There are a ton of different opinions on how an office space should be set up. But, there are some things that aren’t opinions at all. One of those things is that happy employees are better employees, and you can directly affect the happiness and well being of your employees just by the way you set up their work space. Check it out.
1: Make Employees Change Posture
Unfortunately, lots of times when you are in a work environment, most of the tasks you are going to do involve sitting down. As most of us know, sitting for about 8 hours straight is not that awesome. You can’t stay motivated and you get restless, and that makes for unhappy employees. A great solution to this is to plan things that involve posture changes. Preferably, things that are 20 minutes or longer in either a sitting or standing position. Having a stand up meeting space is a great idea, or having some places to lean on things to accommodate employees with different postures. Keeping your employees from being in one position all the time will brighten up the mood and increase productivity.
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2: Destination Planning
A lot of college campuses are designed in a way that promotes movement. Classrooms, labs, the student union, and the library are all in different buildings. This isn’t an accident or poor planning, it’s actually great. The corporate world could, and should, learn a lot from this. When you are setting up your office building or space, put things that seem to go together kind of far apart. Make people have to walk to get to the break room, or the kitchen, or the copier, or whatever you have. This forces employees to have more movement in their routine, and also increases employee engagement.
3: Get To Know The WELL Building Standards
Design and construction over the past few years has focused heavily on making workspaces sustainable. The International WELL Building Institute is really trying to bring human health and wellness into new building practices. This means that physical environments are being reinvented, making for healthier, happier employees.
If you own a company and you can get familiar with the WELL Building Institute’s recent standard, then you can put yourself at the head of this new movement. The WELL Building Institute standard covers 102 performance metrics, design strategies, and procedures broken down into focuses on air, water, nourishment, light, fitness and comfort that can be used to make your workspace better.
4: Use Healthy Materials
This is a big thing that some people overlook a lot, but the materials used to build the environment that we work in absolutely do affect our health. It is a very important thing that leadership should not look over or forget about when making plans for a new office, or remodeling. There are plenty of organizations out there to help companies choose good materials and supply you with all of the information you need to make sure your employees have a safe, healthy place to work in.
5: Consider Mental Health Issues
One thing people don’t always think about is mental health. Generally, because we are too busy worrying about physical health. But, mental and emotional health are just as important. According to research from Northwestern University in 2014, workers who were exposed to more light in their office slept longer, slept better, and had way more physical activity than employees who worked in a space with more limited light exposure. If adding a few more lights can allow you to have well rested, happy employees… why not? It’s an easy fix that puts smiles on people’s faces.
Healthier employees make for a healthier company. If your employees are happy in the space they work in, they will be happy to help your company be successful. And that is exactly what you want, right?
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