel like individuals, as well as promoting their personality.
Adding greenery to all areas of the office helps too, as live plants can help staff to relax and make the office feel less sterile, as well as increasing oxygen levels. The same is also true for ventilation, as healthy fresh air can increase staff work output by 16%, while increasing job satisfaction by a staggering 24%.
Furniture and comfort
If you’re wondering how to create a healthy office environment that your staff will enjoy, comfort isn’t a luxury – it’s a NECESSITY for employers who want the best out of their staff. As time has passed, we’ve seen many people in retirement with awful back pain, after working for 40 years sitting down in an office with bad posture. These health issues show up very early in employees whose days are spent in front of a desk – and a worker who cannot concentrate due to back pain is not likely to return a high standard of work.
Ergonomic chairs are getting cheaper all the time and offer support in all the right places for the human body, helping employees work better and enhancing their sleep at night. Of course, you don’t need a chair at all; offices which employ standing desks have found greatly improved motivation within their teams, as well as a greater number of interpersonal interactions between one another.
Another useful aspect of furniture design is the reduction of clutter, as a messy workstation can be a hindrance to those working on project tasks. Organisation and storage options can therefore be used to prevent staff having to sift through mountains of paperwork to find important documents.
Often overlooked, lighting is one of the most important aspects of an office environment for promoting happiness and health in the workplace. If possible, all work areas should have access to natural light, as workers in windowed offices have been shown to spend 15% more time staying on task than colleagues in windowless offices.
Managers should also aim to invest in task lighting – for example, lighting that increases luminance in reading areas – which has been proven to aid concentration within a workplace. And lastly, avoid overhead and strip lighting as much as possible, as offices which opt for the cheaper solutions also have the highest number of health complaints regarding fatigue and headaches.
Healthy office culture
Creating a healthy office environment isn’t all about design. For many workers, simple changes in office culture can have an amazing influence on their motivation. Encouraging employees to take short breaks throughout the day has been shown to aid mental health and increase concentration when working on specific assignments; while giving them tasks that involve regularly leaving their desks to walk for short periods has achieved similar results.
Having an open corporate structure is also thoroughly beneficial to most workers, where all staff have the option to offer ideas and have them taken seriously by their employer. Those who feel they are taken seriously within the workplace are often found to be more heavily invested in the company as a whole.
Why Not Refurbish Your Office
Want to help your office become healthier with great design and layout? We help with office design and fit out in Manchester and other locations nearby. Get in touch with us for a no-obligation chat on 01606 333 150, or use the contact form on the right of this page.