INSIGHTS, RESOURCES & EVENTS
If you think your office space is hindering rather than enhancing employee health and wellbeing, there are a number of relatively simple changes you can make.
Is Your Office Space Boosting Mental Health & Wellbeing?
Over the last 20 years, workplace design has transformed dramatically from the cubicle farms of the early 2000s to the open floorplans, breakout spaces and ping pong tables we see today.
One of the major factors that has driven that change is a growing understanding of the impact the office environment has on employee health and wellbeing, and in turn, the effect employee wellbeing has on workplace engagement and productivity.
1. Make the most of natural light
A study conducted By Cornell University in the US found that natural light is the best medicine in the office. The research revealed that employees who sit within 10 feet of a window reported an 84% decrease in headaches, eyestrain and the symptoms of blurred vision, all of which have a dramatic impact on employee health and wellbeing.
There are some simple steps you can take to improve the lighting in your workspace:
- Maximise natural lighting as much as you can
- Move obstructions that obstruct natural light flow
- Layer different lighting types such as ambient and task
2. Choose flexible & active furnishings
Up to 90% of our time is spent in a manmade, static environment. Therefore, designing a workplace that promotes a healthier and more active lifestyle can greatly improve employee wellbeing. A simple way to do that is through the use of flexible, ‘active furnishings’, which allow your employees to choose how and where they work.
Standing desks and exercise ball chairs provide more opportunity for movement while working. Even the clichéd office ping pong table, which promotes light-hearted competition while encouraging movement, can be a very popular and effective addition to your workplace.
3. Take Time to Listen
It is important to take the time looking out for any signs of employees suffering from mental health issues. It is a good idea to keep in touch with employees regularly so that you can understand their current mental health state and find out what support they might need in the workplace. There are many types of mental health issue. An issue can happen suddenly, because of a specific event in someone’s life, or it can build up gradually over time.
Common mental health issues include:
- Stress (this is not classed as a medical condition but it can still have a serious impact on wellbeing)
4. Create a space to recharge
A modern office shouldn’t be all about work. Adding a breakout area will allow employees to disconnect from work and mentally and physically recharge. Using bright colours for the walls and fixtures, introducing plenty of greenery, providing comfortable seating and ideally having a view of the great outdoors will all help to create a soothing space where employees can relax and recharge.
Here are a few more tips to help you create a comfortable breakout space:
- Create an open area that promotes socialising
- Give employees plenty of space so they don’t feel cramped
- Make it bright, inviting and comfortable
5. Promote fitness
Our bodies were made to move, not sit down all day. Employees who lead an active lifestyle tend to be happier, more engaged and more productive at work. It makes sense then, to make it easier for your employees to be active before, during and after work. Shower facilities, open and accessible stairways, bicycle storage and adjustable workstations are just a few of the changes you can make to promote an active lifestyle and boost employee’s mental health and wellbeing.
Is it time to make a positive change?
Employee wellbeing should be a priority for every business. Happy and healthy employees are more engaged, more productive and more present at work, all of which will have a positive impact on your bottom line. At Calibro Workspace, we plan, design and fitout workplaces in Belfast that enhance employee wellbeing now and in the future. To discuss your requirements, please get in touch with our team.