How changes to your working environment can increase your wellbeing
It’s no surprise that businesses with healthy and happy staff reap the rewards of improved productivity and staff morale. Helping your employees feel more comfortable and happy at work, will not only increase their wellbeing but long-term profitability as well. The trick is to invest in your staff’s health as a priority so you can reap the benefits that come with a healthier workforce. Gone are the days of rigid, uncompromising work environments. Millennials, in particular, are proving that a more thoughtful, diverse, creative, and downright joyful workspaces allow for better performance. From a better office layout to better engagement, the following are tips to help you increase wellbeing in your own working environment.
1. Work smarter
Review the workspace to see how it is being used now and how it might be better utilized in the future. Maximizing the layout for better workflow through better desk ratios, location of teams, technology in meeting rooms, and break areas, can enhance the work atmosphere. Paying close attention to sounds, aesthetics, and even smells (is the lunch room too close to the conference room?), can improve efficiency and boost morale.
2. Bring the outdoors in
An eight hour (or more!) day indoors can be soul-crushing, especially when the weather is picture-perfect outdoors. Help your staff by increasing outdoor views when possible. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light increases productivity by 18% and overall better lighting improves wellbeing by 23%. While you’re at it, add a few plants around the office to help clean the air and brighten up the place. By keeping the office bright and the air clean, you may even notice your staff falls ill less often – a true perk for productivity!
3. Engage and encourage engagement
A company culture that emphasizes your brand values helps to create a collaborative environment. When philanthropy is at the core, it is more likely to be well received by your staff. Unfortunately, if your brand values are based on lofty boardroom decisions from yesteryear, they are much less likely to be respected. By engaging with your employees you encourage wellbeing levels while also getting insight and feedback that may help improve the business as a whole. Opportunities for greater collaboration and inclusion enable your staff to be less resistant to change and masters of their own destiny.
4. Turn down the volume
While a loud office sounds productive, it most likely is not, and is definitely not good for wellbeing. Loud conversations, phones ringing, and constant background noise can make it practically impossible for your employees to concentrate. Distractions can lead to major employee dissatisfaction. Luckily, this is an easy issue to solve. Develop a floor plan that positions desks in a way that avoids constant traffic walking past. Balance open and closed spaces and opt for noise-reducing furniture. Soft music or a white noise machine in the background can also help turn down the volume and increase wellbeing.
5. Get moving
It’s no secret that being an active person increases wellbeing. But making a special effort to help your staff get moving can increase the wellbeing of the entire office. On average, the typical office employee spends 8.9 hours a day sitting (according to the Get Britain Standing campaign). That’s actually longer than most people sleep each night. Sitting for more than four hours a day can cause issues such as back pain, disruption of blood sugar levels, and other major problem. In order to get your office moving, consider equipping the office with furniture that encourages people to move instead of staying sedentary. For example, standing or adjustable desks, balance boards and stools, can help reduce muscular pain and increase energy and focus.
6. Get remote
Being in an office all day every day can be a bit soul-crushing. Luckily with all the technology available today, employees are increasingly able to get work done outside of the office and at all hours of the day. By offering your employees flexible work hours, and letting them work from home on occasion, or all the time, you will actually notice an increase in productivity.
Incorporating these tips into your office environment can only be good for the wellbeing of your employees. Wellbeing is essential to productivity in the workplace and can be a major factor to your bottom line. While features such as standing desks and changes to the office format may be a bit shocking at first, once your staff realizes how much better they feel and how much more energy they have, they will quickly realize how important these changes really are. The important thing is to remember that these changes are for the greater good of your company and everyone’s wellbeing.