The definition of workplace is changing – and so are too its responsibilities to people’s health and wellbeing.
With more people spending more time at work than ever before, the balance between life and work is blurring and it’s become more important to consider the aesthetics and fixtures of an office to improve worker’s health and moral.
Even the smallest changes to your place of work can improve employees’ wellbeing, such as: lighting and well-monitored temperature. A better office design will show workers that they feel valued and this will be mirrored in how they feel about their job.
With regards to temperature, while there is legally no minimum temperature for workspaces in the UK, the Health and Safety Executive says it is reasonable for employees to expect it to be at least 16C. The optimum comfort level for most people seems to be between 20-21C, whereas research found that nearly half of office workers are less productive when the temperature soars above 25C.
Despite being one of the most overlooked and least invested in, lighting is a crucial factor for workers to in stay focused and improving mood. Bad lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and overall irritability. Placing your work station in an area with good, natural lighting can reduce eye strain and increase alertness.
As well as lighting and temperature, space is an essential point to consider when designing your office. Lack of space creates a stifled work environment and decreases productivity as it doesn’t allow for free movement of personnel. Many studies have concluded that a well-designed office can increase productivity by as much as 20%.
According to the Office for National Statistics, just under a fifth of Britons are suffering from anxiety or depression.
North West Tonight recently reported on wellbeing in the workplace, investigating what employers in the region were doing to help their employees, when it comes down to stress. One example drew from our client Social Chain, of whom we played a key role in the fit-out of their office last year. Just some fun fixtures included a slide, ball pit and even a bar.
Dom McGregor, co-founder of Social Chain, said:
“We wanted to create an environment where we would enjoy coming every single day. It must be hard for some places to sit their desks all day and having no retreat. But here, you can go out, you can play with the dogs, go down the slide.”
You can check out the full interview here.
While we don’t all need to work in exciting places to feel stress-free, happier staff is the essential starting point of a sustainable business – if people feel better, they work better.