Let’s face it; there aren’t that many people who actively can’t wait to get to the office on a Monday morning. Yet improving your office environment is proven to produce happier and more productive employees. So if your workforce is showing as much get up as go as your drooping pot plants, then here’s how to create a better and more productive work environment.
Sitting in a chair all day isn’t natural for human beings, and as a result, musco-skeletal injuries such as neck strain and chronic back pain are the leading causes of absenteeism. According to the Office for National Statistics, 2013 saw a record 131 million working days lost to illness, with back and neck strain being the most common cause. As a result, employers should take precautions against back and neck complaints by investing in ergonomically designed office chairs.
Sitting, in an office chair increases stress in the shoulders and back, adding large amounts of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs. A fully adjustable ergonomic chair however, supports the back and neck and minimises the strain and slouching which contributes to neck strain and back pain.
Although it’s well known that plants in the office oxygenise the environment, they also filter the air of chemical pollutants and improve concentration amongst workers. Research carried out by scientists from the Universities of Exeter, Groningen in The Netherlands, and Queensland, Australia, found that enriching an office with plants could increase productivity by as much as 15%.
Other studies show that the presence of pot plants also reduced stress, tiredness, dry throats, headaches and coughs. So make your office more attractive and healthier with a few pot plants, and you should also find you have a perkier workforce.
Our bodies’ natural rhythms and hormones respond to light, so when we don’t get enough of the right type of light, then sickness, sleeping problems, stress and lack of energy are common side-effects. Natural daylight for as long as possible is best, but if that’s not possible, then try replacing traditional incandescent bulbs or fluorescent lighting with LED lighting. This form of light is more closely related to natural light.
A messy and chaotic environment reduces efficiency, gives a poor impression, and causes stress to workers. Cluttered desks may be the responsibility of the individual, but lack of storage space and filing cabinets is often a major contribution to the problem. If your workforce are forced to share desks, office supply specialists recommend desks with ample drawers and a ‘clean desk at the end of the day’ policy to help avoid disputes about clutter and mess.
There has been a great deal of research into the psychological effects of colour, and the office is no exception. A drab and colourless environment results in drab colourless work. Consider injecting colour into the workplace, bearing in mind the different results colour can produce. Orange stimulates creativity, yellow sharpens the intellect, whilst blue and green calm the mind and reduce stress and tension.
Bill Turner is a technology guru and entrepreneur. He is a free-lance writer who specialises in guest blogging. When he’s not marathon training, you can find him strolling the beach front.