The environments we live and work affect our well-being, and from Monday through Friday, most of our hours are spent at our workplace. We’ve shared the reasons why employees need to spend more time outdoors: proximity to natural elements, such as greenery and sunlight, is associated with a 15 percent increase in improved well-being and creativity, and six percent higher productivity. But it’s not just outdoors that can improve our well-being. The quality of the indoor office environment influences an employee’s health and stress levels.
Get proactive: If 85 percent of employees think workplace design is important, then you should consider adding these innovations that can improve your employee’s health and their well-being.
“Hybridization” of Spaces
Why do employees want “work from home” options? They may love their job and the company, but they need that feeling of comfort associated with the home. “Hybridization” is how properties and companies can blend elements inspired by the home, hospitality and coffee shops into the workplace. You can add a warm and inviting feel through sofas and cushioned chairs, use energizing color tones, and allow spaces beyond the desk to work, such as a communal table or chaise lounge chair.
Art and Color
Think of the emotions you feel in an art gallery. In the pop art section, with bright colors and bold pieces, you may feel energized. In the Renaissance art section, you may feel calmer. The fact that color dictates our mood is not new. But beyond just coloring the walls of your space, you can also install art exhibitions. A survey by the Business Committee for the Arts and the International Association for Professional Art Advisors found that in more than 32 companies, art reduced stress, increased creativity and encouraged the expression of opinions. Here are the colors that will enhance your workplace most:
- Yellow for energy
- Green for harmony and balance
- Blue for trust and relaxation
- Orange for creative performance
Improved Air Quality
There’s a lot of chatter about the outdoor air pollutants, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is between two and five times greater than the outdoors. Install air filters to eliminate pollutants. Better air could lead to larger improvements in decision-making, particularly with areas of planning and strategizing.
Does your office have windows? If so, this can have a major impact on well-being. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory reviewed the effects of natural light on building occupants, and the results showed higher levels of serotonin, Vitamin D and melatonin, These are vital in regulating mood, sleep, and alertness. You can tap into these benefits by situating desks near windows. If your conference rooms have windows, consider opening the blinds to let natural light in. Your employees won’t be daydreaming at the view, that daylight will radiate positive vibes.
A pop of greenery in the workplace is aesthetically pleasing and beneficial to employees. Plants balance the energy of a space and absorb noise levels. The natural green color promotes a sense of relaxation, enhances mood and improves concentration. Going back to our earlier point about air quality, a NASA study of indoor plants revealed the most effective plants at removing indoor air pollutants. Some of the plants are listed below, and they are very easy to care for indoors.
- Bamboo Palm
- Peace Lily
- Chinese Evergreen
- Moth Orchid
- Broadleaf Lady Palm
Alexa is the Content Manager & Social Strategist at Fitspot. She’s a storyteller and wordsmith who writes anything from blog posts to e-books to infographics. She’s passionate about running and fitness, and loves to share the Fitspot message of workplace wellness everywhere!