Over the years, office design setups have developed and changed from cubicle-style offices with static office desks that limited true workspace freedom and restricted team collaboration to the introduction of modern open-plan workspaces that encourage ‘smart working’ where productivity and wellbeing go hand in hand.
Workplace wellbeing relates to every aspect of working life and includes the environment itself, the layout, and its furniture and equipment which are all things that can contribute to positive and negative effects on our physical and mental health.
Designing a wellbeing-friendly office
Although many workspaces have common features, every office is very much unique to the business and its requirements. A modern agile office will include a range of zones that allow for collaboration, socialising, meetings and focus areas.
When designing an office that promotes positive wellbeing there are several things we can introduce to help implement positive change and healthier employees that include maximising natural light sources, using plants to improve air quality and reviewing office furniture and equipment.
Embrace the standing evolution
Would you believe us if we told you sitting at your desk every day can be as unhealthy as smoking?! It’s true, the human body isn’t designed to be seated. When seated the body uses less energy and can cause several health concerns including obesity, increased blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels.
If you’re looking at ways to be healthier at work, then start with your desk. A desk that gives you the flexibility to sit or stand (also known as a height-adjustable desk) can help improve productivity and increase creativity simply by encouraging movement. Switching the way you work also brings a wealth of health benefits including the alleviation of aches and pains, circulatory problems or musculoskeletal issues or injuries.
There are lots of styles of sit-stand desking available, including manual or electric height, and sit-stand desk converters all ranging in a variety of finishes and budgets. To help you make a more informed decision, read our blog ‘Can an office desk improve your health?’ or visit one of our fully stocked showrooms and try before you buy.
Ergonomic office furniture is a necessity in the workplace. We’ve already discovered sitting at a desk puts extra strain on our spinal structure, so it’s important we also look at ergonomic solutions to help improve workplace wellbeing.
Accessories – Ergonomic desk accessories including document holders, writing slopes, monitor arms and risers are pivotal in preventing us from repetitive strains. With the diversity of body shapes and sizes, it’s important to look for products that have been approved or endorsed by a certified physiotherapist to ensure you give your body balance and the support it needs.
DSE assessments – Incorrect workstation setups or environments may cause employees to experience fatigue, back pain or eyestrain.
DSE assessments are essential and are normally completed in the workplace to ensure your business complies with UK health and safety regulations. To find out more about DSE assessments please read our guide.
Chairs – Ergonomic seating is vital for wellbeing in the workplace. They are designed to support your natural posture and can enhance maximum comfort during sitting.
An ergonomic chair offers a range of benefits to support your neck and back with a variety of accessories including seat height adjustment, seat slide, back tilt, back height and back angle adjustment, arm support, and headrest adjustment.
As a competent DSE provider, Combined Office Interiors can provide complimentary DSE workstation and seating assessments either at your workplace on in one of our fully stocked COI showrooms in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk or Leicester as well as advising on suitable products, from our extensive range of ergonomic furniture and accessories.
The power of plants
According to reports, indoor plants in the workplace improve attendance, attention to detail and concentration levels. Plants are a natural source that can improve mental fatigue and lower anxiety levels as well as offering the following good health and wellbeing benefits:
- The removal of harmful toxins from the air
- Increase oxygen levels
- Remove carbon dioxide
- Raise humidity levels
- Provide acoustic softening
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Create Biophilic attributes
- Increase productivity and creativity
Let there be light!
Good lighting can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of your team and can help create pleasant working conditions that encourage productivity.
If you are planning a refurbishment or office move, it’s a great time to look at natural light sources and design your workspace so it utilises windows, doors, and skylights as much as possible.
It’s also the best time to introduce a light strategy to ensure office areas have the appropriate lighting fitted.
There are lots of other things you can introduce into your workplace to improve your team’s wellbeing, they include:
- Digital detoxes
- Healthy snacks
- Office exercise and movement (read our blog about workplace exercise for more information)
- Introduction of artwork and colour (read our blog about the power of colour for more information)
Workplace Wellbeing Gallery
Last Updated on May 18, 2023