How to create a workplace that promotes wellbeing
World Wellbeing Week – How to create a workplace that promotes wellbeing
With more people working from home now, offices need to work harder to be spaces that employees want to come into, and enjoy. They need to be spaces that people feel safe to be themselves and where people can work to the best of their abilities. The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the need for employers to place more focus and importance on their employees wellbeing, and the physical work space can certainly help workers feel happier, healthier and more connected.
Consider your office layout
Office layouts can have a huge impact on the productivity and overall wellbeing of the employees within them. In fact, research has found that both design and empowerment to design work environments have an important role to play in determining employee wellbeing and productivity.
Research has also found that offices that promote flexibility and allow employees to ‘design the way they work’ lead to positive levels of health and job satisfaction. Consider creating areas within the workspace that can be used for individual work, collaborative work, and also for taking a break or casual work.
Listen up! Let’s talk about acoustics
We spoke to Acoustics Expert Rosalind Lambert-Porter to understand more about Neurodiversity and Acoustics in the workplace and how it can affect individual employees. Ros firstly identified a big difference between introverts and extroverts, in what we like in our acoustic environments extroverts thrive off stimulation and are more productive in a noisy environment, while introverts prefer that quite space.
“It is very task specific, if you are doing something very creative you are more likely to thrive in areas with higher levels of noise. If you are doing anything to do with short-term memory (language or crunching numbers etc.) you will likely work better in quieter noise. It is very variable” she continued.
When looking at adapting your own workspace, Ros recommends “thinking about the different functions that your work involves, think about the different staff and how they work”. Different working teams will need different things from their environments and developing a workspace that works for everyone can be extremely difficult. It is good to create a workspace where everyone can use each individual area if they want to, this puts the power in individual’s hands, allowing them to work in the space they need.
Are they sitting comfortably?
Think furniture that has ergonomic features, allows flexibility in work positions i.e. sitting and standing, and reduces sedentary behaviour. Poorly fitting office furniture has been linked to an increase in the likelihood of workers developing musculoskeletal disorders – yes, we’d like to avoid that too please.
A range of options allows employees to choose how they would like to work and to move around to sit/stand in different positions throughout the day.