How Office Environments Impact Employee Wellbeing

  • There are many steps you can take to keep employees healthy, all while giving them peace of mind.
  • A clean office is a healthy and happy office. 
  • Have you ever tried to make it through the workday on a chair that makes it feel like you’re sitting on a wooden park bench?

While no two employees are looking for the exact same things in an office environment, there’s one thing that they all have in common: a desire to work in an enjoyable, healthy, and productive space. In the months to come, as the COVID-19 pandemic slows, many people will begin to return to their respective offices—even if not on a full-time basis.

Nobody wants to work in an environment where they’re always concerned about their health.

It’s easier said than done, but there are steps you can take as a business owner or manager to provide the type of environment your employees will love. Here are five things you should do:

1. Keep it Clean

While this was always important, it’s more so the case today than ever before. Nobody wants to work in an environment where they’re always concerned about their health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance for cleaning and disinfecting workplaces and businesses.

There are many steps you can take to keep employees healthy, all while giving them peace of mind. For example:

  • Setup additional hand sanitizing stations.
  • Keep bathrooms and the kitchen space spic-and-span.
  • Hire a professional cleaning company to visit your office every night.
  • Ask employees for feedback in regards to anything that you could do better in this area.

A clean office is a healthy and happy office.

2. Focus on Comfort

This doesn’t mean you should turn your office into a lounge. There’s no need for flat-screen televisions, leather couches, and pool tables. It’d be nice, but definitely not necessary. However, if you want your employees to enjoy their work environment, consider the many ways you can make it more comfortable. Ideas include:

  • Purchasing ergonomic office chairs.
  • Upgrading old desks, supplies, and equipment.
  • Ensuring proper temperature control.

Have you ever tried to make it through the workday on a chair that makes it feel like you’re sitting on a wooden park bench? Or how about a workday when all you can think about is how hot or cold it is?

If you don’t know how to make your employees more comfortable, all you have to do is ask. With this feedback in hand, you can decide what to do first.

3. Give Them Space

Even if you work in a small office space, look into creative ways to build more distance between your employees. This does two things:

  • Provides a greater sense of privacy.
  • Gives your employees greater peace of mind in regards to reducing the spread of germs.

Sometimes this is simple, as you have space in your office to expand. Other times, it’s more difficult, such as if you’re already at max capacity with your workforce. Making more space is all about getting creative. If space is a great concern to you and your team, it may be time to consider a move into a larger office.

4. Update the Design of Your Office

The ’90s called and they want their design back! When was the last time you updated the interior design of your office? If you can’t remember, it’s probably time for a change. For example, some colors are known to better reduce stress, which is something that people definitely need in today’s day and age.

Strongly consider everything from flooring to paint colors to wall art—and that’s just the start. Ask your team for feedback on how the interior of the office should look. You may come to find that you have several aspiring interior designers who are more than willing to assist with the process.

When reviewing your office environment, pay close attention to the amount of light that’s available and where it’s coming from.

5. Get More Light into the Office

When reviewing your office environment, pay close attention to the amount of light that’s available and where it’s coming from. It’s frustrating and tiresome to work in a dimly lit office all day. It will kill employee productivity, and could even lead to some workers falling asleep.

There are two ways to get light into your office:

  • Upgrade your light fixtures and/or light bulbs.
  • Take advantage of natural light, such as pulling up blinds during the workday and unblocking windows.

This is one of those little things that can have a big effect on the productivity, happiness, and mental well-being of your team. Without it, your employees are more likely to run into issues with things such as seasonal affective disorder.

Fortunately, a few quick changes will bring positive results.

Good Vibes Only

Okay, this is easier said than done, but there’s nothing wrong with setting it as a long-term goal. When you fill your office with good vibes only, everyone will feel better about going to work and doing their job to the best of their ability.

Conversely, a toxic workplace doesn’t do anyone any good. In fact, it will kill productivity, reduce employee satisfaction, and can even chase your best talent out the door. There’s no denying the fact that the office environment impacts employee well-being on many levels.

With the help of the five tips above, you should have an easier time creating an office space that you and your employees enjoy. And when you do that, you’ll soon realize that everyone is more productive, happier with their work life, and willing to do whatever is best for the company.

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Frankie Wallace

Frankie Wallace is a recent graduate from the University of Montana. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho and enjoys writing about topics related to business, marketing, and technology.

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