We spend around 30% of our life at work. So, it’s vital we think about the impact of this on our bodies. Luckily there are changes you can make to your office environment that will not only enhance your team’s health, but could boost motivation, productivity and ultimately attendance too.
Standing desks for long-term health
Mid-2018, Tim Cook revealed that staff at Apple’s headquarters had been given standing desks to improve their health. And since then we’ve seen them rising in popularity – many companies ask us to supply them.
Recent research published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found staff reported better engagement with their work and fewer musculoskeletal problems when using standing desks. While studies have found they could boost life expectancy, reducing workers’ risk of conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
And swapping out your standard desks doesn’t need to be a logistical nightmare. Many sit-stand desks use the same footprint and you can choose electric versions that move staff between positions at the press of a button. It’s worth noting, though, that there can be privacy issues if some team members have standing desks, while others sit below.
Reducing noisy distractions
As open plan offices became increasingly popular to boost collaboration, it’s worth giving the inevitable noise and distractions some thought.
Help employees who prefer quiet or who need a more private place to converse, by installing ceiling rafts or acoustic partitioning. These will help to minimise sounds passing between areas of the office.
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably
All chairs are not made equal, and unfortunately for those of us in the keeping-employees-happy game, what’s good for one can feel distinctly uncomfortable for another.
That’s why providing self-adjusting seats works so well. With adjustable lumbar supports, height adjustable arms and movable head rests for better support, your workers will be able to set up their chair exactly how they like it.
Other decisions such as casters for manoeuvrability and material choices should be discussed with your staff – perhaps even let them try before you buy?
Reducing fights over light
With many workers sharing one space, things can get a little testing. We’ve witnessed this at the office of one of our biggest clients.
In a huge room, the disagreements about lighting were happening almost daily. Some people preferred warm, low lighting to work at a PC, while others wanted bright light to see fine detail. Our lighting design expert stepped in to help, providing programmable options for different areas of the office, reducing disagreements and letting everyone concentrate on ‘doing business’.
Fresh air for better brain function?
What do you think about air con? A great way to keep the office cool, or a sure-fire way to fall out over temperature?
Research indicates that good ventilation is vital for increasing cognitive function, boosting productivity and reducing the sharing of common coughs and colds. A Harvard study measuring cognitive scores in workers, found that on days where more fresh air was circulated, brain function increased by 61%. But what about if your office is on the side of a busy road?
As far as we’re concerned the jury’s out making the decision one of personal preference.
The wonders of water
Drinking water boosts concentration, helps us sleep better and balances mood and emotions. It’s even been cited that a glass of water can make your brain 14% faster.
So what better way to improve the health and productivity of your workforce than providing chilled, filtered water on tap? Companies are moving away from the freestanding water coolers of old, so we’ve been installing hassle-free integrated water systems instead.
Want to know more about ways to improve your employees’ health and wellbeing by making changes to your office environment? Get in touch today!