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We spend more time in our workspace than we do at home, and we are now acknowledging that the spaces around us have a huge impact on our wellbeing, be that mental, physical or social. To an extent, our working day can be defined by our working environment, from the physical layout to the decor and functional styling. Together, these elements, consciously or subconsciously, impact us and our health every day.
Wellbeing - previously a foreign term in boardrooms everywhere is now sitting at the top table. There is an inextricable link between employees wellbeing and their performance at work, and this has made leaders sit up, listen and take action. Ultimately, staff needs are changing, the way we work has changed, be that the need for creative thinking over administrative tasks or a balance between independent and collaborative work.
The workspace has quickly surfaced as one of the key elements in creating a company culture that supports wellbeing. This is far beyond the tick box exercise of ensuring employees have a half decent chair and adjustable desk. This is about creating the best possible environment in which people can thrive.
Why is it so important?
Simply, improved levels of wellbeing amongst employees can massively impact the bottom line. In the UK alone over 70million working days are lost each year to mental health, costing the economy in the region of £100bn.
But, it’s not just about the days lost it’s about realising the upside, how can a workspace conducive to enhanced wellbeing improve the performance & loyalty of employees and drive businesses forward.
What can you do?
Firstly, understand how your people use and interact with the current workspace, what works and what doesn’t. Is the current state working for all or only some of your employees?
It might be a bit of a stretch to create workspaces to suit each employee’s individual needs, but the focus should be on flexibility. Tom Philipson of YourStudio mentions, the distinctions between introverts and extroverts. ‘Currently the workplace is set-up for extroverts to succeed, while introverts are being left behind,’ he says. Introducing a workplace typology customised to cater to both introverts and extroverts would immediately increase efficiency, proving how beneficial for employers and employees alike it is to make such adjustments.
Also, at the centre of all of this needs to be your company culture, what it is and how the workspace can reflect and support this.
The great thing is that this doesn’t need to involve an entire office refit. Think about your home, if you want to make a room work better, you can use small changes to achieve this.
This use of unique artisan touches is a great approach for the workspace. Think about people’s workstations, their desks, laptop stands, even stationery holders. Then on the broader scale think of introducing stylish artisan touches to your breakout spaces and meeting rooms, contemporary lighting and soft furnishings can have a huge impact on the way people work.
Your workspace is a great opportunity for your business to offer tangible support for people's wellbeing.
Ask yourself, why isn’t your office as nice as your home? you’re going to spend 90,000 hours there. farlo. are changing things, join us.