How Does Office Design Promote Workplace Wellness?

The modern office has changed a lot in the past 20 years. Cubicles slowly disappeared in the early 2000s as people embraced open floor plans. Things changed again in the mid-2010s as employers made offices more fun and relaxing. Nowadays, many people have taken to installing offices in their homes! One thing that never changes about the office is how office design affects employee health and wellbeing.

High-quality workplaces lead to productive and stress-free employees. People who work from home should take their environment into account to create a calm and comfortable atmosphere. It is only when one feels their best that they can perform their best.

Here is a look at how different workplace elements can affect employees;

Air

The air quality at your home office has a significant impact on your health and productivity. Research from the World Green Building Council shows that fresh air in the workplace leads to a productivity increase of at least 11%. Here are some ways you can boost the indoor air quality at your office;

• Get rid of the clutter
• Buy an air purifier or air filter
• Add some greenery
• Open the windows to let fresh air in

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Water

Water is essential to humans. The human brain is 73% water, after all. Water consumption increases energy levels and sleeps quality. Staying hydrated also improves the clarity of mind, our ability to focus, and overall alertness. These benefits mean that people can be more productive at work. Here are some ways to improve water consumption and quality at the office;

• Keep a bottle of water close by
• Learn more about the importance of staying hydrated
• Challenge yourself to drink a certain amount throughout the day

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Nourishment

How many times have you heard people say that you are what you eat? The saying is more accurate than most people realize. What you eat at home and in the office gives you the fuel they need to get through the workday, even if your home is your office and vice versa. If you want to stay energized and productive through the day, you should aim to eat a balanced and nutritious diet to give your body all the nourishment it needs to perform at its best. Here are some tips to encourage better eating;

• Buy fruit and vegetables when doing the shopping
• Reduce your reliance on – and consumption of – processed foods
• Check the nutritional information on products
• Have a separate space for eating to practice mindful eating
• Eat healthy when and where you can

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Light

Humans need access to light as much as they need access to food and water. Employees within 10 feet of the nearest window have fewer headaches, blurred vision symptoms, and reduced eyestrain. Here are some ways to boost light levels in your home office;

• Work in a room with a skylight
• Maximize how much natural lighting your office has
• Control glare
• Replace and repair broken lights
• Move bulky furniture blocking natural light
• Include ambient lighting and task lighting in the home office

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Fitness

The human body was made for movement. We weren’t designed to be sat at a desk all day. People that live active lifestyles are more productive. Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, giving workers a burst of alertness and energy. Exercise can also improve concentration and build decision-making skills. Here are some ways to stay fit and healthy working at home;

• Get out of your chair regularly and stretch
• Buy free weights to use during breaks
• Take a walk around the block
• Install an adjustable/standing workstation

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Comfort

People are at their best when they are comfortable. The right ergonomics reduces muscle fatigue, increases productivity, and prevents musculoskeletal disorders. These disorders are the most common cause of worker absence and productivity drops. Here’s how you can create a comfortable office space;

• Create more than one space for work so you can move around
• Create an ergonomic workspace
• Create a breakroom or creative space for brainstorming separate from your home office
• Have a quiet zone you can retreat to if needed

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Mental Health

Studies show that employees who work around natural features have better health and wellbeing. People also feel more creative and productive around natural elements. Building a home office around your needs makes you more creative and productive. Here are some tips on supporting your emotional and mental wellbeing;

• Add some greenery such as flowers and potted plants
• Get out on the garden every so often
• Give yourself some flexibility over how and where you work if you can

As you can see, the design of your office has a dramatic impact on all aspects of your health, wellbeing, and productivity. Build your office around your needs and see what it can do for you.

With four kids under 10yrs old and a hubby who commutes monthly between the UK and US it was a God send when during the Corona lock down my boss told me that I would remain a remote worker even after the lock down had finished.

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