This Mental Health Awareness Month should be used to identify factors in your office that can be improved or are causing conflict with your employees.
Being an office worker may mean an individual spends a lot of time sitting down at a desk, looking at a computer screening, eating unhealthy snacks and being stressed from the workload. Wellbeing is not only an essential aspect for a person’s health, but also for their productivity and work ethic. An individual is far more likely to work harder when their mind is focused and their body is in peak condition.
Design the Office for Everyone
The office space needs to be a representative for every individual’s personal needs. There will be members of your staff that want private time in their working day and others that already feel isolated and want an opportunity to converse in social spaces. The office plan has moved away from either being open plan or cubicle and has settled seemingly on a balanced mixture of both, with the best aspects from both designs being incorporated together.
For so long, offices have been designed with cost and space in mind, so much so that employers have forgotten that different people need different options, especially when it comes to working styles. Sitting in front of a screen all day not only strains workers’ eyes, but also their mind and body. An office can be an extremely busy environment, and it would be unfair to put individuals who struggle to work and do not feel comfortable in an open space with lots of people talking. Therefore, an office should have areas a person can go to if they are feeling distressed and wish to work more privately.
With A Little Help from Employers…
Methods must be taken to reduce external factors of stress an office could cause a person. If an individual is stressed they may overeat or not eat at all and become socially introverted and distant. This not only affects the member of staff, but also their workload and their peers. Elements that could impact a person negatively could be conflict with other employees, too much work, dehydration and decreased activity. All these could contribute to a lack of motivation and have a greater impact on the business.
As an employer it is important to make your staff know you are there for them and that it is safe environment for them to talk to you about their issues. A good idea would be to hold seminars and have guest speakers come in to speak about mental health. Employees need to know that they are not fighting their personal battles alone and that the office is a safe environment to work in and that their employer is a safe person to vent to.
Think Physical Too
An employer should think about ways they can intertwine exercise into the working hours. For example, the office could have some desks you can only use if you stand up or optional gym balls to sit on instead of computer chairs. Enforce breaks and lunches outside – make sure every member of staff is taking some time for themselves during the working day.