The modern office has changed a lot over the last 20 years. The cubicle farms of the past were killed in the early 2000s and there was a rise in open floorplans. 2015 brought foosball and ping pong tables into the office. While many office trends come and go, there is one constant and that is the impact the work environment has on the health and wellbeing of employees.

When employees spend their day in a quality workplace, they have lower stress levels and will be more productive. The physical work environment of employees needs to be taken into account by all employers. It is important to note that employees also want a healthy environment to work in, according to a Wellness Trend Report.

There are some other findings from the report which are interesting, such as:

  • A large majority of workers (87%) would like employers to offer healthier workplace benefits such as wellness rooms, sit-stands, ergonomic seating, company fitness benefits and healthy lunch options.
  • Younger companies are less likely (34%) to turn down employees who ask for in-office benefits such as sit-stand desks compared to their older and more established counterparts (42%).
  • The vast majority of tech industry workers (93%) have said they will remain with a company who offers them healthier workspace benefits such as company fitness benefits, ergonomic seating, healthy lunch options and sit-stand desks.

As a third of our lives are spent in the workplace, for companies to retain talent, businesses need to have an environment that empowers people through the right workspace. Around 70% of modern offices are now open plan and this can be a great layout to use. However, the layout does need to be correctly implemented to promote productivity as well as employee wellbeing. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways that companies can maximize their office space and employee wellbeing such as having a quiet space for meditation or for people to take calls. Comfortable areas for collaboration are also important.

Air

Many employers do not consider how great the impact of air quality is on the health and productivity of their employees. The World Green Building Council conducted research which found an 11% increase in overall productivity when there was more fresh air in the workplace and a reduction of pollutants. There are a few ways that you can improve the air quality in your office and you need to consider them.

Water

73% of the brain is made up of water and water consumption will also affect sleep quality and energy levels. The ability to focus, mental clarity, alertness and overall awareness will also be impacted by the amount of water consumed. When employees are drinking enough water, they will be healthier and their productivity will also increase. This is why you should look at ways to increase the water intake of all your employees during the day.

Nourishment

The saying that you are what you eat is particularly true when you look at nourishment in the workplace. What your employees eat during the day will power them as they work. If you want employees who are focused, energised and productive, you need to ensure they are getting a balanced and nutritious diet. This diet should provide all the nutrients and minerals the body needs to function correctly. There are several ways that you can encourage healthy eating habits and change the food culture in your office.

Light

The Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University did a study on the impact of light in the office. This study found that employees who were within 10 feet of a window had an 84% decrease in eyestrain, blurred vision and headaches. Rethinking your office lighting is important and you need to design your layout to optimise natural light.

Comfort

Your office needs to be a comfortable place. Using ergonomics can reduce muscle fatigue and increase productivity. The severity of MSDs can also be reduced. There are many ways that you can ensure your office is a comfortable and distraction-free environment. Refurbishments, such as those offered by these London commercial decorators, can play a role.

Mind

A study by the Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace found that people who work in areas with natural features will have a 15% higher level of wellbeing. Respondents to the survey stated that they feel 6% more productive and 15% more creative. The interior of your office should offer social spaces, breakout spaces and improvements which enhance creativity.