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Impact of Office Space on Employee Health

by RaihanGardiner

Office workers spend most of their working lives in the office, which makes it natural that the arrangement, design, and layout of the office environment has a great impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of employees. One of the primary driving factors of the layout and appearance of an office space is usually productivity, with several management metrics (such as waste due to motion in lean manufacturing) focusing on the arrangement of equipment and rooms in an office to maximise productivity of employees. However, another factor that should be considered is the employees’ health, as this has a much more profound and long-term impact on the health of the business and its longevity. However, while office design is a valuable investment for a company, a change in the corporate culture to reflect these values is much more important.

A quality workplace is known to reduce stress and make employees more productive. They can also reduce various health issues that can arise such as sick building syndrome or ergonomics issues, especially in workplaces where the employees are sedentary for a long time such as finance and tech. Modern office spaces, especially those built to service third parties such as office space Collingwood are designed around creating a clutter free open space for employees. These can range from architectural choices to include more natural lighting and ventilation or the addition of break rooms, wellness rooms, or strictly corporate decisions such as fitness benefits, healthier lunch options etc.

Physical Health and Exercise

Many office workers, especially those who work mainly with computers, are at risk of various physical ailments such as CTS, RSI, and posture issues due to most of their time being spent in front of a computer or sitting at a desk. These employees can benefit greatly from corporate fitness benefits such as gym membership sponsorships or wellness rooms where employees are allowed to exercise during breaks. An overwhelming majority of tech employees prefer healthier workplace benefits are likely to stay longer at companies which offer them. Notable examples for companies that do offer such benefits are Google, Apple, and Facebook. Promoting physical fitness by itself is less useful if the employees are not allowed time to engage in physically stimulating activities, however.

Mental Health and Stress

Employees spend a significant portion of their lives in the office, and it is therefore important to consider their mental wellbeing when designing the office space. Older iterations of the office environments were marked by cramped cubicles which were generally considered unpleasant to be in but were used because they consumed less space, which saved the company money. Over time, this more open floor areas have been used with cubicles becoming less common. A quality workplace is one that enables employees to complete their work without undue mental duress. The indoor air quality and natural lighting and ventilation play a large part in the psychological profile of a building occupant as our bodies have positive psychological response to natural light.

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