How Can Your Office Layout Impact Your Employee’s Mental Health? It’s important that employers fully understand the effects that stress can have on both the individual and the workplace productivity as a whole. In fact, as many as one in six UK workers will be affected by a mental health condition or problem relating to stress, which equates to 70 million lost working days a year.
So it’s important to recognise that the state of the company office is one of the most important parts of the business. This is the heart of company culture. It’s not all about catered breakfasts or the option to play ping-pong during a break.
It’s about building a place that employees like to spend time in, where they can feel inspired to do their best work. This could be down to the materials used, colours picked and the layout itself. An impact that can dramatically impact the overall well-being of your employees and colleagues.
Employees will be spending a huge chunk of their day inside the office, so an adequately lit and well-ventilated working area is a great motivator for them to go to work every day. What the eyes can see can either have a positive or negative effect on a person’s brain activity, so adding a bit of colour to your office can benefit your employees. The right combination reduces stress, boosts creativity, and raises morale.
The noise inside the office can also have an impact on the mental well-being on staff. The fact that a number of regular tasks need quiet focus but your open plan environment prohibits this can be the underlying reason for low productivity and high stress levels amongst some of your team. That said, noise is still the biggest factor when it comes to distractions. Consult professional opinion on how to change your office layout to minimise noise distractions. This can be fixed by relocating frequent telephone users and changing their desk orientation, as well as other tactics like installing fabric covered desk screens, more soft furnishings or purposefully designed suspended ceiling grids.
Offices designed with these issues in mind can make people feel better emotionally and physically, and can help them with concentrating and collaborating. Excessive noise can trigger the stress response, where employee’s bodies release cortisol and adrenaline.
Long term this can cause anxiety and depression. It has been proven that overcrowding can also trigger the stress response. If the office is overcrowded, cluttered and personal space is lacking, employees often feel stressed and anxious which significantly lowers concentration levels. Creating collaborative spaces, as well as areas to relax and de-stress, are also important. Breakout areas, hot-desking and informal meeting areas all benefit towards creating a more relaxed and varied environment for your work employees.