With recent research from the CIPD reporting that employers are increasingly recognising mental health and wellbeing as a workplace issue, combating mental health-related absences and work-related stress has never been more important.
That’s why in today’s post, we’re discussing some ways to promote wellbeing through your office design. From thoughtful colour schemes and floor layouts to staff bathrooms and ergonomic office furniture, with our tips, we’ll ensure that your office design positively influences staff morale and wellbeing.
Choose ergonomic furniture
In office environments, it’s easy to slouch over keyboards – often leading to poor posture and subsequent back pain. While encouraging regular breaks is great for aiding focus, it’s undeniable that your employees are likely to be spending most of their day at their desk. To add a little more comfort to those long desk hours, why not invest in some stylish and functional ergonomic furniture? This way, if your employees are working overtime, poor posture won’t disturb their concentration flow.
Introducing a breakout area in the office offers a space for employees or visitors which is separate from their working space. This is effective for those who need a break from their tasks, those who need to hold informal meetings or those who simply want to relax and eat their lunch. In the breakout area, opt for ergonomic furniture which encourages the conversation, ensuring it provides a different environment to the rigid desk space. Why not invest in a TV or a music system to really get the conversation flowing? After all, the more comfortable your employees feel about being at work, the happier they’re likely be when they’re there.
Be selective about colour
Bland grey, dull offices are likely to leave your employees feeling exactly the same. So, to breathe some life and happiness into the space, colour is a great design feature to target. Colour has been scientifically proven to boost productivity levels in office spaces when chosen correctly. So, to help motivate your employees and encourage them to start their day right, opt for vibrant and stimulating colours that spark creativity and maximise their output. Additionally, choose ‘low-wavelength’ colours such as green and blue calming hues which improve efficiency and focus.
Think about the floor layout
According to many researchers, sitting for long periods of time during work is one of the biggest threats to your health. In our day-to-day routines, it has become the norm to sit for up to 10 hours per day, which poses all kinds of risks such as cancer, heart disease and even type 2 diabetes. Working through lunch breaks, working overtime and skipping that lunchtime walk can lead to more sick days and lower productivity – however, this is something that can be combated by cleverly adjusting your floor plan.
It could be as simple as integrating a five-minute walk to the printer or implementing sit-stand desks in certain areas of the office. Anything that encourages your employees to get out of their chair, reset their brain or simply engage in a 30-second walk could be very beneficial for their wellbeing, and could even make meetings more productive.
To separate each zone effectively, use different coloured walls and alternate flooring – such as a stylish carpet in the office area and cool, clean large format tiles in the printing space. It’s also beneficial to encourage spending time outside, so look to introduce outdoor areas for meetings – which can offer a great opportunity to get some valuable fresh air in the process.
Consider staff bathroom designs
As one of the most essential office facilities, it’s key that your toilets are optimised to promote wellness. It goes without saying that toilets should always be clean and ready to use, but toilet facilities are an effective way to go the extra mile for your employees. By introducing showers in your bathroom facilities, for example, your company can actively encourage people to exercise on their way to work or during their breaks.
Physical activity strengthens the immune system, while also offering great stress relief and even boosting heart health, according to recent studies. So, encouraging your employees to undertake daily exercise could boost productivity, focus and even reduce sick days. Introducing exercise at work or before work schemes negates the excuse of not having time, encourage conversation between colleagues and can even increase focus when employees are back at their desk.
With these ideas, we hope that you’ll be on your way to exploring some avenues to creating a workplace that puts wellbeing at the forefront of its design. Primarily, it’s all about ensuring that your employees feel respected and well looked after during their time at work.