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Workplace Atmospherics and Employee Productivity

Published: Thursday 10th October 2019

Many studies have found that the quality of the work environment can have a big impact on employee productivity. Quality work space design and workplace atmosphere leads to a less stressed and better performing workforce. In other words, employees need to be comfortable in order to do their best work.  

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Better for employees, better for business 

One study, the Fellowes Workplace Wellness Trend Reportfound that 87% of workers would like their current employer to offer healthier work space benefits, including wellness rooms, ergonomic furniture and healthy eating options. And 93% in the tech industry said they would stay longer at firms that offered a more comfortable workplace atmosphere. 

So what can employers do to improve workplace comfortability? Let’s look at the main factors that influence workplace atmosphere: 

Access to clean air and water 

The quality of air in the workplace can have a significant impact on employee health and productivity. The World Green Business Council saw an 11% increase in productivity as a result of improving air quality and reducing pollutants in the workplace. Even in small businesses, this can be achieved by implementing a no-smoking policy, keeping offices clutter-free, adding office plants and opening windows.  

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Bigger organisations should look at installing air filtration systems to improve air quality, and even look at ways of regulating humidity. Not only is this good for employee health, it can also extend the life of costly office equipment, such as computers 

Staying hydrated can improve sleep, concentration and energy levels, so providing accessible drinking water, such as water-coolers, while promoting the benefits of drinking enough H2O to staff makes solid business sense.  

Healthy food options for workers means healthy business 

You are what you eat and if you want your staff to be the best they can be, then having healthy food options on hand is one way to do itOffering healthy free snacks such as fresh fruit is one simple way to make sure staff get their five a day. Free food at work has also been shown to improve staff retention. 

Colleagues discussing over lunch

If you have enough space, adding a gym can be an attractive benefit for staff, as well as your business. Alternatively, if there’s a gym nearby, you might be able to negotiate a discount for employees. Likewise, providing storage for bikes will mean more staff will cycle to work and enjoy the health benefits that come with that.  

Finally, if you’re able to include a medical facility or introduce health-screening for staff, you could not only improve productivity but reduce absenteeism and even help employees catch potential health issues early on. 

Help employees see the light 

Creative office interior with bicycle, reception desk, several desks with computer monitors

Quality of light in the workplace is hugely important. According to one survey, employees that sit just ten feet from a window offering natural daylight enjoyed an 84% decrease in eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. So, when designing office layout, try to get as many employees near to windows as possible. Maximise natural lighting throughout, perhaps through the addition of skylightsor by removing any furniture blocking sunlight. Make sure any dead or flickering lights are replaced quickly and try to use purpose lighting, such as ambient and task lighting, within the work space, to maximum effect 

Ensuring employees are comfortable at work isn’t just important from a health and safety standpoint; it also increases motivation, boosting performance and productivity. Healthy employees make for a health business.  

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