It’s a generally accepted fact that happy staff make a more productive workforce. At Interactive Space we fully subscribe to this belief, keeping it at the forefront of our minds when helping businesses relocate and reorganise their offices.
Designing the healthiest working environment possible is vital for staff performance, and ultimately the success of your business. We’ve put together 10 tips that will help create a culture of wellbeing in your office space.
- Utilise natural light
Natural light has a huge impact on our quality of life and sleep patterns, so it’s not surprising how important it is in the workplace where harsh lighting tends to be the norm. Natural light lifts our moods and reduces eye strain. If your office doesn’t have windows, consider installing skylights or holding regular meetings outside.
- Foster a clutter-free workspace
Messy surroundings can cause undue stress. If employees dedicated a few minutes every week to discarding old papers and organising their desktops it would create a much calmer and more productive environment.
- Encourage staff to do some exercise during breaks
Rather than spending time chatting and gathering at the water cooler, staff could go for a quick walk since the fresh air and endorphins will help boost their energy, reduce stress and make them more focused. “Walking meetings” are becoming all the rage since they help people generate unique ideas during brainstorming sessions and solve problems more innovatively.
- Encourage healthy eating
Do you keep a steady supply of biscuits and pastries on hand for your staff during breaks and meetings? It’s best to stop that and offer healthier snacks such as nuts and fruit. Also, try and eliminate fizzy drinks and provide alternatives to coffee such as herbal teas, since caffeinated drinks only offer a short-term energy spike before crashing.
- Offer some standing desks
Working in an office can be a very sedentary lifestyle, but standing desks can negate some of the pitfalls such as weight gain, back pain and diabetes. As the name suggests, a standing desk allows you to work by standing upright, and it’s more comfortable than it sounds once you get used to it. Most modern versions are adjustable, making it easy to change the height of the desk and alternate between sitting and standing.
- Take frequent breaks
Regular breaks offer distance and clarity when handling a never-ending stream of tasks. Just 5-10 minutes away from your work can help you stay on task, so as soon as you notice your thoughts wandering or you start daydreaming, it’s time for a break. Staff who are well-rested and take breaks from mental tasks, will be more focused and productive in the long run. On the other hand, skipping breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion.
- Add plants to the office
Plants aren’t just visually appealing, but research has shown they bring a number of physical and psychological benefits to the work environment. They have a calming effect and even just one plant per workspace has been noted to reduce stress and anxiety while enhancing creativity. They also help clean the air and reduce dust, bacteria, mould and manmade toxins which would otherwise be inhaled by employees.
- Be ergonomically-aware
These days, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest threats to health causing all manner of ills such as muscle loss, weight gain, hypertension, osteoporosis, heart disease and back pain. Employers should take their staff’s health seriously by investing in some high-quality ergonomically correct chairs and functional desks. Employees should be encouraged to move around as much as possible and even do some exercises while at their desks to prevent repetitive strain injuries (RSI).
- Promote exercise in the workplace
People who exercise or spend time outdoors regularly tend to be more productive. Bosses can encourage this in a number of ways such as installing special amenities like an on-site gym or a special area where weekly yoga or aerobic classes can be offered to all staff. Innovative companies now offer gadgets like treadmills or bike desks that allow workers to burn calories while they work. Alternatively, an outdoor seating area where people can work, eat and socialize is a good option.
- Allow nap times
More progressive companies are embracing naps for busy staff and there’s research to back up its benefits. People are working longer hours than ever before, so a 15 to 20-minute power nap can be a great aid to boosting brain power, decision-making skills and productivity. Providing a dedicated nap room may be a good strategy for savvy business owners.