There is no denying that the work environment can greatly enhance productivity in an organization. The truth is, unless the people on your team are happy, the workplace will not be a positive and productive environment in which to work. Many factors prevent workers from reaching their full potential. It could be chronic aches or pains that plague their daily activity or stiffness that comes from sitting still for too long. Perhaps it is their workstation that is somehow limiting their progress logistically. Maybe your employees are not coming into contact with one another enough and communication breaks down or becomes stressful. Or it could be that your workers don’t feel supported by upper management. There is no shortage of options for why employees may be unhappy, but the companies that want to do well will be willing to make an effort to improve the workplace environment.
More and more companies are beginning to realize that an important aspect of a company’s overall success is the satisfaction of its employees. To ensure overall employee satisfaction, certain aspects should be implemented into the culture and work area. The Delos WELL Building Standard is a system developed by Delos, a pioneer in creating spaces that encourage human health. Administered by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI), and third-party certified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), it is designed to improve health and well-being with specific features incorporated into building projects and workplaces.
According to Delos, seven key concepts make any environment a healthier, happier and more productive place to be. The seven key concepts for a more successful workplace environment include air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
Air: The air in the building should be high quality and pure, to reduce allergies and reduce fatigue. Using filters to rid the air of any contaminants can prevent polluted air from entering the workplace.
Water: To stay healthy, focused, alert, and in control of your emotions, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and muscle cramps, among other symptoms. These can severely stunt productivity and decrease morale too. For this reason, water should be easily accessible and strategically placed throughout the workplace so that employees remember to drink water often and can easily access it.
Nourishment: It is common knowledge that better nutrition in a person’s diet has many benefits when it comes to their health and well-being. Not only does it fend off nasty diseases but it is essential for a person’s mind too. A diet lacking in nutrition leads to tiredness, irritability, stress and even depression. Increasing levels of omega-3, vitamin C and many other important vitamins and minerals increases a person’s productivity through improving mood and giving them more energy. By offering healthy snacks instead of providing a vending machine full of sugary treats with little nutritional content, companies will encourage their employees make healthier dietary choices.
Light: If the lighting in an office is too dim, this can lead to a decrease in productivity. If someone is working in an area with insufficient light, their eye muscles have to work a lot harder, which can result in strain or headaches. It also encourages a sleepy state so that the employee feels as if they have less energy and a lower ability to concentrate. However, lighting can also be too harsh, which can act as a trigger for migraines or a distraction at work. Natural light is nearly always best for an office environment. Large windows have a huge effect on employee satisfaction.
Fitness: Exercise is a hugely important part of a healthy lifestyle, and this should not be limited to our free time. Workplaces should encourage their workforce to participate in more physical activities. A business could provide information about exercises that can be done in the office space, and aim to provide tasks for their employees that let them move around every once in awhile.
Comfort: This concept centers around creating a workspace that makes it as easy and comfortable as possible to work efficiently. It requires maintaining a comfortable temperature in the office so that being too warm or too cold is not a distraction. Adequate insulation in a building is important, so that whatever the climate, you can maintain a comfortable temperature at minimal cost and effort. The comfort factor also means eliminating any unhelpful noise or other sources of discomfort within the workplace.
Mind: Supporting the mental health of your workforce is imperative for ensuring optimal productivity within your business. Doing so can take many forms. Having a recreational area where employees can relax is important and a good way of reducing stress in the team. Supporting the workforce through regular contact and giving useful and constructive feedback is a great way to making the employees feel valued.
Companies interested in providing a healthier and more supportive environment for their employees can apply for the Delos Wellness Certification through a five-step process that requires documentation and onsite verification of building improvements before the final approval. In a survey of a company where the WELL Building Standard was implemented, 83% of employees felt more productive, with 94% claiming the new space had a positive impact on their business performance.
While it’s unrealistic to expect one’s employees to enjoy coming to work on a daily basis, companies that invest in their employees and prioritize having a better working environment through the Delos WELL Building Standard are more likely to improve retention rate and employee satisfaction than those that do not. Improved employee morale will result in a more productive and engaged workforce, leading to a more successful company overall.
If you are interested in learning more about the WELL Building Standard and how standing desks can be beneficial to you and your company, you can schedule a free ergonomics consultation with our Solutions Experts.