The importance of creating a comfortable working environment

Adding plants to your office environment makes the air healthier.

By Leanne Thompson

You may not realize just how important the working environment is to the ongoing satisfaction of your employees and the success of your small business. In fact, making sure that the workspace is comfortable can have a significant impact on employee performance and productivity levels.

A comfortable physical space helps to create a more positive atmosphere, which, in turn, leads to improved motivation and a greater will to produce good results. For instance, high levels of natural light in the workplace can increase exposure to vitamin D, which helps to improve mood. A clean environment, free from clutter helps to remove distractions and improve concentration levels. Have you considered whether you actually need all of those chairs cluttering up a meeting area for instance? If a space is not being used on a continual basis, it’s often a good idea to use flexible seating options such as stacking chairs.

Experts at Stacking Chairs UK state: “Stacking chairs are manufactured to be lightweight and sturdy, so they can easily be moved into position when a meeting is happening, then picked up and stacked afterwards.”

Is a comfortable environment really that important?

Hopefully, you can see that having a comfortable working environment is very important. Several studies have confirmed this. According to one piece of research, 25% of office workers asked said that the environment they worked in had a negative effect on their level of productivity. Further research suggests that problems with comfort in a workplace environment can result in health issues for workers and increased levels of absenteeism.

Given that workplace comfort is so important for a business, what can you do to improve comfort levels?

Appropriate seating or the choice to stand

It helps to use several different types of seating in an office, from flexible seating solutions like stacking chairs, to ergonomically designed chairs for employees to sit on each day. Office workers often spend around 35 hours each week at their desks, so they need a chair that provides them with a high level of comfort and support including:

– A seat that is adjustable.

– Lumbar support for posture.

– Arm rests that adjust.

– The ability to swivel, enabling easy movement.

In certain cases, employees may prefer to stand at their desk. This is often the case when people have back problems. Enabling this to happen means investing in an adjustable desk and any other aids that are necessary.

Using open plan offices effectively

Open plan spaces are popular in modern offices. They help to promote interaction and create an environment that has plenty of natural light and space. It’s important to manage open plan spaces effectively making use of flexible furniture solutions and partitions, to make sure that space is optimized and that noise is kept to a comfortable level. Often, it helps to work with design and build professionals who can ensure that your office design projects are completed seamlessly and on time.

Keeping the temperature at the right level

One of the biggest issues that can adversely affect workplace comfort is the temperature being at the incorrect level. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on recommended levels and what business owners can do to ensure that comfortable temperature levels prevail. These measures include the use of fans and re-locating individuals to a part of the workplace where the temperature is more suited to their needs.

Using plants in an office

You may not think that bringing plants into an office would have that much effect. In fact, research has shown that plants can help improve mood and increase productivity. Plants also absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen. This helps to improve the quality of the air in a workplace. This makes breathing easier and creates a healthier place for employees to work in.

Making sure that your employees are comfortable as they work is not just important from an HR and health and safety point of view; it also increases motivation levels, and improves performance and productivity. This makes it a very important consideration for your business.

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Leanne Thompson is a freelance writer with a passion for business and creating informative articles. Her interests include travelling and when she’s at home you’ll find her head in a good book.

 

1 comment

  1. You may not realize just how important the working environment is to the ongoing satisfaction of your employees and the success of your small business. In fact, making sure that the workspace is comfortable can have a significant impact on employee performance and productivity levels.

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