The priority for many of those working in health and safety in the next few years the increased importance of proper wellbeing management in the workplace. With recent research suggesting that just under a fifth of people in the UK suffer from some form of depression or anxiety, working to safeguard the environment that employees work in is becoming paramount.
Here are some of the design changes you can make around your office to help give employees the tools to better manage their own mental wellbeing.
- Introduce more plants throughout the office
With most offices being an enclosed environment it can sometimes lead to a prolonged disconnect with the natural environment. This has been shown to have negative consequences for your personal wellbeing both in and out of work.
We recommend taking steps to make sure you have some ‘natural areas’ in your office. This can come in the form of plants or potentially a living wall if you really feel like increasing the greenery in your office. More plants in the working environment has been shown to both increase employee productivity and happiness.
- Make amenities like water and hot drinks easily accessible
When it comes to creating a healthy workplace culture some of the basic amenities like water and potentially cooking facilities are essential in creating and maintaining a happy workforce. Try and support a healthy lifestyle in your employees by providing snacks and drinks to fuel good work. Remember that these implementations will only be effective if everyone in the organisation is participating, not only those who already make healthy food and drink choices.
- Try and optimise the ergonomics of the desk areas
Workplace ergonomics can play a big part in the long term health of employees. Poor desk work positioning can lead to conditions such as RSI and an improper seating position could be detrimental to spinal health. Our article on ergonomics discusses some of the finer points on the subject.
In terms of benefits to wellbeing ergonomic introductions like high-back chairs and standing desks have been shown to increase employee productivity and overall happiness. They also help to increase the long term health of your workforce through alleviating the sedentary lifestyle many office workers lead.
- Colour can help to inspire employee productivity
The stereotypical view of many offices is one of plain white and grey colours and clunky work stations. If your office is like this, you could be missing out on a lot of lost productivity. Research suggests that employees who work in a colourful environment typically experience more creativity and find that they are able to complete more work in the day.
Take the simple steps to start progressing employee wellbeing
The steps listed above are only a few of the changes that can be made by you as an employer to increase the wellbeing of your employees. But it must be stated that any new policy introduction in isolation will not work on its own; it needs to be part of a holistic wellbeing strategy that takes into account the whole process, from workplace culture to the coffee making facilities on offer.