Thrive at work with a well work environment
Our tips and insights into creating a work environment that boosts your work life and wellbeing.
Let’s face it, as humans we are very much impacted by our environment. A majestic view can ignite creativity, a lush garden or water feature can make us feel calm, and a comfortable home means we feel more content. Employees spend a lot of time at work, where the physical environment influences well-being, performance and productivity. With work taking up a good portion of our lives it is important that we have a work environment, whether in the office or at home, that helps us achieve our goals. Increased work life integration and work demands means we need to consciously manage our wellness in all aspects, including our environment. Environmental wellness means your surroundings are pleasant, stimulating and support your well-being. Ideally that should promote interaction with nature and create an enjoyable atmosphere for you at work. Remember a positive work environment will drive positive change.
We have put together some simple tips to help you create a work environment that boosts your wellbeing. Why not reset your workspace and try implement one or two of these this month?
What is the impact of your environment?
Studies have shown that our work environment impacts all aspects of us as people, our cognition, emotions, concentration, behaviors, actions and abilities. In the absence of an ideal work environment, employees feel burdened, unheard, disengaged, and unhappy. The phyiscal work environment is critical to performance, satisfaction and wellbeing. In fact, it is one of the most important factors in whether we are satisfied and put in discretionary effort with our work. Employees who have a well place to work are less likely to miss work, and absenteeism is a large hurdle to productivity for individuals, teams and organisations.
- Ideally work places should meet the health and safety requirements laid out by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA 85 of 1993).
- A healthy and safe workplace enhances employees physical and mental capabilities at work, as well as improves wellbeing.
- A considered work place can further positive work outcomes, enhance leadership and drive strategy.
Tips for a Well Work Environment
Here are our top suggestions to consider and bring into the work place to enhance your work environment and wellness.
Consider legislative requirements
Ensure that your workplace is aligned to and compliant with all the relevant and mandatory Occupational Health and Safety requirements. These can be industry specific and are usually clearly laid out in the relevant Act.
An important part of doing your work is how and where you do it. Make your work station ergonomically sound using a supportive chair, sitting correctly, having your screen at the right height for your eye level and trying out a standing desk.
Check your lighting
Focus on natural, bright light where possible. Try light your work space from overhead. Manage the blue light from your screens can be managed through IT settings and cellphone settings. Remember to take screen breaks to give those eyes a rest.
Create a sense of flow
A big part of a positive work experience is getting into a flow state, this requires you to have a comfortable temperature to work in, manage noise and be comfortable. Imagine looking forward to sitting at your work space because it is inviting and the best place to get things done. Some tips include working in a 22-degree Celsius room, try playing white, pink or brown noise that helps your focus, and make sure you find it comfortable to work where you set up. It is also important to remember air quality, your brain needs that delicious oxygen.
Get tech savvy
With many of us our jobs a strongly dependent on technology, make sure you have the most appropriate equipment to execute your tasks. Invest in the programmes and hardware you need to get things done professionally and efficiently.
Streamline and consider all your resources you use when working, try not to print unnecessarily, reuse paper, recycle and keep your waste levels down – that way you can feel good about your resources you use to get the job done.
Make it welcoming
You can’t achieve the environmental wellness you want unless you clean up, declutter and refresh your space. Try clean up daily and refreshing your workspace on a Friday afternoon. Why not bring some plants into your work area or brighten the space with a mirror or art you enjoy? After all you spend most of your week here so you might as well ensure you like it.
Colour has an impact on the human brain and body, with colour impacting our wellness and productivity. One colour cannot be said to impact all people alike or to be best suited to all types of work because of culture, gender and varying work requirements. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider what the colour precipitates in you and your team and the type of work to be done and decorate or paint accordingly.