Companies who support the well-being of their employees have an 89% chance of being recommended by their staff.
If you want your employees to be happy, productive, and stay with your company longer, then the environment they work in must support both their physical and mental health.
A well-designed and well-kept office space are crucial in ensuring the happiness and high productivity levels from employees. There are different ways that you can achieve these in order to promote wellness in the workplace.
Here are 7 ways to incorporate wellness into your office space.
1. Encourage Movement
Sitting in one spot for hours on end, 5 days a week can often lead to a lack of creativity and motivation, and begin to feel unexciting very quickly. To counter this, incorporate the need for physical movement (which then encourages mental stimulation).
This can be done through the design of your workspace, for example: place copy machines, shared materials, or shared work spaces away from/on an opposite end of individual work spaces/desks/cubicles. This way, employees will need to get up to walk apart from regular breaks they may take. Another great design element is an open concept (this helps visual stimulation as well), with an open walkway looping around the space to encourage employees to get up and take a turn about the office. Doing so can also inspire more interaction between employees and a greater sense of community.
Another great design feature, if possible, is adding a gym to the workplace that is open to employees before, during, and after the work day. We don’t need to mention the benefits of exercise here, but the convenience of a gym in the same place a person goes to work is a perk for both current and prospective employees.
2. Natural Lighting and Greenery
Adding as many natural elements to inside spaces can be very beneficial.
Exposure to natural light can reduce stress and depression while boosting vitamin D and improving sleep. Fluorescent lighting can be unpleasant, cause headaches, and can also alter the way we perceive colors of objects they cast light on, which can be important for creative fields.
Therefore, having as many windows as possible, and an open concept so that natural light can flood through the workspace, is beneficial, not only aesthetically, but for the wellness of employees as well.
In addition to natural light, indoor plants are valuable additions to your office décor. Plants add life to the space, and literally improve the air quality, making them truly healthy for employees. Not to mention their soothing effect they have on a space. These reasons, plus the simplicity of adding them to a space, make plants optimal embellishments for creating better wellness in your work environment.
3. Unconventional Work Areas
Cubicles are a thing of the past as they create an area of confinement and isolation. Employees do like to have their own space, but with an open and fresh appeal that, yes allows them to focus, but also to collaborate easily with other employees and aids the sense of a community in the workplace.
Design your workstations with employee wellness in mind, not just your square footage or budget. With a better work area comes better employees. You can offer standing desks to limit the strain put on the body by sitting for several hours a day. Also, allow your employees to choose from several desk designs that showcase their personality and physical preferences. Another fun idea is optional work areas with a funky or unconventional setup, for employees to change things up. Think of swinging/hanging chairs that employees can take a break in or sit in with their laptops, or those exercise ball chairs that are much more ergonomic than a traditional chair. Outside of the box ideas like this can really positively impact your employees.
4. Healthy Snacks
The office is a tempting place to over-eat and select unhealthy snacks. This is a coping mechanism to handle the stress of work.
Change this mentality by showing your employees the power of healthy snacking. Unprocessed, fresh, and low-sugary foods can boost energy levels and help keep focus.
Have healthy pot-lucks and purchase a vending machine that only offers nutritious snacks. You can also keep fruits and granola bars stocked in the break room.
Implement healthy programs like weight loss challenges with incentives that reward people for participating.
5. Air Filtration
When you step back to consider the condition of your workplace environment and how it impacts the wellness of employees, don’t forget about the air quality! A workplace that has low levels of oxygen, or dust, mold, and other harmful particles can slow productivity levels, and more importantly lead to poor health.
If the air quality needs some assistance, then get an air filtration system to recirculate fresh air throughout the office. Keep the area free of dust and any grime that could grow by having all surface areas and floors cleaned, at least weekly.
You also want to keep the humidity levels even, especially if the office is in a basement or located in a climate with high humidity. Remember that having indoor plants can benefit air quality as well!
6. Mental Health Relaxation
The modern office’s interior design should always include a place to retreat mentally. With open-office concepts that remove cubicles, sometimes true privacy is hard to find.
Offer an area where your employees can go to be undisturbed, rest, and recuperate. Consider the use of pods that enclose people in a cozy nook. A place for a quick nap can also be useful in case they feel exhausted.
Bringing in the ability to recharge in the workplace will make your employees appreciate their time spent on the job. It can make them less likely to seek employment elsewhere and even prevent them from calling out of work due to exhaustion.
They will know that a healthy, stress-relieving, and supportive environment awaits them at their office.
You can even take mental relaxing to the next level if your budget allows by adding a spa-like treat for your staff. Have a masseuse on hand to give shoulder rubs or perform acupuncture.
7. Innovative Break Area
The break room is different from a relaxing area, but it should still be a retreat. However, instead of being a place of solitude, it needs to promote socialization.
Your employees need a break from work so this means having an area that is entirely separate from their office. Make the break room far from the rest of the office. Perhaps on a separate floor or at least closed off from the rest of the workplace.
Include fun ways for employees to connect with each other without being forceful. Have several family-style tables for dining options as well as smaller areas for one-on-one chatting.
Games like pool, a sudoku board, chess and other board games can offer a nice break from work and engage another part of the brain. Another fun idea is having a large, complex puzzle in the breakroom that everyone can contribute to completing.
Don’t forget about the food! A microwave meal is unhealthy and promotes quick lunches. Having a full kitchen in the break area promotes healthy eating because employees have a proper place to prepare and assemble a good meal. Maybe incorporate a tradition where once a week, an employee cooks a healthy lunch for the office!
Need help ensuring your office design promotes wellness?
Having an office design that not only accommodates everyone, but also supports wellness, all while staying true to your brand and budget is a tricky task. Not everyone has the time to invest in an office remodel. Get the professional help you need to make your employees happy and healthy. Contact Design Your Monday today to start planning a better workspace.