Is Your Office Environment Harming or Helping Your Business?
A good working environment can help boost your business growth while a poor one holds it back.
How do you know if your office is helping or harming your business?
In order to accurately assess if your working environment is having a positive or negative impact on your business, you should begin by asking yourself questions such as:
Are we finding it easy or difficult to attract top talent?
Is our workspace promoting the type of culture we desire?
Is our turnover above average or below average?
In the meantime, you can consider the following office space elements that might contribute or detract from a helpful working environment:
In a recent double-blind study, Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, examined the effect of air quality on cognitive performance, testing traits like strategy and crisis response skills, and the ability to focus. He found that employees scored 61% higher in cognitive function tasks at the end of the day in the air as clean as “green certified” buildings, compared to conventional air (i.e. air matching that of a typical office building).
A new study from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says employees with more light exposure during the work day sleep better and longer, are more physically active and have an overall better quality of life than office workers with limited light exposure.
What you consume changes your energy levels and cognitive abilities—and thanks to one famous Cornell University food lab study, they found that employees eat nearly twice as many candies when the candy jar is on their desk rather than six feet away—some forward-thinking companies have learned to hide the junk food behind cupboard doors and put fruit and veggies within easy reach. Other ways to encourage and offer healthy eating options include:
- Providing healthy choices for company meetings, parties, and events;
- Providing healthier food options in office cafeterias
- Adding wholesome food options to vending machines
According to the New York Times, the open-office plan is finally losing its sheen with large tech companies, including Microsoft and IBM, which have studied its effects on individuals and teams. Now the trend is toward providing a diversity of seating options, featuring isolation rooms as well as smaller, open spaces for teams of eight to 12.
Supporting Mental Health
According to the American Institute of Stress, an estimated 75–90% of visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related disorders, and studies confirm that occupational pressures and fears are the leading source of stress for American adults. With this in mind, more and more employers are promoting the use of mental health days, providing assistance or coverage for therapy or counseling services and encouraging employees to practice self-care.
We now live in a world where technology is available to keep us connected to work around the clock. Work options such as flexible scheduling, hot desking (reservation-based unassigned seating) or telecommuting ought to be implemented if applicable.
Take a look at the fun and interactive tool we created to help companies find out if their office is helping or harming their business! With our ‘Rate Your Office’ survey, employees are encouraged to let their employers know how they feel about office factors including noise levels, lighting, temperature, culture and much more. Find out how your office rates and be sure that you have a helpful environment
Find out how your office rates on a scale of 1-10 using our fun and interactive ‘Rate Your Office’ tool!