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New Year Resolutions for the Office

The New Year is here, and, of course, we all make our list of New Year’s resolutions. While a great opportunity to set new goals personally and professionally, most of these resolutions will be long forgotten in a month.
Employers can support their employees to achieve workplace goals, in providing an environment that enhances well being.

New Year Resolutions for the Office

Being more productive at work is in the top 10 of resolutions year after year, and there are a number of elements within the office environment that can help boost productivity. 

Natural Light

Natural light has remarkable impacts for office workers, a recent City University of London study showed that those employees who sit closer to windows are more likely to show up for work and have increased productivity throughout the day. Natural light has been proven to improve your mood, reduce stress, increase engagement and better sleep, all which help increase overall well being. A study by Harvard Business Review shows the amount of natural light exposure is connected with the amount of sick time taken, with those receiving more light took 6.5% less sick leave than others. 

When looking at office space and design, employers should consider large windows where possible. Considerations such as ceiling height, and neighbouring building obstructions should be kept in mind. When planning window design, the larger windows should be designated for common areas, so that as many people as possible can have access to natural light. If not possible to install more windows in the workplace, adding mirrors or reflective furniture to designs will amplify natural light.

Pops of Colour

The power of colour has profound impacts within the office. A study by the University of Texas study found that overly grey and beige environments led to staff showing increased feelings of sadness and depression, especially for women, while men had similar emotions in overly purple and orange work environments. Companies and office designers have tuned into the importance of colours within the workplace and the feelings they can contribute towards. Blue is commonly used as it can have a positive impact on productivity, Yellow can inspire creativity, Red can foster increased efficiency and Green has a calming impact.

It is not simply painting a coat of paint, it is important to look at the overall design of the space including, lighting, fixtures and textures. Small but memorable pops of colour can help achieve the same outcomes without being too overwhelming within the environment. Simple measures can really have a big impact on the workforce.

Playster offices, Montreal, Canada.
Playster offices, Montreal, Canada. Photography by Adrien Williams

Promoting Health and Well-Being

With poor design, comes miserable employees. Too often office space is designed without promoting health and well-being of those who will be working there. With repeated studies showing focusing on employee and workplace wellbeing can result in improved productivity, increase morale, fewer sick days and better staff retention, companies are now embracing well-being in their office designs. 

Encouraging activity within the office space is a quick workplace well-being win, incorporating bike storage, changing rooms and shower facilities allow for staff to actively commute and be refreshed within working hours. Allowing for larger meeting spaces to be reconfigured to allow for lunch time workouts can be seen a huge benefit for employees. 

Offering break out rooms to allow for informal catch-ups or a quiet coffee give employees the space to refresh and step away from stressful scenarios in work. It is important now to look beyond the desk, workplaces need to facilitate social interactions and provide well-being amenities that help employees thrive. 

By supporting employees and encouraging them to achieve their goals within the office space, employers are creating reenergised staff who will be more engaged and productive, helping to achieve the goals of the company more easily in 2022.