Staff Wellbeing

Why your office environment is important to your staff wellbeing

12th October 2016

Staff WellbeingIn a new study released by Savills and the British Council for Offices (BCO) almost, half (46%) of office workers think the office has a positive effect on their mental health. Another 40% believe it also has a positive impact on their physical health.

The report titled What Workers Want, polled 1.132 office workers across the UK to understand what factors they look for in the workplace, and what extent they believe their current environment satisfied those requirements.

Those working in a private office, rather than an open-plan office were more likely to say it had a positive impact on their mental health (50% opposed to 45 per cent).

The survey also asked about physical health. 40%, said the office had a positive effect on their physical state, with 30% saying it has a negative effect.

Staff WellbeingStaff WellbeingWhat Workers Want highlights the strong correlation between having control over one’s working environment and mental and physical health. Workers who say they had little or no control over their environment are far more likely to say the environment has a detrimental impact on both their mental and physical well-being.

Savills also compared respondents’ satisfaction with the light, temperature, and views in their office. Those who were dissatisfied with their office temperature reported that the office had a negative impact on their physical health. The same was also true for their mental health.

So how can your business create a positive and engaging environment for its staff? You can find our top tips below.

1. Ask your employees how you’re doing

Carry out a simple survey in consultation with your staff. This can help establish what they like and what could be improved in their environment and within the business. The survey can also incorporate wellbeing related questions. Survey Monkey provide a great template to create your questions and correlate your answers. Feedback can be implemented into a strategy for the business moving forward.

2. Make adjustments to the businesses workspace

Based on the above, your business may feel it’s important to make some changes to the layout of the working area. Departments may be better suited next to each other to encourage communication, and simple aesthetics like adjusting lighting, temperatures, including white noise systems for noisy areas of the workspace could be all you need to improve the environment.

These factors can also be assessed by a workspace analyst, through a time and space analysis. Rapport’ are on hand to advise you on this specific service should this be of interest.

Our signature process, the BALANCED Space Audit – in collaboration – with our Workspace Analyst Lily Bernheimer, is used to assess and improve space and organisational performance as well as employee wellbeing and satisfaction. You can read more about this here.

3. Re-design

Rapport has worked with many clients in the re-design of their current workspace including;

Shepherds Bush Housing Group – 20,000sqft

Maritz Research – 15,000sqft

UK Broadband – 22,000sqft

Rosebery Housing Association – 6000sqft

This is an opportunity to utilise current space more effectively and implement areas in the space that make the environment a more proactive space to work in. Alterations might include additional breakout areas with meeting pods that ensure no building work needs to take place.  The implementation of showers, for example, may encourage staff to cycle to work or get some exercise on their lunch break.

At the beginning of a redesign or relocation project Rapport’ often work with HR teams and staff to form workshops. We utilised this process during our project for The Shepherds Bush Housing Group.

4. Relocation

If the current workspace and building no longer serves the business’s needs, then relocating might be an option. It might be that the business has downsized or expanding and the current space is no longer suitable. Equally, your lease may be coming to its end, and the business feels it’s time for a fresh start.

So where do you start? Appointing an independent project manager to lead the process can leave your HR and Financial teams to get on with their job roles in hand. We work with commercial agents to help you seek the right property for the business and have a full understanding on the legalities of a commercial lease process. We also have a range of designers and relationships with contractors to lead the project in the right direction in close consultation with your business.

Offering an open book tender process, we also ensure costs are transparent throughout the whole process; this avoids hefty markups, and your project budgets are maintained.

If you’d like advice on your current or future workspace projects, you can contact us on – 01252 712590 or email us at; info@rapport-solutions.org.uk

View our full portfolio of work.

Rapport’s business blog; shortlisted in the 2016 Surrey Digital Awards.