Workers spend a large amount of their waking hours at their place of work. This explains how our mental well-being and physical health can be impacted by our workplace.
If working conditions are less than desirable, employee morale and performance can decline and error rates, absences and injuries can increase. Alternatively, when the workplace is well-designed, the opposite will occur. Employee morale will be boosted, performance levels will improve and there will be a decrease in absences, injuries and errors. Typically, office designs are focused on the physical effects on employee and how the design can affect their well-being.
Employee productivity and employee health go hand in hand. Because these two are interrelated, it is essential that your office space design considers how it affects your employees’ physical and mental health as it can affect your profitability.
There are four things that should be considered when redesigning an office space. These include:
The amount of personal space can either encourage or discourage social interactions among your employees. Professional designers understand that the physical layout of the office, as well as the furnishings, can impact your employees.
Therefore, it is essential that your employees’ interactions with one another are taken into consideration when your office space is being designed. Creating a way for employees to control their privacy can help to reduce many of the adverse workplace stressors found in other offices. Ensure office allocations are based on the personal needs of each employee, especially those who suffer from mental health problems. You will also want to balance this with the needs of the group/team. Open plan areas should not be overcrowded and breakout areas should be included to give your staff a place to get away and relax.
* Attention Span
Those employees who become easily distracted or have difficulty staying on task may need separate areas. These spaces should be either enclosed offices or increased panel heights in an open office plan. Additionally, using sound absorbing materials can help your employees stay focused on the task at hand.
* Living Walls Can Help Reduce Stress
Each of your employees will feel a certain amount of stress each day. One workplace feature that can help to reduce stress and help your employees recover from a stressful situation is windows. Allowing your employees to view nature through a window, images or a living wall will help to alleviate stress. Those employees who have stress-related mental health issues or those whose work is stressful should be placed near windows or living walls to help minimise the effects of stress.
* Seasonal Mood Disorder
Insufficient sunlight exposure can cause mood changes to occur. Those with mental health issues can benefit from adequate lighting withing the office. Windows can provide much-needed sunlight. However, for offices with minimal windows, your choice of lighting can impact the environment. Artificial lighting using daylight LED bulbs or full spectrum lights can ensure that the work space is well lit and beneficial to those suffering from Seasonal Mood Disorder.
The design of your workplace can greatly influence employee productivity and health. When designing a work space, use the tips located above to create a workplace that takes into consideration the needs of your employees.