When it comes to your new office space you’re probably thinking about location, transport access and amenities. One aspect you might not have considered is wellness, although I’m hoping that after this article, you might give it some thought. Many corporations finding a focus on health and wellbeing for their staff is paying dividends, in fact, wellness has been a driving decision maker for office selection over the past two years.
There are several reasons for this, all of which work their way back to gathering and retaining quality staff. Keeping the right staff is essential for a profitable business, second only to hiring the best staff you can find. You want to be able to attract quality employees who will commit to seeing though your long-term business goals, that means you need to offer an employment package that will inspire unique and qualified individuals not only to stay, but to thrive.
High staff turnover, illness, and stress all take a heavy toll in time, resources, productivity and money. As our awareness grows for the costs and flow on the effects of stress and stagnation, so too does our awareness of solutions and desire to invest in prevention.
When it comes to selecting a building that can offer wellness in the workplace, here are some key things to look for.
• Natural light (windows)
• Outdoor space with access to fresh air and greenery
• Health and fitness including health education and gym access
• Quality food outlets
• Precision temperature control
• High air quality
• Luxurious amenities like those found in hotels
• Vibrant communal spaces
A building’s cultural and environmental aesthetics, sustainability and eco-friendliness make you feel good emotionally, physically and environmentally thus resulting to healthy and happy staff.
Apart from the building itself, your office’s interior can also still be improved or complimented to achieve wellness in your new or current workspace.
Incidental physical activity
• Desks that transform from sit to stand through flexible height adjustment
• Eye-catching staircases between floors
• Office layouts that encourage walking around
• Walking meetings
• Standing meetings
• Healthy snacks
• Individual health plans
• Healthy drinks including filtered water
Having prominent staircases does wonders for discouraging staff from taking the lift, no force required. Many older buildings have concealed stairways that are only used in the case of emergency. These staircases are stark and uninviting, often having a dangerous or foreboding feel. Look for modern buildings that showcase the staircase as a feature. Aside from inspiring people to take to the stairs, it also opens space between floors and gives you better use of light and air circulation.
Stagnation not only causes health and weight related issues, it also shuts down your brain. Movement helps office efficiency by refreshing and nourishing the muscles and getting more oxygen to the brain. Lunchtime walks, walking meetings, and incidental exercise help keep physical activity high while also getting the job done.
Having different spaces and functional rooms allows people to get their work completed in an environment that works best for them.
It’s worth having extra space to play around with and see what fits best for your office environment. Those extra spaces might be used as meeting or community spaces, relaxation, meditation, or quiet work zones. You can also have rooms that rotate based on need to serve different functions.
For instance, extra spaces can be used as rooms that promote happiness and wellness with the following services or activities…
• Nature sounds
Another way to promote the feeling of happiness is to encourage friendships. Having a close friend at work is shown to have a positive effect on motivation and efficiency. Those extra spaces will be essential for encouraging social connections so new best friends can find each other.
Look at ways you can use extra spaces to encourage and inspire socialisation and involvement and not just to make connections within your workplace, but outside of it as well. Get together for charity work, tree planting, rubbish collection in local parks or reserves, or volunteering to promote, serve or benefit a not-for profit that is in alignment with your business values. An internal feeling of personal power and ability to contribute to a greater good is something people often take for granted but is essential for overall health and wellbeing.
If you have customers or clients who visit your business, then they will appreciate an office building that offers luxury and harmony. In terms of attracting and retaining quality client accounts, a terrace meeting space with beautiful views, fresh air, greenery and some serene ambience might just get you there.
For great business results you first need to master great human relations through supporting healthy minds, healthy bodies, healthy spaces, and maintaining a healthy culture. When the people who work for you love what they do and love their lifestyle, you’ll see better results, less sick days and more smiles at work.