Creating a fun and healthy office is about a lot more than
just impressing your staff and visitors. Research shows that happy employees have
better workplace productivity, take fewer days off sick, produce higher quality
work, and are more likely to stay at the same company for longer. So it pays to
keep your workforce content.
There are countless benefits to enhancing workplace wellbeing.
And the latest research from office equipment specialist, Fellowes, tells us
that 73% of Senior Managers agree that employees increasingly want more from
their place of work – not just a paycheck at the end of the day.
So how can you make your brand stand out for potential
talent? And how do you ensure better workplace wellbeing for everyone? Here are
11 ways to help you make your head office an awesome place to be.
1. Introduce Sit-stand Desks and Workstations
Revolutionary sit-stand desks and workstations
have been taking over offices across Scandinavia, already changing the lives of
80% of workers in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. Through a workplace
ergonomics concept known as Sit-Stand, businesses can keep their workforce
healthier, happier and more productive. This is done by adding more movement to
their day with desks that encourage alternating between sitting and standing to
burn more calories. Check out the full range of Fellowes Sit-Stand workstations
This is a progressive concept based on studies that suggest a
46% increase in productivity with the use of standing desks. And it doesn’t
take a mathematician to work out that healthier staff equals less sick days.
2. Encourage Cycling to Work
Another way to improve employee health is to encourage them
to be more active during their working or commuting hours. The UK’s Cycle to
Work Scheme is a great way to do this.
According to David Spiegelhalter, the Winton Professor of
Risk at Cambridge University, “every hour spent cycling can add an hour to your
life”. There are also stats to show that Tour de France cyclists have an increased
life expectancy of eight years more than the average person. [i] So cycling is
definitely a sport worth taking up!
3. Free Fruit For All
One of the simplest ways to make your employees smile is to
provide them with something delicious (and free). Not only does free fruit
encourage everyone in the office to be healthier, but it’s also been known to
make people more productive. According to research conducted by fruit provider,
Fruitful Office, workplace productivity can go up by 10% with some fresh fruit
at their desk. Additionally, more than 75% of the workers interviewed for the
study agreed that the provision of free fruit made them feel more valued within
their company. [ii]
4. Schedule Walking Meetings
Walking is the new sitting, and it’s not just keeping our
bodies fit and healthy that’s the appeal. Research reveals that walking can
have a great impact on creative thinking too [iii], so
working out your legs can also be a good workout for your brain.
Steve Jobs swore by these types of meetings, and there were
plenty of famous figures before him who advocated combined walking and thinking
activities. Including author Charles Dickens, neurologist Sigmund Freud, and
5. Enable Flexible Working
It’s no secret by now that flexible working time can boost
morale and encourage employee retention. After all, who wouldn’t want to work
for a company that helped you get a better work/life balance? But many
companies are still reluctant to approve flexi-time requests from their
The latest research actually shows us that flexible hours
can indeed improve business in many ways, with 83% of employers agreeing that
it has benefited their company and over half agreeing that it has strongly benefited their company. [iv]
6. Move to a Digital Office
The virtual office is no longer a thing of the future. It’s
time for businesses to reinvent their company HQs for the digital age, and this
includes embracing remote working. Whilst coming into the office is still an
essential part of building rapport, creating a sense of togetherness and a having
healthy company culture, there are a number of roles which can be more
flexible. Allowing team members to work from home not only boosts productivity,
but it can also be good for the environment by reducing carbon emissions.
7. Provide Ergonomic Chairs
As mentioned earlier with the Sit-Stand concept, it pays to
invest in workplace ergonomics and this includes comfortable seating design
that can support office workers’ lower backs. Ergonomics is the science of
designing the workplace in order to prevent painful and costly workplace injury,
whilst also increasing productivity. And one of the key complaints to look out
for is back pain from sitting down too much. It’s something that many office
workers are familiar with, and can have a huge impact on work quality.
Prolonged sitting and flexed spinal curvature can cause
lower back pain, and studies by the NCBI suggest that sufficient lumbar support
is required to prevent this. [v] If you have
the budget for it, invest in better chairs for everyone or at least provide
lumbar support cushions.
8. Give Workers Gym Access
Happy, healthy workers are the best kind of workers. Keep
your workforce in shape with access to an on-site gym or subsidised costs for a
local club. Just like car allowance or a funded training course, discounted gym
membership is seen as a top employment perk and can often be a deciding factor when
applying for jobs or accepting job offers. With the average Brit spending £47 a
month (that’s £564 a year) on going to the gym, it’s easy to see why.
9. Install Sleeping Pods
According to the Journal of Sleep 2009 from the National
Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, a short 20-30 minute nap each
day can improve mood as well as cognitive performance. [vi] So allocating
sleeping rooms or sleeping pods could work wonders for business productivity.
Before you shrug this off as another crazy concept in the
world of millennials, just know that it’s already been tried, tested and
approved by some of the globe’s most successful companies. Including Google,
NASA, Huffington Post, Uber, Capital One Labs, PwC, and Ben & Jerry’s (naps
and free ice cream = major work perks).
10. Have a Breakout Room
Employees need a space to think and be creative – and
breakout rooms are the solution. A comfortable, appealing and inviting breakout
area can help increase employee engagement, enhance concentration, promote
collaboration, and boost staff morale. This area needs to be a contrast from
the rest of the workplace, so don’t be afraid to invest a little extra in the
interior design elements. Giving your team a place to think up new, innovative
ideas is worth every penny.
11. Serve Breakfast at Work
What we eat affects our productivity, fact. [vii]
What we don’t eat makes us groggy. So there we have it, keeping your workforce
fuelled from the get-go is extremely important! Offer free breakfast options,
start a breakfast club, or allow a bit of extra time each morning for people to
enjoy their first meal at their desks. Research tells us that the best foods
for jumpstarting the brain are high protein food like eggs, fruits such as berries
and apples, yoghurt, as well as nuts and seeds.