We have written during the pandemic about the revision of design and layout when it comes to new office spaces and the refurbishment of existing ones for the benefit of employees. The ultimate goal is to inspire employees to reach greater heights, better productivity and unleash their creativity.
As our surroundings play a huge role on our mental wellbeing, we always took it for granted that home is the place where one can go and recharge after a stressful and dull day at the office. But then we asked the question: why should one’s office space not do the same for our happiness, health and wellbeing as our homes? It is well known that personal space, colour, design and lighting affect our moods and therefore it was way overdue to address this within the workplace. We do take our mental state of mind home after a hard day’s work and this can have a huge impact on family life, productivity and overall wellbeing.
A recent Harvard study* has found that the positive impact of a green office space had far-reaching effects: companies reported 30% less absence from work; employees reported a 6% increase in the quality of their sleep and the biggest plus point was a 26% increase in awareness, understanding and reasoning.
Improving overall health for any employee means the convergence of the sciences of construction and building design with that of mental health. The aim is to provide an environment that has a long-lasting positive influence on not only productivity but also physical health.
Equipping the workplace as another sanctuary with for instance more greenery is hugely important for starters. A greener office boosts engagement, improves concentration and promotes a better perceived air quality than clinical, insulated, spartan offices. Green offices also reduce the pitfall of instant gratification by allowing employees to make better long-term decisions.
Performance levels of those employees that work in green environments also doubled and for any corporation that is keen to manage their expenses effectively, this can simply not be ignored. It all leads to fewer mistakes, less down time and better decision-making. The savings incurred by the latter alone will make up for any expenses in “upgrading” an office environment to one that seriously qualifies as a bona fide green one.
So, if you decide to “go green” beware of the somewhat complicated path to being successful at it. From the time that you as the employer give the green light for such a project, an army of influencers will put their personal stamp on the outcome and this need to be vetted and managed carefully by an expert to fulfil the aims and goals as set out in the beginning.
Until you revamp your offices professionally, we have some tips for you on how to make a good, inexpensive start to bettering the workplace you currently have for your employees:
• Improve natural light sources
• Improve the air quality
• Let employees have control over their surroundings
• Humanise the surroundings
• Bring the outdoors indoors
• Demarcate “chill”areas
• Provide quality products when it comes to freebies such as coffee, tea, milk and other items
• Give amenities such as rest rooms a makeover and once again, introduce plants and quality items
The positives for considering “going green” far outweigh any initial costs and you as the employer will reap the long-term rewards. Employees will display an overall improvement in how they feel, act, deliver and contribute to the time spent at work. Employers have to accept that the old ways have changed for good…actually, for the good, welfare and benefit of the company and its entire workforce.