Wellness in the Office
Employers now more than ever understand happy employees make for more productive and engaged employees. To retain and attract the right team members, employers have to look past just the monetary rewards of a role and look at how to ensure an employee’s physical, emotional and mental wellness is a priority. While there are a number of ways employers can decide to do that, the office space is one area they can focus on.
Carving out Space
Creating space for an employee’s needs throughout the day is important to direct attention to. The days of sitting at a desk all day are long gone. Office space should now incorporate a number of areas for staff to work to meet the needs of their daily tasks. This can include break-out rooms for informal catch-ups with colleagues for spontaneous collaboration or private areas for a quiet space for concentrated work or for private calls. By carving out these spaces, employers are helping reduce unnecessary stress which promotes a seamless working environment.
Break out area in Cisco, San Francisco.
Encouraging physical movement within the office environment is paramount to overall employee wellness. Research from the Lancet medical journal has shown, that sitting for long periods has adverse effects on overall health, with the report going as far as stating sitting is the new smoking. Creating space that embraces standing work and meetings goes a long way to eliminating some of these risks. When looking at design elements for the office, using standing desks, or creating a stand-up meeting space to facilitate standing meetings helps to normalise and encourages to move from the standard sitting stance.
Employers should also be encouraging movement to and from the office, and making that as streamlined as possible. Many city locations encourage cycling to work and have included facilities within the office such as bike storage, lockers, and showers to allow cyclists to be refreshed after their commute.
Bike Storage at WeWork
There are numerous innovations that employees won’t even know that are benefitting their wellness. Adding air purifications systems can immediately benefit staff, creating a cleaner and healthier environment, a study has also shown improved air quality can boost productivity at work and increase cognitive function.
Investments in lighting are another element that can have dramatic results on a person’s well-being. An easy design feature to include is lots of natural lighting, while some workplaces have started featuring circadian-rhythm lighting which mimics the sun’s natural shifts in light and colour temperatures throughout the day, helping employees within their sleep quality.
We spend about a third of our waking hours in the workplace, so it makes sense for employers to invest in office design features that make those hours healthy for all involved. Having a space that promotes well-being isn’t a nice to have anymore it is now critical. If you would like to find out more about creating wellness within your office environment reach out to our team.
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