How to Improve Employee Wellbeing By Improving Your Offices and Facilities
Most companies might adhere to the health and safety standards set by the government, but don’t necessarily have user-friendly facilities that are conducive for healthy employee wellbeing. Aspects such as the office layout and positioning of essentials such as drinking fountains and water coolers are overlooked, which impacts productivity and demoralizes staff. To help you create a work space that employees will find comforting and inspire them to produce the quality of work you’re after, here are a few tips.
Wide open spaces do the trick
Apart from being very expensive, closed cubicles damage employee productivity the most according to research done by Dr. Franklin Becker, a psychologist and director of the Cornell University of International Workplaces Studies Program. They isolate employees, impeding them from communicating with other employees.
As such, you should consider having an open plan office where your staff can communicate with others openly and bounce ideas. Google has adopted the philosophy of placing seven people (plus or minus two) in specific offices, which are closed off by transparent glass. The effects, according to Google and researchers has been phenomenal.
Water, beverages and all that other stuff
As a necessity, water needs to be readily available to employees wherever they are in your office or around the facility. Having sparsely placed drinking water fountains and water coolers will reduce the likelihood of staff drinking water, which will result in chronic dehydration. This condition is known to slow down productivity, cause illnesses, and even stir up fights in the workplace as a result of symptoms such as irritability.
This calls for a strategic placement of all types of water equipment, depending on how many people you employ and how big your facility is. A good idea is to place water fountains in high traffic areas, and having one or more water coolers in each department.
To add to this, you should also think of investing in good quality coffee and tea. Bad coffee often doesn’t have an effect on employees, which forces them to drink more and that can be unhealthy. What’s more, buying your staff good quality coffee and tea will come across as you showing appreciation for your staff who will in turn start working to provide the results you desire.
Kitchens and relaxation areas are in, eating at the desk is out
Your staff are stuck to their desks for the duration of their day and only get time to themselves during lunch. This time, however, is useless if they don’t have areas they can go to relax and enjoy their food without the blaring sounds of phones ringing and emails piling in. Such an environment is physically and psychologically detrimental to one’s wellbeing, as they don’t get any exercise and are overexposing themselves to work.
You should think of having a games room and lunch area where staff can go and enjoy their breaks. This allows them to distress, socialise with fellow staff and come back with fresh minds. Adding tiny essentials like a dart board, foosball or table tennis table and couches and/or bean bags should be enough to encourage staff to step away from their computers and take a break.