Posted on: 22nd June 2023
Reading time: 8 mins
When it comes to employees’ wellbeing in the office, design matters. Consider everything from light-filled spaces to ergonomic furniture, room to move, space to socialise and healthy food options.
Studies show that all of these play an important role in employees’ sense of wellbeing and motivation every day. At the same time, the promise of modern work life isn’t delivering for many.
Employees’ connection to the culture of their workplaces, their work-life balance and productivity have all seen declines. At the same time, the tendency to leave employers has been rising.
Fortunately, there are several steps companies can take to improve employees’ wellbeing in the office. Chief among them is a focus on improving workplace design.
Research has shown that a well-designed office can have many positive effects on employees’ quality of life. It can also improve employee engagement, boost productivity, and reduce absenteeism.
Consider the statistics on how office space can affect employee wellbeing:
● A 2019 study on the impact of biophilic design in the workplace found that people who work in spaces with natural elements have 15% higher levels of overall wellbeing. They also feel 6% more productive and 15% more creative at work.
● The same study found that 33% of office workers say that the design of an office would affect their decision to work at a company. Meanwhile, 24% of respondents said that their current workplace does not provide them with a sense of light and space.
● A 2018 poll found that access to natural light and views of the outdoors are considered the number one positive attribute of any workplace environment.
In short, a well-designed office space can have a profound impact on employees’ sense of wellbeing and productivity every day. However, working in the right space confers even more benefits as well.
It’s well known that a well-designed office has the power to create a positive atmosphere. Open-plan offices have been the go-to design for many companies in this regard.
However, research has shown that this layout can lead to distractions, stress, and lower work satisfaction for some people.
One important step toward improving wellbeing at work is creating a flexible space. It’s best to create one that meets every employee’s unique needs. This should be based on how they prefer to work, allowing flow-through from private to shared spaces during the day.
At the same time, it’s also important to also consider things such as lighting, colour schemes, and furniture placement around the office. For instance, natural light has been found to boost employees' mood, focus, and productivity.
Using colours that promote calmness and inspiration can also boost employees’ overall sense of wellbeing.
Anyone who has ever developed neck, back, or eye strain from a poorly designed desk setup will agree that ergonomic design matters.
Ergonomic designs involve ‘human engineering’, which essentially relates to furniture that compliment and ease human interaction. For example, a chair designed to mediate stress to the lower back area.
With this in mind, ergonomic workspaces are essential to reduce the risk of strain and injury to workers. Naturally, a lack of pain or discomfort in the workspace also improves productivity.
For many people, a work day means a day spent sitting in front of a computer screen. This sedentary nature of office work can result in a lack of movement, which can harm employee wellbeing.
This is why including movement-promoting factors in the office can help improve office wellbeing. The results include reduced stress, improved blood flow, and even fewer sick days.
For example, a well-designed office should include room for walking meetings. These are meetings where employees discuss important matters while on the move.
It should also have quiet spaces where employees can take breaks and stretch. Plus, it needs to have breakout areas where employees can catch up with colleagues or share ideas.
No list of ideas for wellbeing in the workplace would be complete without a look at ways to foster community and inclusivity.
Research shows that employees who feel part of a community are more engaged and productive. A recent study revealed that when people have a sense of community at work they are 55% more engaged, 58% more likely to thrive at work, and 66% more likely to stay with their employer.
The study also revealed that workers also experience significantly less stress on a day-to-day basis. Thankfully, this means they’re more likely to thrive outside of the workplace, too.
Workplace design that promotes inclusivity plays a major role in bringing people together, helping facilitate easy communication and opportunities to share with colleagues.
Want to create somewhere that your employees love to work? Fortunately, there are several relatively simple workplace wellbeing ideas you can use to boost employees’ inspiration, motivation, and satisfaction.
The 9 to 5 can feel overwhelming without the right options to take a break. Offering a dedicated space for employees to recharge can make all the difference.
Comfortable seating in rest areas, natural lighting, and other natural features like plants can all help to reduce stress, too.
Want to boost morale? Always listen to employees’ feedback and make sure they feel heard. Listening to feedback about the office space itself is no exception.
Regular surveys and feedback sessions can help businesses to identify areas where they need to improve. Chatting to employees about the kind of office they envision is often the first step to a happier workforce.
For many, one of the major drawbacks of the office environment is that it feels sterile and uninteresting. Studies show that workplaces that inspire creativity and motivation engage all five senses.
When it comes to design and sensory appeal, it’s important to think holistically. Consider things like the textures of office furniture, your choice of colour scheme, and natural lighting available.
You also need to consider what your workspaces are for, such as specific spaces that cater to rest and recuperation as well those designed to aid focus and engagement.
Studies have also shown that bringing nature into the office can reduce stress and boost overall wellbeing. These natural designs are also known as biophilic design. Consider adding plants, artwork, or water features to give the workplace a more natural feel.
Encourage your employees to keep active at the office and make it easy to do so. Including so-called active furnishings such as standing desks, balance boards, and exercise balls can help to encourage movement.
Remind employees to take regular breaks and engage in physical activity throughout the day. You can make this easier to remember by incorporating it into your daily or weekly business schedules, such as hosting walking meetings or inviting employees to join fitness classes.
Many employers need to pay more attention to the value of social interaction between coworkers. A 2019 survey revealed that 84% of employees are motivated to go into the office if they can socialise with coworkers.
If you’re looking to increase opportunities for coworkers to socialise, consider regular team-building activities, lunchtime clubs, and office parties.
On the journey toward employee wellbeing, workplace design plays a crucial role. Regus offers customised office solutions designed with employee wellbeing deeply in mind.
From light-filled spaces to designs that help foster a culture of community, Regus offers flexible office solutions. These provide businesses with custom office space that promotes a positive workplace culture. Thanks to these, you can create a welcoming and inspiring place to work.
Want to learn more about Regus office space? Enquire today to discuss your needs.
Want to know more about how we can help with hybrid working? Give us a call.
We’ll get you set up straight away.