We spend around a third of our time at work, which can become overwhelming from time to time, especially if we are expected to work in a uninspiring environment. Engaging, stimulating surroundings can help encourage employees to work smarter and produce more creative ideas, with huge benefits to our mental health. The impact the office work environment has on employee wellbeing should never be understated, and our latest article looks at areas that can not only lead to a less stressful and more productive atmosphere, but can positively impact our health and outlook on life.

Space and layout

The amount and type of personal workspace can also affect social interaction among employees. For example, the theory behind the open-office concept is that it will generate more group discussions and foster idea exchange. But in reality, the exact opposite is often true: Too many people sharing a space can force employees to crave a quiet space in an attempt to block out the excessive noise and distractions. A happy medium needs to exist, with personal space and breakout areas injected if possible, to ensure a mixture of both.

Lighting

While fluorescent overhead lights are very common in office environments, they can actually have the opposite effects as natural daylight, and lead to a decrease in productivity. To combat this, you can boost brightness with soft and subtle lighting that can be adjusted to complement existing natural light from windows.

Ensuring your staff have maximum access to natural light, and outdoor views where possible, can have a hugely beneficial effect on your workforce, from increasing productivity to increasing overall work-health, and is well worth investing in.

Colours

Even the smallest change can positively impact the way we handle work. Using vibrant colour is a simple way to enhance the mood and allow employees to stay motivated all day. The introduction of colour can inject life into the workplace and impact greatly on the psychology of the area, with colour being a good way to alleviate stress, as well as increase productivity amongst the workforce. Studies have shown the best colours to motivate are blue, white, red, yellow, green and orange.

Air quality

Air quality is known to affect employee mood and concentration, with as much as an 11% increase in productivity where work premises were subjected to increased levels of fresh air. Key contributors to better air quality are: open windows; a no-smoking policy; air filtration systems; office plants; and introducing a ‘green’ cleaning policy.

Ergonomic furniture

Any workspace should comply with ergonomic guidelines to support employees wellbeing and health. Continuous poor posture in the workplace can trigger musculoskeletal disorders and have a detrimental impact on mental health and wellbeing, and the comfort of your staff should always be a high priority. Offering ergonomic solutions ensure employee safety by reducing the risk of injury, while also protecting and promoting their wellbeing. Overall, by empowering employees with the highest quality office solutions, greater productivity and quality of work will be achieved, all while protecting and promoting their wellbeing.

To empower people to work better, organisations need to recognise the different tasks employees do and create the right spaces and tools to achieve them.

For further information on the impact the office work environment has on employee wellbeing and any other health and safety issues, please contact us here.