The future of work is about the “employee experience.” It’s about creating a space where employees want to show up. Pat Wadors, Human Resources Manager at Linkedin, defines it as a “beautiful experience”.
The physical environment in which people work plays a significant role in their overall wellbeing. Employee wellbeing is directly related to productivity and performance which in turn affects the performance of the company as a whole. Therefore, by paying attention to the likes of office layout , décor and design you are essentially investing in the employee wellness of your workforce.
There is a move toward creating collaborative workspaces which include “creative nodes” or innovation hubs, co-working cafés, cubicles, presentation rooms and small meeting rooms. Leading companies like Linkedin and Airbnb have moved away from single floor plans to the multiple node concept described here.
There are other advantages to recreating workspaces in the office and one is that you can reduce noise levels, which increase anxiety and stress for individuals working in open plan offices. In addition, the close proximity of workers in one space allows for the increased spread of germs.
As a business owner, your days are likely spent in high level meetings concerned with trends, projections and strategy rather than the mundane tasks involved in the facilitation of the day-to-day running of the company. Having a clean and healthy workspace is directly related to productivity and ties in with the “employee experience”.
One of the causes of illness amongst office workers is Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). SBS is a condition that takes in a range of symptoms thought to be linked to spending time in a certain building. Cold – like symptoms include:
• incessant sneezing and coughing
• mysterious aches and pains
• eye and throat irritation
• dry skin and rashes
• headaches and nausea
The symptoms may occur alone or in conjunction with others but the big telling factor is that once you leave the building the symptoms disappear.
It is often the result of clogged ventilation systems where the contaminated air is recycled throughout the building. The best way to combat the spread of germs in the workplace is to:
• Dust regularly to minimise irritants for people who suffer from hay-fever
• Encourage improved hygiene amongst staff
• Keep communal ablutions clean. Deep cleaning can be outsourced to professionals
• Clean ventilation ducts and replace air filters regularly.