Published May 09th, 2017 by

5 Ways to Improve the Health and Wealth of your Office

Keep your employees happy and they become more motivated, creative and productive. In short, greater productivity means greater profitability. In contrast, unhappy workers can cost your business dear, in terms of sick leave, days off and staff turnover.

Creating a better office environment is key to improving staff morale. Most people will spend 99,117 hours of their lives at work, so if you want to keep your staff happy and productive, it’s worth spending time creating the best work environment possible. Here, Olivia Blake provides you with 5 ways to achieve just that.


1. Let there be light

Allow as much natural light into the office as possible as there’s a proven link between light levels and the quality of your staff’s sleep and energy. Neurologists at Northwest University found that increased exposure to natural light during working hours led to increased sleeping time, leaving workers more rested and with more energy throughout the working day.

Having a view from the window also increases productivity. One study revealed that computer programmers spent 15% more time working when they had a view. Those without a view spent 15% more time chatting on the phone, or to each other.

Problems associated with too much glass in a building, such as heat loss and gain, as well as solar glare, can make for an uncomfortable environment. However, these are easily solved with good quality blinds and shutters. Talk to a commercial blinds supplier about solar shading which can not only make your staff more comfortable, but also reduce energy consumption, as the office will use less heating, air conditioning and artificial light, making solar shading a highly cost effective solution.

The glass facade of The Shard in central London has the equivalent of 8 football pitches of glass. The problem of solar shading was solved by using motorised roller blinds, which have helped the Shard to achieve 88% heat rejection.


2. Allow for downtime

Both Google and Nike are famous for their tech-free nap rooms, allowing their staff to catch 20 minutes of shuteye mid-afternoon, when energy levels are slumping. These areas can also give staff a place to escape the stress of interruptions when tackling a task which needs some concentrated thinking.

If you have the space you could also provide recreational areas, with table tennis, games, magazines, bean bags, healthy snacks and drinks – it will go a long way to improving morale, team spirit and staff retention.


3. Desk personalisation

If staff are allowed to customise their working area, it instills a sense of pride that spills over into all areas of their work. If possible, give each member of staff a small budget for items such as lamps, plants, a standing desk, ergonomic chair or stability ball.

All of these initiatives will improve the comfort of your staff, helping to increase both creativity and productivity.


4. Offer flexitime

While some of us are early morning larks, equal numbers are night owls and the hours we are most productive are governed by these circadian (biological) rhythms. An owl who rises too early will be groggy and unable to perform at its best. Similarly, keep a lark at work into the evening hours and you won’t be getting the best out of it.

Many secondary schools are trying to combat the biology of the teenage brain by starting lessons later, between 10 and 11am and, to date, it appears to be working with improved exam results and better behaviour.

Some believe extending this approach to the workforce would result in a similar success. Driven by developments in technology, the traditional 9-5 Monday to Friday working week is no longer the necessity it used to be. Some people work better later in the day, others have family commitments and prefer to work longer hours on fewer days and some prefer to travel out of the rush hour, either starting much earlier than the masses, or much later.

If you can let employees choose their own work schedule, it will inspire them to work much harder, waste less time and boost the office atmosphere.


5. Encourage wellness initiatives

Graphic designers in a meeting Free Photo

To keep your workforce healthy and happy, anything you as their employer can do to encourage wellbeing will be welcome.

Initiatives can include anything from providing a free lunch once a week, stocking the kitchen with healthy snacks, having a ‘Bring a Pet to Work’ day, always celebrating colleagues’ birthdays, forming a pub quiz team or sports team together.

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