How good office design can improve employee well-being

Promoting employee well-being goes beyond providing good salaries, training, career advancement opportunities, and other perks. It includes offering a well-designed workspace that enhances employees’ physical and mental health.

The physical office has a significant impact when it comes to employee morale. With more employees returning to office-based working environments post Covid-19 pandemic, choosing the right layout for your workplace and the people in it and creating a well-designed office space can help to improve employee engagement, productivity and job satisfaction.

A workplace that looks good not only improves mood but can also help to retain your workforce. An office that effectively communicates your company’s brand makes it easier for new employees to identify with your organisation, as well as reinforcing company values with existing employees.

The work environment also plays an important part in motivating employees. How it looks, feels and even smells can all affect productivity and staff well-being. When designing an office, ergonomics and space planning is one of the first things to consider, ensuring that employees are happy, comfortable and can work efficiently. Not only does this make working more enjoyable for everyone but it also creates a safe environment for both physical and mental health.

Making changes to the workplace needn’t be expensive. Some easy ways to improve an office environment include:

Office smells can affect your employees

Air quality, temperature, noise, layout, lighting, plants and office furniture all contribute and play a key role in health and well-being in the workplace. But smell can also be an important contributing factor to the well-being of employees in the workplace.

A pleasant smell can improve mood by up to 40% and studies show that employees whose mood is good:

Research has shown that certain types of smells can have significant effects on mood, irritability, anxiety, stress levels, and happiness. Even the smell of coffee has been shown to increase performance and the ability to focus.

Fragrances that enhance mood and can improve well-being and performance include:

Using smells as a tool to improve office well-being is a reasonably new concept but one that’s well worth exploring.

Maintaining physical well-being of employees

Having looked at ways to improve mental health and well-being, we’ll now discuss how to maintain and improve the physical well-being of employees.

A well-planned out office can promote well-being by including ergonomic furniture. Coupled with natural light and spaces to relax and concentrate, a well-designed office can help to reduce stress, boost morale and improve employee comfort and satisfaction.

If an employee feels uncomfortable at work, it affects their ability to perform and can impact on their quality of work. It can also lead to absences and low levels of productivity. And if an employee suffers constant pain that’s not addressed, it can lead to stress, frustration and mental ill-health, ultimately resulting in them searching for employment elsewhere.

Good workplace design should also include well-designed areas for collaboration, meetings, brainstorming and break-out spaces to ensure that employees have the flexibility to move away from their desks throughout the day.

Creating workspaces using ergonomic furniture can help employees to maintain good posture and reduce the risks of muscular disorders. An ill-designed workplace that is not comfortable to work in can affect an employee’s quality of work. But beyond that, providing a comfortable working environment sends out a positive message that demonstrates your company is committed to supporting its employees’ health and well-being. This in turn will have a positive effect on motivation, employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention levels.

When designing an office layout, good use of the space is key, as is ensuring employees feel safe and can work efficiently. Not only does this make working more enjoyable but it also avoids any health and safety issues and creates a relaxing, enjoyable atmosphere.

Well-being in the office should be at the forefront of any organisation’s policies.

A small change could make a big difference!

As we’ve shown, there are many factors that can affect health and well-being in the office environment. Making a few simple changes to a workspace can increase productivity, boost morale and improve overall employee happiness.

An attractive office can mean the difference between an employee preferring to work from home or them engaging with colleagues in a well-designed office space that provides increased opportunities for collaboration and creativity.

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