As organisations try to encourage their staff to return to the office, the environment you are welcoming them back into needs to be an accommodating, friendly and a safe place to work. It is reported that the average British employee spends 1,795 hours a year at work, so offering a comfortable work environment is beneficial for those devoting so much of their time there. So how can a good office space impact employee satisfaction?
Attention to detail
Often, an employee’s desk is the place they spend the majority of their time each day. Making their desk feel like their own can help them feel more relaxed, and make the office a more friendly environment. Allowing personal touches to desks, such as photos or good luck charms, can build a sense of ownership and pride in their personal spaces; increasing employee’s happiness, and reducing their stress levels in the process.
But it’s not just about employees’ personal items – think about what your organisation can add to the space to make the office feel more welcoming. Make the decision to bring the outdoors, indoors. Introducing plants and natural materials can cultivate a more calming environment for employees. Creating a separate space for breaks and lunches is also vital – reports suggest that not only does eating at your desk decrease productivity, but can contribute to increases in risk of heart disease and related illnesses. Think about the benefits of providing a carefully curated space away from your workers desks, so that they can reset, rest and prepare for the rest of their day.
Support where needed
According to the Harvard Business Review, people with strong mental health are 23% more productive, and physically healthy employees are 17% more productive. Offering an EAP to colleagues will foster a positive office space, and show your employees and potential applicants that your organisation is a great place to work, and offer assistance to improve your employees mental and physical wellbeing. Our new partners, the digital workplace wellbeing platform, provide support with mental health therapies and coaching, to tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Offering these services to your employees demonstrates your organisation’s emphasis on forming a great office environment, and encourages staff retention and satisfaction.
Comfort and care
It’s not just about how our minds feel in an office space, but how our bodies undergo each day. Remembering to sit correctly can be an afterthought for employees and employers alike, especially when working to deadlines and during busy periods. But back pain from incorrect posture can develop into muscular-skeletal disorders, which can cause your employees to need time off, or in some serious cases – leave office environments entirely. Investing in ergonomically designed chairs or footrests will help combat these aches and pains and make sure employees can focus on their work, improving your organisation’s labour productivity.
Another common issue is eye strain. The average worker spends 1,700 hours a year in front of a computer screen, which can increase risk to their vision. So consider offering anti-bluelight screens to those colleagues whose eyes may be in need of some extra protection, and encourage regular screen-time breaks to relieve some of that pressure.
Creating a great space isn’t just about communal and personal space within the office, but these elements plus offering EAPs and support gives your people the best employee experience they can get. Aiding your employees with their mental and physical wellbeing, whilst encouraging control within their personal and shared spaces will provide an environment both accessible, and constructive.