PFM 20 7 - Page 5



NEWS
news
Let’s Focus on the Symptoms
Affecting Our Workplaces, Not
Just the Cures.
W
ellbeing has without doubt
taken center stage in the
workplace discussion in
recent years. Whether companies are
offering Pilates, providing gym
memberships or bringing out a new
healthier menu at the canteen; these
types of offerings only scratch the
surface though, in terms of the
impact the workplace can have on
employee health and wellbeing.
The focus on treating the symptoms of
unhealthy lifestyles and the negative
effects of office life is stopping us
exploring how best to go about
preventing such ailments. If we look at
building wellness into our actual
workplaces, not just having it as an
add-on, we have the opportunity to
create happier, healthier employees
from the get-go.
Wellness
issues
are
becoming
increasingly more visible in day-to-day
life, and no more so, than in the
workplace. It should come as no surprise
that happy employees will engage better
and provide better results, both for the
business and for team morale.
Unfortunately, employers can often be
reluctant to invest in wellbeing, as many
struggle to see how they will get direct
results back from the initial costs such
efforts can incur.
A successful workspace is one that
works for its employees. At Staverton,
we firmly believe that a good office offers
variety, and supports agility and
collaboration. Sit-stand desks, private
working dens and clustered desk
grouping all enable a key factor in
productive and effective working choice. Sedentary lifestyles are fast
becoming a significant disrupter to office
workers and we’re all familiar with the
claims that “sitting is the new smoking”.
These types of headlines may indeed be
media fabrications, lacking hardcore
scientific evidence, but the discussions
surrounding
them
are
certainly
becoming increasingly relevant.
Employees need choice and variety in
their daily lives. Being sat in one chair
at one desk for eight to nine hours a day
brings countless issues with it which can
greatly impact on productivity levels,
which in turn affect our employee’s
overall wellbeing. By offering an array of
working areas you can provide
opportunities for your employees to keep
moving throughout the day. Standing up,
changing desks and just walking around
the office or going for a quick walk can
all help to boost energy and productivity
levels.
The inclusion of both clustered and
hot desking
Desks that are positioned in clusters
enable sub-teams to work together with
ease, allowing for open discussion and
collaborative processes without having
to break away from your work station.
Hot desking is becoming increasingly
popular in more fluid workplaces and
larger corporate offices. Take for
example, J.P. Morgan, who have just
completed a £25m+ refurbishment on
their Bournemouth offices, they’ve opted
for an almost entirely hot-desk-based
space. Allowing employees to meet new
people, share ideas and work in new
settings every day.
Sit stand desks
Flexible furniture, such as sit stand
desks provide the perfect opportunity to
stretch your legs and battle the sluggish
post-lunch or end of the day feeling that
we all suffer from. Electronically
adjustable, these effective and popular
workstations are available in numerous
designs and are becoming a real staple
in today’s workplaces. Sit stands that are
also mobile mean not only can you stand
up to complete tasks, but change the
physical location you’re work in.
Breakout areas
Collaborative spaces and breakout
areas are the ideal option for offices that
require regular one-on-ones, informal
team meetings or semi-private phone
calls. Enclosed ‘dens’ or ‘booths’ are an
acoustically treated option that can be
fitted out with lighting and monitor
screens and provide another area where
employees can either work privately or
catch up with fellow colleagues.
Mobile partitions
Be imaginative with how you utilise and
break up your space. By using portable
partition walls or storage, you can
change how the space is divided as and
Paul Edward,
managing director, Staverton
when you require. The option is there to
be creative with it too – to make it more
visually appealing and versatile you can
decorate the partitions using biophilic
design, team photos, or infographics
with skills and team bulletins on.
A well designed and well thought out
workplace can provide countless
benefits for employers, employees and
all that interact with the space, and is
crucial to office effectiveness. A recent
report Leesman, the world’s leading
assessors of workplace effectiveness,
found that almost half of all UK
workplaces are not actually fit for
purpose. The full global survey of over
quarter of a million employees found that
only 57 per cent of people believe their
workplace enables them to work
productively. There is clearly a
considerable amount of work to be done
in this area, but employers should be
starting at the source, the physical
features, first and foremost.
The world of work is constantly changing
and wellbeing is becoming crucially
more important on the agenda. People
are working longer, and arguably harder,
than ever before. With sick pay from
mental and physical ill-health costing
billions year on year, it’s time that
employers face up to the importance of
workplace wellbeing and invest in
appropriate spaces, as well as important
initiatives.
There are countless options available to
businesses, enabling them to create
more effective, happy, and consequently
productive spaces for their employees
to work in. From partitions and breakout
zones, to hot desks and sit-stands, the
possibilities are endless and employers
should try to push the boundaries of
what is possible in their workspaces, to
get the best out of their employees and
ultimately, provide the best results for
their businesses.
Reader Reply: 207011
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