Creating a healthy work environment is an important goal for any organization. Not only does it set the tone and keep employees engaged, but it also provides useful benefits like improved mental health, higher energy levels and increased productivity. As an office manager or HR representative, you are likely familiar with the subject of workplace wellness – one that focuses on taking care of both the physical and psychological aspects of wellbeing for everyone in the workplace. But did you know that good office design can actually go a long way towards achieving this?
By introducing some simple changes to your workspace, such as providing healthier food options in break areas or promoting social connection through communal spaces, you can easily connect workplace wellness and office design. In this post, we'll explain how to create a space where everyone feels at ease without compromising their sense of productivity.
1. Create Flexible Workspaces that Foster Collaboration
For progressive companies who seek to boost collaboration and have established open workspaces, evolving the layout of spaces and furniture can be a useful way to accommodate multiple work styles. To promote synergy within a company, time management is essential to facilitate movement between both small and large team projects as well as individual tasks. Fewer distractions will not only result in higher employee productivity but also yield greater success for the entire team!
2. Natural Lighting to Help Brighten Office Environments
Natural lighting can have a profound impact on the ambiance and productivity of office environments. Not only does it make the surroundings look and feel more pleasant, but it can also help to reduce eye strain and headaches that often come with prolonged use of artificial lighting.
To make the most of natural light, it is essential to optimize the design of your workplace to allow for maximum sunlight exposure. This may involve positioning furniture and workstations near windows or skylights, choosing light-colored walls and desks that can reflect the natural light, and investing in window treatments that can let in ample natural light while blocking out excess heat and glare.
Optimal lighting is essential in office interior design as it profoundly influences the well-being and productivity of your employees. Daylight may be a hindrance in some workspaces, but that doesn't have to impede productivity. By fitting practical lighting – like task and general lights – throughout the environment, employees can easily switch between them depending on their current job requirements. This ensures everyone has access to just the right amount of light at any given moment!
Utilizing these strategies, offices can become vibrant and inviting places that enhance the morale of employees, resulting in greater productivity and overall wellbeing.
3. Establish A Relaxation Area
The psychological well-being of your staff members is paramount, especially when they're responsible for multiple tasks. To combat this issue and shield them from feeling overwhelmed or overworked, providing a rest area where they can take periodic breaks would be highly advantageous. This will not only aid in avoiding burnout but also help minimize mistakes due to stress levels throughout the day!
Construct an ideal respite area for your employees in a tranquil office corner, making sure to make it inviting and add some floral arrangements or greenery. Additionally, provide drink hubs so that everyone may easily remain hydrated while taking breaks throughout the day, particularly when they are working on arduous tasks. By doing this, you can ensure workers receive adequate rest during their long days of work.
4. Incorporating Ergonomic Furniture for Employee Comfort
Employees spend a significant amount of their day sitting at their desks, which can cause discomfort and strain on their bodies. Incorporating ergonomic furniture not only benefits their health and wellbeing but also improves their productivity and work quality.
To ensure that your employees are supported and comfortable, consider incorporating ergonomic chairs, adjustable desks, footrests and balance boards into the office. You may also opt for high tables or chairs to enable movement in the workspace, writing walls for changing perspectives which will lead to increased collaboration!
By investing in their comfort, employers can enhance their overall work experience, reduce the risk of injury, and increase job satisfaction. Remember, a comfortable employee is a productive employee.
5. Adding Plants and Greenery to Promote Relaxation and Mental Health
Adding plants and greenery to your living space can do wonders for your mental health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that incorporating natural elements, such as plants, into your environment can reduce stress levels, improve mood and even boost productivity. Plants not only add a touch of green to your space, but they also purify the air by removing toxins and pollutants, creating a fresher and cleaner atmosphere. Adding a few plants to your home or workspace may seem like a small change, but the benefits to your mental health are significant. So why not give it a try and see how incorporating a little bit of green can improve your overall wellbeing?
6. Incorporating Movement Breaks Into Your Daily Schedule
The space design needs to fit purpose and facilitate regular movement encouraging employees to take short breaks throughout the day for walking or stretching (Physical Activity in the Workplace, 2018). Incorporating movement breaks into your daily schedule is an effective way to improve your physical and mental health. Our bodies are designed to move, and taking regular movement breaks can help energy, productivity and creativity while reducing stress (Forbes, 2019).
Additionally, exercise can strengthen an employee's immune system and reduce their susceptibility to illnesses (Energym, 2020). Exercise at work has also been linked to improved concentration, sharper memory, faster learning, prolonged mental stamina and enhanced creativity (Harvard Business Review, 2014). Additionally, research shows that regular exercise during the workday increases energy and productivity while decreasing stress and bosting our mood (Michigan University Human Resources Department, 2021).
Incorporating movement breaks into your day doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Simple activities such as stretching, walking, or going for a healthy drink for a few minutes every hour can have a significant impact on your overall health and wellbeing. So why not start small and make a commitment to take movement breaks throughout your day? It's a small change that can make a big difference in how you feel and function.
7. Introducing Healthy Eating and Drinking Options in Break Areas
Healthy eating options can be a great way for employees to improve their overall health and productivity. Introducing these options in break areas is a smart move as it provides a convenient and accessible way for employees to eat healthily. Healthy options can include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain snacks that are high in fibre and #flavoreddrinks that are low in added sugars. When employees eat and drink well, they perform well, leading to a more productive and successful work environment. It's a win-win situation for everyone! By promoting healthy eating in the workplace, employers are investing in the well-being of their employees and creating a positive culture that encourages healthy habits.
Having a well-strategized office design can have significant implications when it comes to the success of an organization. The more comfortable your current and future employees feel in their workspace, the more motivated they will be to complete tasks effectively. As such, it is important to consider the preferences of millennials who may be looking for a vibrant workspace that offers quality over quantity, health-conscious break options, and an adaptable work environment. Think about creating designated areas where employees can socialize with one another, enjoy healthy snacks and drinks in break areas, and incorporate ergonomic furniture for comfortability. After all of these accommodations are taken into account, your company will find that a better workplace strategy does lead to a better bottom line - making wellness an integral part of your office design should be paramount if looking to attract and retain top talent.
What are the Benefits of Exercise in the Workplace?
Why We Pay Our Employees To Exercise At Work (Forbes 2019)
Regular Exercise Is Part of Your Job, Harvard Business Review
CDC Tools for Action for a healthy nation and workplace
Physical Activity in the Workplace (2018)
Opportunities to improve cardiovascular health in the new American workplace
Food & Drink Perks to Keep Your Employees Happy, Healthy, and Productive
6 ways to help your employees eat (and drink) healthier
How To Connect Workplace Strategy With Office Design - Hppy (gethppy.com)