4th Oct 2019
6 Reasons Your Office is Your Biggest Wellbeing at Work Initiative
Taking care of your peoples’ wellbeing at work should be at the top of your to-do list. And we believe that having an office designed to support happy and productive people is the single biggest wellbeing at work initiative that you can invest in.
In a poll of 1,456 office workers by Office Genie, 45 per cent of people complained of a lack of collaborative space, while 20 per cent felt their workplace environment actually hindered them doing their job.
These stats are just about the opposite of music to our team’s ears because we’re constantly looking for ways to support peoples’ wellbeing through well-designed working environments. Which is why we thought we’d share our thoughts on why your office should be treated as your company’s biggest wellbeing at work initiative.
Your environment affects how you feel at work
Here in the UK, our average working week is 42.3 hours. That’s a huge portion of our lives! Which is why we believe it’s important to feel as good as you possibly can whilst you’re at work.
The environment you work in directly influences the way you feel, even in ways that may not immediately spring to mind. As our design team well know, design decisions that can seem small, actually have a big impact on the wellbeing of people in the workplace. Take colour – it can influence mood and even productivity. For example, neutral and earth tones can promote relaxation because of their associations with nature.
A workplace optimised for your team is bound to make them feel good, but also has other benefits for your business, as the science shows that happy workers are productive workers. Win-win!
Office design can empower people to be their best
If your space isn’t designed to accommodate the needs of your team, you’re not setting them up to produce their best work. We’ve already discussed that this can negatively impact wellbeing, so carefully thinking about how your office can support your people is invaluable.
One increasingly popular approach (that we’re fans of!) is agile working. Because fundamentally, adopting an agile working culture allows your people to decide how they work best. Facilitating agile working involves creating an office with different spaces that facilitate different working styles and tasks, and promoting a culture where people feel that they can actually do this. You can learn more about agile working in our other blog.
We take an agile approach in our own team, so to optimise the space here at WorkLife Central, we completely redesigned what was a traditional office building into an agile, adaptable space. We often work collaboratively as a team, but also need spaces where people can go to concentrate on their own, so the transformation also involved creating a mixture of collaborative and individual work stations.
It can foster collaboration
As humans, we have a need to feel valued and appreciated, and being part of a tight-knit team can make us feel just like that!
Collaboration is massively beneficial in the working environment for other reasons too. To name just a few perks, creating areas to encourage natural conversation or collaboration encourages creativity, knowledge-sharing and can lead to problem-solving.
Providing a work café is a great way to foster natural interactions and conversations that can often spark the best ideas. We recently created a new work café for Ibstock Brick and they’ve found that the space is now enjoyed much more frequently. People are now using it for socialising and as an opportunity for teams to have informal meetings away from their normal office spaces.
It shows your people you care about their wellbeing
Investing in improving a workspace for your team lets them know they are valued and that you care about their experience at work.
A poorly-designed workspace can make it hard to concentrate, but changing aspects of the design can make life much easier for your team. So if your office is too noisy or amplifies reverberation, focus on improving the acoustics. Or if the lighting is so bright that it’s giving your team headaches, look for a more appropriate lighting solution.
It supports people more than a lunchtime yoga class
All of these elements together provide a super powerful way to support the overall wellbeing and happiness of your staff.
Other workplace wellbeing initiatives like yoga classes, or time for mindfulness can then be used alongside, or even carried out within your beautifully-designed space to further enhance your team’s wellbeing.
It creates the type of working culture you want to promote
Work is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. It’s also important to think about the culture you create around it.
Company culture is an integral part of your business, and according to research by Deloitte, strong working cultures have a correlation with teams who feel happy and valued at work.
Being clear about the culture you’re wanting to promote is easier when your office physically represents it. It’s good for the wellbeing of your people to communicate what your company is about and what you’re looking to achieve from the word go.
Design your workplace with wellbeing in mind
Creating a workspace to enhance the wellbeing of your people is at the heart of what we do.
Fill out the form below to get advice on how you can positively transform your office to support the implementation of wellbeing initiatives for your team.