Your employees are your biggest asset.... aren't they?

29/05/2015

Is worker well-being just another fad, like "activity based working", "hot-desking" or "collaborative spaces"?

Apparently not....

All the recent data points in one direction: there is a global decline in people's health, which ultimately means their wellbeing. And it's not just down to diet and lack of exercise. Poor health and wellbeing negatively affects individual performance which ultimately affects productivity. But a few small improvements to your workspace will affect employee wellbeing and can improve your bottom line:

Organisations with high levels of employee engagement have seen a 19% increase in income whereas those with low levels of employee engagement saw a 32.7% decline in income.

So what do you need to do to ensure your workforce is engaged and fulfilled?

Simple - incorporate worker wellbeing into your overall business strategy and provide workplaces that nurture wellbeing... The return is highly engaged employees. Here are a few ideas to easily improve your workspace:

Provide different spaces to support different work functions. Giving people the choice of where and how to work. A mix of open plan and enclosed, private areas as well as social spaces. For example, kitchens and social spaces with sofas and informal seating where people from different departments socialize and brainstorm as well as a range of different sized meeting rooms for focus work and formal meetings too.

By ensuring that workers feel fulfilled, that they have a sense of purpose will contribute to positive engagement. For example, integrating your corporate identity beyond the reception area and throughout the workspace to reinforce your brand, goals and culture of the company will make people feel like they have a purpose and that their hard work is not going to waste.

Provide a range of comfortable furniture to fit a range of sizes, needs and preferences and to promote movement throughout the day.

Include cafés with healthy food choices or at least spaces where employees can get away from their desks for lunch. Not only does this area provide a space for social bonding and building team morale, it helps employees regroup, which aids productivity.

Bring nature in with daylight and views - by locating open plan work areas adjacent to windows and offices centrally, you ensure that the largest number of employees benefit, rather than the privileged few with offices.

Use glass - it welcomes natural light which helps with happiness, energy, and morale and it helps create a clear space for free thinking.

Allow employees to express their ideas freely by providing the tools such as whiteboards, glass surfaces or even chalk boards for brainstorming. Not only will this make people feel engaged and that their ideas are valuable but it encourages others to continually brainstorm - it becomes contagious.

Overall atmosphere - acoustics, use of colour, temperature, ventilation and plants - get the basics right. Even a few strategically placed plants can reduce stress by 12%.

Technology - ensure your workers have the necessary tools to do the job which in turn lowers stress levels and increases vitality and morale.

Not every company can offer all of these features to their employees nor can they do it on the same scale. But all businesses should consider how they can improve employee wellbeing by giving them the spaces and basic tools that enhance and support their jobs as well as the corporate goals.

So if you see your employees as your single biggest asset perhaps now is the time to consider improvements to your office environment and give your company and staff the competitive edge?

At Cashman Interiors, we design workspaces that work for their users. From full scale fit-outs to simple space planning, redecorations and furniture upgrades, talk to us about how you can make the changes necessary to improve your workforce wellbeing.    


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