Have you ever tried to concentrate in an office that was too noisy, too hot, too cold, or too cluttered? According to a report conducted by the British Council for Offices, these are problems that need be taken seriously by employers.
In their report, “Health, Wellness and Productivity,” different factors of the office environment were analyzed, from indoor air quality, daylight access, temperature, noise, interior office layout, plant presence, commute time, to even an employee’s proximity to indoor parking and convenience stores. The report concluded that all these factors had a direct effect on employee health, wellbeing, and productivity levels.
Where staff costs account for an average of 90% of a business’s operating expenses, the British Council for Offices argued that even a marginal improvement in employee health and wellness could have huge financial implications for employers. In office environments that prioritize health and wellness, it was found that employees take less sick days, and are more productive.
Here are a few ways you can improve health and wellness in your office.
Lots of Light
It is well established that access to daylight makes employees happier. Companies have been opting for glass walls as a cost-effective way to divide space and reduce noise, while allowing for increased light flow in the office. You can read more about glass walls here. You can also create common areas close to windows and reconsider the placement of light fixtures in your space.
Let’s face it: no one likes a mess. Keeping an office neat can be challenging. If your company utilizes a lot of technology, consider investing in wire management for workstations or monitor arms for desks incorporating multiple screens. Lateral files, storage pedestals, and lockers can help reduce clutter under desks and in walking areas. For meeting areas, consider chairs that can be stacked and stored when not in use. Storage areas could be revamped with shelving, storage cabinets, filing or a combination of these to create more efficient storage with less wasted space. Consider hiring an interior designer or an organizer, or have one of our account executives help you organize your office.
With rising rents and an increasing density of cities, growing companies have to think creatively about efficient use of office space. In the article, “How Much Office Space Do I Need,” a breakdown shows how much workspace every employee needs to avoid feeling cramped or uncomfortable. At OFH, our sales team excels at providing work areas for comfort, productivity and growth.
In the collaborative open office environment, keeping the office quiet is a huge challenge. In a recent blog post, we discuss different ways companies have been tackling the problem of noise. Glass walls and office phone booths (or “pods”) help create enclosed areas for meetings, quiet work or videoconferencing. Additionally, sound-absorbing panels, desk dividers and ceiling fixtures, arranged in a space, help significantly reduce noise while making an appealing aesthetic statement. White noise technology strategically positioned throughout the office are also an option.
The EPA has listed indoor air quality as a major concern for businesses, building managers, and employees. You can keep this simple: ensure perishable materials are disposed of in a timely manner. Also, make sure air ventilation systems are not obstructed in your floorplan. Maintain clean air filters on all air handlers, have cleaning staff dust vents regularly, and steam-clean carpets at least once a year. Employees can spend upwards of eight hours in a space, so it is important to ensure the environment stays healthy.
It has been a growing concern for businesses to create offices that are attractive and healthy, enjoyable places to work. Happy and healthy offices have improved retention rates, and higher productivity. Investing in good office design is the smartest way to ensure higher productivity for your employees.