A healthy and happy workforce is a vital component of any business and office design has a huge impact on well-being. When you bear in mind that UK businesses lose £30 billion a year due to mental health difficulties and that 185.6 million days were lost due to sickness or injury in 2022, it pays to create an office space that will have a positive effect on employees.
According to a World Green Building Council report, the following can improve health and well-being in an office environment:
Good lighting is essential for employee well-being. Daylight is crucial and increasing evidence has shown that it has an impact on mood, so it pays for any office design to maximise daylight and reduce the need for artificial lighting wherever possible. A recent study by neuroscientists suggested that staff positioned by windows received 173% more white light, which can improve sleep quality and vitality. Productivity increases when people are close or next to a window and being able to see nature is a huge boost. Also, giving staff control over the lighting near their desk/workstation is said to improve satisfaction. Lighting should be appropriate to staff members’ tasks, and every effort should be made to reduce or eradicate glare.
Being able to work at an optimum room temperature has a big impact on well-being at work. As with lighting, even a small amount of personal control over the thermal environment has been shown to increase productivity.
- Green space and plants
There are lots of studies that highlight our bond to nature and any office design that factors in plants and/or outdoor green spaces, such as the courtyard that is a feature of our Farringdon offices, improves employee satisfaction levels. Workers who have views of nature have been shown to feel less frustration and report better health than those who don’t have a good outside view.
- Air quality
Studies show that productivity can rise by as much as 11% when indoor air quality is at a maximum. Poor air quality can cause headaches, depression and breathing disorders. A 2006 air quality study showed that poor air quality reduced employee performance by up to 10%.
Some might consider the look and feel of an office to be superficial, after all, who cares about the design of the light fittings, the use of quality materials, and an aesthetically pleasing space? As it happens, these things matter to staff and to those visiting the business. Pleasing surroundings with good light quality and decoration which uses colour, texture, art, and shape to create a positive atmosphere, have a positive impact on mental and physical well-being. In addition, it’s also important to think carefully about workstation density and to provide breakout spaces and relaxation areas, which is something we provide at all our locations.
- Wellness facilities
Providing access to exercise facilities, such as the Virgin One gym in our Farringdon building, bicycle racks, and green spaces, whether within the office complex or nearby is always a good idea as there is no dispute over the fact that exercise is linked to an increase in office-based productivity and elevated mood.
- Amenities and location
The location of an office and nearby amenities are hugely important for those who occupy the space. Offices that are situated in prime locations, tend to retain staff for longer and experience less absenteeism due to sickness.
If you are seeking office space in locations that will attract staff, boost reputation and promote health and well-being, contact us at One Avenue Group.
Alice has over 10 years experience within the HR sector, understanding
changing demands of employees and creating strategies to attract and retain
employees, creating a productive and positive working environment.