The Impact of the Workplace on Employee Wellbeing
The planning and execution of our office-based design and build projects are built on far more than just aesthetic appeal. Excellent office design combines aesthetics with great functionality and flexibility to create a space that’s tailored to those who will be using it, with the aim of helping people feel happier, healthier and more productive at work.
To assist us in continuing to transform workspaces all over the UK, we carried out a workplace wellbeing survey last year to gain more insight into how different businesses tackle and approach employee wellbeing, if at all!
With 40 respondents from various backgrounds completing our workplace survey, we got some amazing insights into workplace wellbeing. Although we've been using these insights to assist our services behind the scenes, we figured it would also benefit other employers and employees who want to improve wellbeing in their workplace too. Let's discuss our findings!
Are Workplace Wellbeing Strategies Important to Employees?
Employee wellbeing is becoming a bigger priority for more organisations across the globe as employers are recognising the importance of caring for their staff to improve the happiness, productivity, creativity and retention of their employees.
This also means that it's becoming somewhat of a necessity for organisations to cater to wellbeing in order to compete for the best quality staff.
Our wellbeing survey demonstrates the indisputable importance of employee wellbeing, with 100% of our survey respondents saying that workplace wellbeing is important. Despite this, 50% of these respondents said that their current place of work does not have a wellbeing strategy in place, with only 14% being able to to confirm that they did.
Uncovering the Relationship Between Office Environment and Wellbeing
The relationship between good office design and employee wellbeing is a link we have understood for a while, and we now have some stats to support it!
Our survey results showed that 97% of respondents consider the office environment to be an important part of workplace wellbeing, with 86% saying that the office environment is a significant factor when looking for a new opportunity.
With employees spending so much time in the office, it's inevitable that the environment is going to have an effect on their wellbeing in the workplace.
From communication and distractions to lighting levels and ergonomics, there are many factors that have a profound effect on employees at work.
Understanding the Office Struggles
To refurbish or design a new office space that caters to the needs and wants of its employees, it's beneficial to recognise the struggles that many people face with their current space.
We asked our survey respondents to report on the size of their current office space in relation to their team, and 50% of them feel as though their office is too small.
Limited space in the workplace can have a significant and negative impact on employees as it can lead to discomfort whilst also making it harder to work productively and efficiently, which can then induce stress and anxiety.
More often than not, a space simply isn't being used to its full potential and can be considerably improved with some careful space planning from the professionals to create a functional space that operates exactly as its users need it to.
On other occasions, a relocation to a bigger space is needed. Either way, it's beneficial to ensure that there is adequate space for employees! Why not use our office space calculator to get a general idea of the size of space your business needs?
Mental Wellbeing at Work
Our findings showed significant numbers of employees having suffered stress (58% of respondents), noise pollution (50%) and anxiety (47%), proving that these are all commonplace issues within the office that can affect the mental wellbeing of your team.
The above issue can impair the mental wellbeing of employees and can even lead to burnout and other health issues, if experienced in the long-term.
With many modern offices opting for an open-plan floor layout (great for encouraging collaboration, socialisation and creativity), noise pollution can swiftly become a big issue for the people working in it.
There are, however, some fantastic office design solutions that help to lower noise levels and improve office acoustics, which businesses can benefit from introducing.
Common Physical Strains in the Office Environment
A staggering 81% of respondents report to having experienced headaches at work, with 72% experiencing eye strain from too much screen time or poor lighting, 64% experience back pain from bad posture/poor ergonomic furniture, and 33% experience neck pain, which can be linked to incorrect screen heights.
It’s unsurprising that so many employees report to having suffered with eye strain when 81% of respondents stated they had never experienced a digital detox during the working day.
A digital detox is defined as “a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.”
But all of these strains can actually be minimised through thoughtful office design. An ergonomic office focuses on the way employees engage with a space, developing a layout and selecting furniture that helps to reduce those unwanted pains and strains. Does your office have these measures in place?
Prevalent Wellbeing Incentives Offered by Employers
Our survey found that employees were offering an number of wellbeing incentives for their staff, with the most common incentives being: activity/team away days (47%), bike/walk to work schemes (33%), sit-stand desks (25%) and then gym memberships/subscription discounts (25%).
What do Employees Really Want?
When it came to selecting one thing that employees wanted to be improved in their workplace, 39% of respondents stated they’d like flexible working hours to be introduced, and 28% said they would like to see a refurbishment of their office space to better suit the way they like to work.
As we stated before, 25% of the companies we surveyed were offering gym memberships and subscriptions as an incentive for their workforce, however only 2.8% of workers were interested in this as a wellbeing incentive.
The results of our wellbeing survey dips into what employees want and what they get from their workplace when it comes to their mental and physical wellbeing. They also give a bit of insight into the areas that employers can start to look at to improve the workday experience for their team.
We use insights like this to aid our office design and build projects so we can develop spaces that will benefit a business and its team of employees!