In today’s work environment, HR managers and office fit-out companies are creating workspaces that are aesthetically pleasing and help to improve the health and wellbeing of employees. As well as improving the overall health of their staff, they also want to help attract and retain the best talent and increase employee productivity. According to Facility Executive1, “the physical environment greatly affects how employees feel, think, and behave in relation to their jobs” and employees who expressed a more general level of happiness with their overall office environment tend to be more engaged, while the people who were dissatisfied with their work environment tend to be more disengaged.” In addition, “74% of all workers say poor mental health has impacted their productivity2.”

But how exactly do you design a workplace that encourages productivity and increase morale? We collected a couple of key tips you can easily integrate in your workplace to improve employee productivity and support engagement within your team. These tips will be particularly useful if you’re thinking of relocating your office.

Paint the walls

This is should be quick and easy to integrate in your existing office or new office. It’s also a low-cost way to freshen the look of your workplace and will help reflect the brand and create a sense of emotion. For example, when we see green, we think of nature and thereby promoting a sense of calm and serenity. “Colour can also improve one’s experience at work, positively affecting their concentration, stress levels, and mood. To achieve these objectives, it is important to understand how different colours interact with each other and with other elements such as lighting, textiles and patterns3”.

Lighten up the space

Another great and cost-effective solution to improve your employee’s productivity is to introduce natural light or additional lighting into the workplace. Inadequate lighting can lead to serious workplace incidents and according to WorkSafe New Zealand, “lighting must be appropriate for the work being completed and sufficient to enable safe evacuation in an emergency.”4

Good workplace lighting has several advantages:

  • Healthier and happier staff – good lighting can help prevent headaches, eye strain and blurred vision
  • Increased productivity – lighting helps employee to stay focus
  • Reduce workplace accidents – if you can see what you’re doing, you’ll be able to perform your task safely and thereby reducing accidents
  • An attractive workplace – a well-lit office will always good, plus lighting can be used to make the workplace more stylish and welcoming

But, how do you incorporate more light into the office, easy, you can:

  • Change the layout
  • Place desks next to windows
  • Consider skylights
  • Replace existing lighting with low-cost LEDs
  • Play around with paint, use matt paint which allows light to bounce effectively into the workplace

Moving things up and alter the existing layout

We all know that a sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to our health, it can cause chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and high blood pressure. A good way to encourage staff to get moving is by changing the existing office layout. A well-designed office layout provides staff with the opportunity to collaborate and engage with each other and navigate their space with ease, thereby making it a legible workspace. Legible workspaces ensure that employees understand and can easily find their way around the office and to their colleagues. This is done by making sure that there are enough landmarks and signage, to allow all employees even those with limited exposure to the site can create a mental map of the layout.  At the same time, it allows employees to move around the office, even if it’s just for a short period.

Another method that HR practitioners can utilise is to develop a layout that promotes social interaction amongst employees, this can be as simple as installing adjustable furnishings in communal areas such as standing desks or adding comfortable seating in breakout areas.

Enhance air quality

Finally, enhancing the air quality of your workplace can greatly improve the health and productivity of your employees. According to WorkSafe New Zealand, employers must ensure that “ventilation must be sufficient to provide workers with safe clean air”4. Air pollution is hazardous, and it’s the responsibility of business owners to ensure that exposure to air pollution is minimised by:

  • Ensuring that doors and windows are well-sealed
  • Switching ventilation systems to recycle or recirculate to prevent outdoor air pollution from coming inside
  • Minimising the opening of doors or windows
  • Regularly cleaning flooring using a vacuum that has been fitted with HEPA filter
  • Rotating staff who work outdoors to limit prolonged exposure

Air quality in workplaces can fixed by:

  • Introducing greenery and indoor plants
  • Ensuring the entire office is regularly cleaned
  • Investing in portable air purifiers or humidifiers
  • Choosing the right cleaning product
  • Regularly testing air quality
  • Booking the maintenance of air conditioning units and filtration system

If you’re thinking of relocating your office, Grace Removals can help you. Our business services team can manage every kind of office relocation from floor-to-floor, building-to-building or city-to-city. We can also assist in designing a productive and holistic workplace by understanding your needs and incorporating them into your new workplace. Also, our office relocation provides you with minimal disruption to your clients and employees. We can help you with our complete and seamless relocation service, which can include asset management, security and storage. Our Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment (FF&E) team are experience in relocating major hotels, resorts, hospitals and commercial fit outs. To find out how we can help you call us on 0800 472 2369 or get in touch here.

1Facility Executive – Employee Engagement: Impact of Workplace Design

2Elise Shapiro – Bring your whole self to work: designing for holistic employee wellness

3 Udo Schliemann – The Importance of Color in the Workplace – Work Design Magazine

4 Worksafe New Zealand

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