3 Ways To Promote Workplace Wellbeing with Your Office Design
According to recent research, mental health disorders are on the rise, and could potentially cost the global economy up to $16 trillion by 2030 through lost production, recruitment, and absence. That’s why promoting wellbeing and good mental health in the workplace can be incredibly beneficial to both staff and employers. In today’s post, we’re discussing some ways that you can promote workplace wellbeing with your office design. From creating opportunities for movement to offering flexibility, we’ll cover it all so that your office design commits to improving the mental health of your employees.
Design opportunities for movement
In a typical office environment, it becomes the norm to sit for 7-10 hours a day. However, sitting down for lengthy periods of time isn’t good for your body with research showing that it can increase your risk of cancer, heart disease and even type 2 diabetes. To combat this issue, your office design could compose of tools to help your employees work healthier. From installing standing workstations to encouraging outdoor meetings, providing opportunities to be more active during the working day could be an effective means of boosting employees’ mental health and help them separate their working day with refreshing breaks.
Encouraging walking or even cycling part of the way to work is a great way for employees to fit more exercise into their day. Although, one of the biggest challenges to this is employees not wanting to arrive at work sweaty. If you have the budget, installing shower pods is a great way to reassure employees that they can start their working day feeling fresh and confident after their morning exercise. Equipped with low-maintenance bathroom tiles and compact design, it could be just the affordable and practical solution your business needs. And of course, ensuring drinks stations are readily available for employees to rehydrate post-exercise is a fundamental part of this design concept too.
Team building and work aside, it’s essential that employees take time out of the office. A great way to do this is by encouraging flexible hours or working from a remote location such as a coffee shop or even at home a few days a week. The only downside to such working structures is that your office is likely to be quite empty outside of peak times.
To rectify this issue, consider adopting ‘hoteling’, which is a method of office management which is increasing in popularity. Essentially, ‘hoteling’ eliminates assigned seating that in turn, offers greater productivity, mobility, flexibility, and efficiency. This method offers employees the chance to reserve their seating specifically for days or hours when they will be in the office, which is ideal for those who enjoy working remotely.
On the other hand, if someone needs to focus on a heads-down project, they’ll be able to reserve a desk in a quieter location to better cater for their specific needs, or alternatively a group space for an inter-departmental project. Hoteling is effective for giving employees leverage to choose what works best for them – improving their overall experience and wellbeing.
Bring the outdoors in
Research has shown that bringing nature into the office can reduce feelings of tension and anxiety, which can lead to improved performance during office hours. Office designs can easily become a monument to man-made objects, with artificial lighting and white walls. An innovative solution to incorporating plant life in an office where there isn’t a great deal of space is a living wall or a vertical garden.
A living wall can be as big or small as you desire and can incorporate as many shades and textures as you feel necessary. From light green leaves to deep purple flowers, the possibilities are endless when it comes to designing a plant wall. However, a tip to help keep maintenance at a minimum is to opt for plants that require similar upkeep, while also creating a bold statement that’s stunning to the eye. Read about the Attenborough Effect to implement eco-friendly practices into your space.
Given the impact that physical design has on our mental health and happiness, we hope that with these tips, you’ll be on your way to curating an office space that puts wellbeing at the fore. Companies thrive on the abilities of their employees, so what are you waiting for? Make mental health a priority in your organization today.
Suhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers – bringing design inspiration to homeowners, architects and developers.