Design matters — only 1 in 4 U.S. workers are in optimal workplace environments. The rest struggle to work effectively, resulting in lost productivity, innovation and engagement.
Your physical work environment can work against or in support of your well-being. Research shows that improving environmental elements like lighting and ventilation improves workers’ performance, sleep and boosts their productivity. An energizing work environment promotes physical, emotional and social well-being.
The interest in healthy buildings is growing. Some companies think this is an expensive endeavor. And it can be, but small enhancements to a workspace can make a big difference in supporting employee well-being.
6 ways to improve physical workspaces to support well-being:
1. Create spaces for focused, interrupted work with private phone booths or quiet zones. Account for varying personalities and assess the level of focused work people can do in their work areas — is it too loud? Is there too much foot traffic? Accommodating everyone’s needs is hard but dedicating space will help.
2. Build places for people to meet, connect and collaborate. These flexible spaces should feel positive, encourage movement and foster interaction — think whiteboards, comfortable couch areas, room to move and energizing colors.
3. Provide healthy food and beverage options to promote a balanced diet and dissuade harmful foods.
4. Offer on-site resources for well-being improvement — things like natural light or well-lit spaces, walking paths, gyms, showers, places for mothers to safely nurse and common rooms.
5. Post motivational reminders in the kitchen and common areas to encourage healthy activities.
6. Give employees freedom to make their spaces their own. Offer options like standing desks or fit balls to boost productivity. Studies show that employees who decide when, where and how they work are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, perform better and view their company as more innovative than competitors.
Want more steps you can take today? Check out our new interactive experience on organizational support.