Wellness is a watchword in the professional world

So here are some top tips for a well work environment

Maintaining mental health

According to a survey conducted by software firm Breathe, nearly a quarter of people, would rather take an unexplained sick day than discuss their mental health issues with their employers. Forward thinking employers are tackling this head on, providing things like mental health first aiders, as well as people on-site to deal with staff’s physical symptoms, and quiet, meditative spaces for staff to get away from the hustle and bustle of the open-plan workspace.

Greening the office

From a green wall in reception to a proliferation of pot plants around the workplace, a bit of greenery goes a long way. As well as absorbing carbon dioxide and making the office look more attractive, there are psychological benefits to be had too. According to 2014 research by the University of Exeter, adding just one plant per square metre improved employees’ memory retention and performance in basic tests.

Get some fresh air

While it isn’t necessary to put a running track on the roof as they did at London’s White Collar Factory, grabbing some air shouldn’t just be the preserve of smokers on their breaks. Many new office buildings now include a roof terrace which doubles up as extra workspace but even opening up an unloved courtyard or providing new furniture on a terraced area could encourage employees to leave their desks.

Cutting down on noise

Property firm Cushman & Wakefield’s report on wellness states that over half of employees report that even ambient noise reduces their work satisfaction and productivity. There are lots of products on the market to keep things at a lower volume  from ceiling panels to screens to lampshades made of special felt. Clearly signposting areas for quieter, more concentrated work could also do the trick.

Let there be light

As autumn and winter approach, it’s worth bearing in mind that Forbes recently reported that 40% of office workers struggle to work in poor lighting every day. Lack of access to light has been associated with a range of health conditions from eye strain to headaches to seasonal affected disorder (SAD). Solutions range from placing desks around the perimeter of an office to maximise natural daylight to staff using an app to control their own lighting.

Flex it up

Most people fall into the ‘ambivert’ category throughout the working day. At certain times, they are craving the comfort of their own desks for concentrated work and at other times needing to break out and collaborate so provide plenty of variety of settings to keep them happy. This can be as simple as a breakfast bar in the kitchen for an impromptu catch up or an executive office that doubles up as a meeting room.

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