"To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear" ~Buddha
Statistics on working days lost due to sickness made for sobering reading, but when you hone those stats down to working days lost due to work-related incidents, be that work-related illness or workplace injuries, you begin to see that your office design, fit out and furniture are not all about design.
UK workers take an average of nine days' sick leave each year, more than four times as many as other Western European countries and this costs UK employers about £29 billion a year in lost productivity. Making the workplace a safe, secure and healthy environment could save you a great deal of lost working time and of money.
3 Healthy Workplace Ideas:
Office Furniture: Musculoskeletal problems, including upper and lower limb disorders, repetitive strain injuries, osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, can be alleviated and/or prevented by ensuring that you have suitable workstations for each employee. There's been a lot of debate about standing desks, the latest 'hot' new office chair has been created by Box Clever that aims to get you standing and moving, and there are some firms who have introduced treadmill meetings. Get the basics right and you will help keep your staff healthy.
Office Fit Out: The need for an office fit out can be the catalyst for considering workplace optimisation. The design and layout of your offices have to take into consideration functionality, fluidity and form - and they also have to be safe working places. Everyday equipment needs to be safe, cables need to be stored, furniture has to be functional. Recent research conducted by the British Council for Offices (BCO) found that the most important factors perceived to be driving employees’ sense of satisfaction with their workplace can be bracketed under ‘getting the basics right' - and you can go a long way to achieving this if you get your fit out spot on.
Office Design: There has been a 20% increase in office workers saying that they would prefer their own dedicated desk space since 2013 - now up to 60%. Does this signal a move away from the open plan office design? It remains important to incorporate open spaces, work places where employees can come together, but there is a trend for needing "my space". Office design has to reflect and reinforce the functionality required by your workforce, and designing with your staff's needs at the forefront will help to create a happy, and healthier, company environment.
Creating a reassuring, communicative, healthy workplace where employees are happy and confident in their employer’s support can have a positive effect on absenteeism.