Category: Office Design
Workplace stress is an important and costly health concern for employers to contend with, especially given the fact that a recent Health and Safety Executive Labour Force Survey found that stress, depression or anxiety were responsible for 11.7 million lost working days in 2015/16.
According to Statistic Brain, work pressures are now the number one source of stress, while physical inactivity caused by many modern workplaces is also recognised by the World Health Organization as the fourth biggest killer. This article looks at how new trends in office refurbishment services can help to reduce stress and improve well-being.
1. Balance Open and Closed Office Designs
It is currently estimated that around 70 percent of offices have a open plan design, facilitating collaboration. However, the prevalence of open office designs may be one of the major contributing factors to workplace stress, with noise and visual distractions hindering concentration and productivity, while reducing happiness.
With that being said, it is unlikely to be practical to give everyone their own private, enclosed space and even if you could, it may hinder teamwork. For this reason, it is advisable to work with your office fit out contractors to create a workplace which offers staff the freedom to move between open and private spaces more freely.
2. Provide Access to Natural Light
Another simple step you can take for your employees is to provide access to natural light, yet many offices fail to adequately do so. Indeed, according to Human Spaces, 42 percent of all EMEA office workers have no access to natural light, while seven percent have no windows in their place of work at all.
The provision of large windows, which allow sufficient light to enter the workplace, is one of the most important office refurbishment services you can seek from office fit out contractors. Not only is it linked with more general improvements to mood, Psychology Today reports that daylight exposure can help to regulate sleep as well.
3. Include Interesting Communal Spaces
Enabling employees to view work as a social experience has a number of benefits, including improved collaborative efforts. Yet, just as importantly, it can help to alleviate stress and make the working day more enjoyable. In order to encourage this, you should ensure you provide communal spaces and try to make them interesting.
"An area with video games gives employees a chance to decompress and not focus on work for a little while," says Samantha Zupan, a Glassdoor spokesperson, speaking to Forbes. "Or a meeting area that's filled with colour and interesting structures could help stir up employees' creative juices."
4. Attempt to Think Outside the Box
Finally, with any office fit out project, there is scope to think outside the box and try something a little different, and this applies to reducing stress too. Incorporating some more unique elements can help to prevent your office from seeming dull or boring, while certain additions have clear benefits in terms of well-being.
For instance, companies like Google, Uber, Zappos, Cisco have all reaped rewards from installing sleeping pods in their offices, allowing employees to recharge with short naps. Alternatively, physical fitness can help to alleviate stress and can be improved through the use of sit-stand desks, or even a workplace gym.
Stress is one of the biggest health issues affecting adults, and work is the single biggest contributor to stress. These facts, combined with the cost of related absenteeism and presenteeism, make it essential for businesses to act. By reducing the noise distractions associated with open plan designs, providing ample natural light, including communal spaces in office designs and making their workplaces more unique and interesting, employers can help significantly.
Posted 15th February, 2018< Back to articles