If you spend at least one third of your working day in the office, then your office surroundings matter. Although company owners may not have control over the entire building, they can make a difference by encouraging a healthy and stimulating environment. Here are five steps to a healthier office.
1. Air quality. According to a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency, six out of ten offices have an unhealthy environment in terms of indoor air quality. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that ionising leads to reducing dust in the air by 52%. Figures from the Indoor Air Quality Scientific Findings Resource Bank show that improved air quality leads to a 10% increase in productivity.
This proves that getting an air purifier and choosing an air conditioning hire service may help create a healthier office while boosting employee productivity, without investing in costly equipment or refurbishment.
2. Lighting. Studies show that natural light reduces fatigue and stress as well as increases productivity. Ensure that desks, bulletin-boards and bookshelves are all well-lit areas. Try to provide both natural light and well-planned artificial lighting. For instance, replacing fluorescent tubes with full-spectrum tubes may help provide a natural spectrum of light inside the office.
3. Green plants. Green plants do much more than just contribute to the beauty of the office environment. They clean the air by adding oxygen and humidity and absorbing pollutants. Additionally to filtering the air, plants are believed to fight the so-called “sick building syndrome” that causes reduced productivity, lower earnings, absenteeism and medical expenses.
To enhance the office environment, look out for such plants as aloe, bromeliad, bamboo palm, spider plant, orchid, gerbera daisy, azalea, lacy tree philodendron, and elephant ear philodendron as they are most effective in air purification, based on the NASA studies.
4. Ergonomics. Chair, desk and mouse ergonomics are also important for ensuring a comfortable atmosphere. The height of desks and chairs should be adjusted with the ergonomics principles in mind to prevent back and neck aches of employees.
5. Healthy breaks. It’s vital for employees to relax during the working day to avoid information overload and fatigue. Ensure employees take breaks from work to give the eyes a rest – a window view or piece of artwork may help. Encourage healthy eating by providing healthy snacks and bottled water.
Some business owners take a step further by organising colour therapy – painting the walls or using decoration elements in orange, yellow, and red stimulates creativity and intellect, while using blue and green is beneficial for fighting physical and mental tension. A quiet micro-space for breaks is also a great solution.
By providing a healthy office environment, it’s possible to improve workers’ efficiency, alleviate stress and boost productivity.