Peldon Rose is naturally a big supporter of the London Healthy Workplace Charter which has helped approximately 320,000 employees have a healthier workplace thanks to initiatives implemented by 195 organisations since the charter was launched in 2012. We were therefore delighted to be invited to speak at the London Healthy Workplace Charter Awards 2017.
Benjamin Murray, Head of Marketing at Peldon Rose, presented alongside Mayoral Health Advisor Dr Tom Coffey OBE, Founder/CEO of JoJo Maman Bebe Laura Tenison MBE and Stephen Bevan, Head of HR Research Development at Institute for Employment Studies.
There were 130 guests collecting their awards at City Hall who heard how Peldon Rose achieved commitment level in 2016 and how we’ve helped many clients maximise physical and mental wellbeing for their staff through office refurbishment and relocation projects. We’ve picked out some of the key points on how good office design can support mental and physical wellbeing and help create a healthy workplace.
There is a new era of autonomy and trust upon us in the workplace which has been implemented in many offices we’ve recently created. The key to a successful office is providing a diverse workspace which caters for everyone. To achieve this, businesses should have a wide range of spaces for people to choose where to work from according to their personality type, their role and their mood. We are all very different, so trying to force someone to work in an environment which they don’t find comfortable will not support their mental wellbeing and is likely to fail.
Get to know your staff through workplace consultancy and engage with them through change management, like our client Kantar TNS, to find out how they will be happiest and most productive and then deliver the right workplace for them. You hired them for a reason, so trust them and give them autonomy to deliver great results for your business.
Getting active and regular exercise is one of the best remedies for stress and productivity will rise from healthier, more motivated staff. Many of our clients have analysed their workplace and consulted their staff to identify under-utilised office space. They have then refurbished their office and created spaces for changing rooms and showers, quiet rooms for people to retreat to, informal break out areas and even gyms. Showers and changing rooms will encourage people to cycle to work, exercise and improve staff integration.
Our client Nicoll Curtin installed a shower and changing facilities because of staff consultation before their new office refurbishment. For those businesses who don’t have the space, there are plenty of opportunities to encourage staff to be more active. Consider installing standing meeting tables or sit-stand desks, centralise refreshments and design open plan inviting spaces to encourage people to leave their desks and walk around, meeting new people and building relationships. Other initiatives to support mental wellbeing in the office include free massages, yoga classes and mindfulness sessions.
To create a sense of belonging at work, consider an informal and open approach to communications with employees. Initiatives could include weekly all-hands meetings, monthly business forums, cross-company staff workshops on key projects and agile working practices. All these will get people circulating around the office and making new friendships.
Our bodies need regulated serotonin levels and natural light to help healthy sleep patterns, learning, information recall, mental alertness and a general good mood. Try replacing solid partition walls with glass walls and create informal meeting spaces with high-back sofas instead to help keep the office space light and open. Where possible, position staff welfare areas by the windows, like JustGiving, to maximise light and sight lines.
Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) should run at optimum levels, providing comfort cooling and healthy air for everyone. Temperatures which are too hot or too cold will reduce productivity and affect morale. Simple things such as extracting pollutants from server rooms and printers will help keep people healthy and productive.
Adding some plants in the office is a great way to improve air quality, limit noise pollution and it can also reduce tension, depression, anxiety and fatigue. Biophilic design, where you bring outdoor natural elements inside, is a growing trend which we recommend all our clients research. Some of our projects for clients such as Friends of the Earth and Pret A Manger have all included biophilic design.
Please contact us if you would more information on how good office design can support mental and physical wellbeing. We’d love to help more companies create a healthy workplace and achieve success at London Healthy Workplace Charter Awards 2018.
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