Learn about the different environmental factors in an office that can affect employees’ mental health along with tips on how to create a healthy workplace.
When it comes to managing a successful business, employers, and managers put in great effort to ensure that their employees are motivated, engaged, and productive. However, scientists indicate that mental health is an often overlooked factor in the work environment – one which can have a major influence on employee productivity and morale.
It may seem insignificant, but from providing natural light and comfortable furniture to having policies that foster collaboration and inclusion, there are many different aspects of an office space that can make a big difference for employees’ stress levels – and ultimately their performance.
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Six Ways Environment Improves Employee’s Mental Health
Here are some of the aspects of the office environment that can have a real impact on employee well-being and how to improve them as an employer or manager:
Your office space’s lighting is an incredibly important part of maintaining a healthy workspace for employee well-being. If you notice your employees looking quite groggy and tired at work, it might be because of the lack of natural lighting in their workspace.
According to research, a lack of natural lighting in the workplace can negatively affect employee mental health at work and cause abnormal sleep activity. The last thing you want is a sluggish workforce with low productivity levels.
To improve your employees’ mental health, try to increase the amount of natural light in the office. Office spaces with large windows that let in more extra sunlight are a great way of doing this.
Or, if moving to a better-lit office isn’t an option, you can also try setting up some mirrors around your office and painting your office walls a lighter color to brighten up the space.
Before you know it, these small changes could lead to your employees feeling refreshed and showing up with more energy for the day ahead.
2) Air quality
One of the most important environmental factors affecting employees’ mental health is the air quality of their workplace. While you may think this only applies to workers in manufacturing industries, this is also important for businesses based in indoor office spaces.
Good ventilation in indoor office spaces is associated with a wide range of benefits including improved health, better concentration, better quality of sleep, and higher levels of satisfaction with an environment.
You can start to improve the air quality of your office space by investing in office ventilation systems that can help increase the flow of fresh, clean air into workspaces, as well as lower stress levels by providing more natural lighting and better temperature control.
Taking steps like regularly cleaning carpets and rugs, dusting surfaces and office supplies, and controlling moisture levels can also help ensure office air is clean and fresh.
With these adjustments, your employees will start to notice their physical and mental health at work improving.
3) Floor plan & office layout
You may have noticed that open-plan office spaces have become more and more popular in recent years. This is because employers have started understanding how office layouts can affect their employees’ mental well-being.
Many people find the traditional desk and cubicle work setup to be very isolating, which can eventually be detrimental to their mental health. Open office spaces are a great way of encouraging a social and collaborative work environment.
But it’s also important to note that some employees don’t respond too well to open office spaces due to their lack of privacy and the potential for more distractions. A great solution to this is to find an office space that offers flexibility through multiple spaces.
Having these different spaces means your employees would be able to move around throughout their workday according to their needs – a type of work called activity-based working.
For offices with a range of different workspaces that allow activity-based work, check out a coworking space or serviced office.
With a range of different spaces such as informal communal areas, quiet desks, comfy sofas, and private meeting rooms, these flexible office spaces allow employees to work where they feel most comfortable.
A noisy workplace environment can be very detrimental to your employee’s mental health and productivity. Noise pollution is known to have a negative effect on us, such as increasing our stress, reducing our focus and ability to concentrate, and decreasing our morale among other things.
While a bit of white noise or background chatter can help some people concentrate on their work, too much noise in the workplace can end up having the opposite effect.
A few small adjustments can go a long way toward achieving a pleasant office design that can drastically help employees concentrate and feel more comfortable in their working environment.
These might include using carpets or office dividers to absorb sound, encouraging your employees to take breaks throughout their day, playing soothing music at low volumes, or instituting office hours when only certain teams are working.
With these simple changes combined with mindful office policies and attitudes towards noise levels, employers can vastly improve their office space and further promote employee well-being and productivity.
5) Nature & greenery
Too many traditional office spaces feature very sterile designs; it turns out that these colorless walls and grey carpets aren’t exactly conducive to a lively and productive office environment.
Although this may seem like an almost superficial aspect of office design, a lifeless office environment can contribute to an increase in stress, fatigue, and overall dissatisfaction.
Adding office plants and greenery is a great way for employers to cultivate office spaces that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but mindful of their employees’ mental health. Plants have been proven to bring many positive benefits, from lowering stress levels to improving productivity.
Even having one or two plants in an office can make a huge difference too; this gives employees a connection with nature and breaks up the office monotony, which can help relax their minds when faced with deadlines or difficult tasks.
Certain workspace options also provide outdoor spaces near their office where employees can take some time out to enjoy nature during their regular break periods. A little natural beauty goes a long way in helping to improve employee mental health in the workspace!
6) Choosing a new office with mental health in mind
Running an office is never easy, and the last thing you want as an employer is your team’s mental health suffering because of poor office design. There are a lot of things you can do to create an office environment that can improve your employee’s mental health, well-being, and productivity.
Good office design and layout, natural light, plants, comfortable furniture, color schemes, and more can all contribute to creating a space that employees will enjoy coming into every day. And when employees are happy and healthy, they’re more productive – it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
However, it’s not always easy to adapt your current workspace to be more mentally health-friendly. You may not have the budget or space for plants; you might not be able to change the fact that the windows are small or the paint job is dull and lifeless.
One of the best and easiest ways to boost employee well-being is by moving to a flexible office space such as a managed office, serviced office, or coworking space. Meticulously designed and maintained by office providers, these workspaces are created with employee well-being and productivity in mind.
To find your perfect new office space, visit Future Squared. With a range of offices for all budgets and needs located around the UK, Future Squared can match you with the workspace of your dreams. Take a look at their office search tool to browse your options today.
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