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6 Ways Your Office Impacts the Well-Being of Your Employees
Posted by Insightlink on 11/10/22
The goal of any company aiming for success is to keep its workforce happy, efficient, and engaged. However, all the efforts made in this regard need to be laid on some foundation, and failing to cover these basics will seriously undermine all other strategies you are trying to use.
That brings us to the state of the office space that, for all intents and purposes, represents one of these critical factors you must handle before proceeding to other measures.
For instance, according to a recent survey, 87% of workers would like it if their current employers invested in healthier workspace benefits many of them seeing this perk as a reason to stay in the company longer. Let us take a look then at how exactly the workspace environment impacts employee well-being so you can leverage these insights to the benefit of your company.
Office space has a tremendous influence on the mental well-being and cognitive functions of your workers especially if they are often exposed to stressful and anxiety-inducing situations. Confining them in an isolated, utilitarian, and cramped space can only cause them to burn out and lose productivity. So, the companies that want to avoid these devastating outcomes should try to set up office spaces that will be more open, encourage employee interaction and collaboration, allow a lot of natural light, and offer a great deal of flexibility. Greening up the space with a couple of indoor plants is always a good idea.
Comfort and musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders caused by poor workplace ergonomics have become such a common thing that people rarely even take them into consideration when considering the impact office space has on the life of these workers. Be that as it may, these seemingly small issues can gradually progress into very serious health problems like back pain, hernia, and carpal tunnel syndrome and cause high levels of absenteeism. This situation is made even worse by the fact that these problems can be easily cut at their root by simply investing in more flexible office furniture which is really not that big of an investment.
Of course, musculoskeletal disorders are not the only way the workplace environment can impact employees’ physical health. The environments that are poorly designed and don't allow proper airflow, that are hard to clean and maintain, and set up from poor materials can take quite a heavy toll on the general health condition of your workers. That is why the companies that need to maintain the highest possible health standards like, for instance, medical care facilities need to perform healthcare fitout before the launch. The offices aiming for similar standards need to undergo similar treatment.
As of lately, general air quality has become one of the very hotly discussed topics so we are all aware that this factor has a great influence on our health and well-being, especially in confined environments like offices. However, recent research has indicated that access to fresh air can produce an increase in productivity by up to 11% which is surprising even when observed through this lens. The companies that are aiming for these benefits should, therefore, install the latest-gen air filtration systems, develop green cleaning protocols, keep the offices clutter-free, and, of course, enforce strict no-smoking policies.
Lights and glare
We have briefly touched upon the topic of lighting when talking about mental well-being. But, this is hardly the only way how this factor impacts the general health of your employees. Poor, dim lights, glare, and similar problems can cause a whole array of different problems ranging from eyestrain problems to blurred vision and headaches. According to recent research, increasing the window space by only 10 feet can reduce these problems by a tremendous 84%. Other strategies for reaping these benefits come in the form of added skylights, controlling glare, and removing the bulky furniture obstructing the lights.
Water and nourishment
Last but not least, we have to quickly mention these two factors that are not strictly tied to design but can, nevertheless, seriously undermine all the good things you were trying to implement in the previous steps. Therefore, if you want to make sure your offices have a positive impact on the occupants’ health you need to provide them with safe drinking water, limit access to processed food, encourage the use of fresh fruit and vegetables, foster the culture of mindful eating with dedicated eating spaces and provide information about the nutritional value. The meals should be clearly labeled to avoid reactions to food allergies.
We hope these few examples gave you a general idea about some of the main factors influencing the workplace well-being of your employees as well as the strategies you can use to leverage these factors to the benefit of your company. Of course, this is only a quick look at the matter and we encourage you to explore each of these topics in greater detail and find new ways to improve the mental and physical health of your workers. But now you know the direction where you should be going which is necessary to make any sort of progress.
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AboutInsightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.
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