The subject of health and wellbeing in the workplace is associated by many to be the domain of large companies; they have all the space and resources to redesign their offices, install new equipment,even create in-work gyms and wellness facilities. However, even the smallest office refurbishment can support health and wellbeing, which is great news for small and medium-sized firms.

Here, we're going to look at how any company of any size (and budget) can make their workplace a better, healthier place to work.

Creating an SME office refurbishment that promotes health and wellbeing

Workplace wellbeing isn't a secret concept or something that has appeared as a reaction to the 2020 Conoravirus pandemic – it's something that's been around for many years.Repeated studies have shown that placing a focus on employee wellbeing can improve productivity, increase morale, reduce sick days and cater for better staff retention.

It stands to sense; nobody wants to work in a dull,uninspiring office that actively works against them; the office needs to work for them instead – aiding them, not hindering.

This is why an increasing number of companies have been embracing the workplace wellbeing concept; with COVID placing an increased focus on health at work, the vast majority of firms will be adopting it too. It could be the case that a firm that does not move towards a more health-conscious environment will get left behind.

So how can a growing SME use an office refurbishment to promote wellbeing? Let's take a look:

Versatility is key for workplace wellbeing.

Those days when employees spent 8 hours sat at the same desk are over in many workplaces. Businesses have recognised that providing a variety of work settings, allowing staff to choose where and when they work, will help to address several daily work-balance issues. This can manifest itself in things like breakout spaces, which are designed for informal catch-ups, collaboration or just somewhere for people to detach themselves away from the stressful work arena.

Although the desk is still a place where much of the work is performed, the main change is that it is no longer the only place in which employees can work. Having such versatility in the workplace can not only have psychological advantages that aid work, but it helps physical health too; promoting greater movement and less sedentary working.

Consider sit-stand desks and standing meetings.

Speaking of which; increased movement is vital in workplace wellbeing and discussions on how to improve it within the office has led to the trend of sit-stand desks and standing meetings. Standing while working for just an hour a day can have a great impact on our health; helping to decrease blood pressure, cholesterol and stress levels.

The concept of standing meetings have also risen in prominence in recent years; while sharing the same benefits of the sit-stand desk, they are considered a more efficient form of collaboration too. As a result, newly-designed offices are incorporating things like tall working benches to facilitate these meetings.

Improve lighting.

Lighting plays a crucial role in workplace wellbeing; from an office refurbishment perspective, having and using as much natural light as possible is recommended, so window displays are important. It's also important to have a strategy for areas that are designed for distinct types of work too; artificial lighting, such as LED, can create a limitless spectrum of colour meaning that no one environment will have the same, constant shade of light thrown down upon it.

Think about colour.

Colour, like the lighting, has a major impact on the mood in the office, with certain colours helping to set a sense of calm or driving creativity. This is why office designers aren't afraid of embracing colour in workplace wellbeing; more brighter colours, usually associated with home interiors, have been making their way into offices. This helps to create a 'home from home' in the workplace; the thinking being that we feel comfortable, safe and content at home, so using similar colours to create the same feelings in the office will help to boost the mood during the working day.

Bringing nature indoors.

As humans, we are drawn to nature and the concept of Biophilic Office Design takes advantage of this; using lighting, colours and natural materials. Aside from the aforementioned natural light and colours, introducing greenery (such as plants and living walls), improving the views from key working spaces and incorporating natural finishes (such as wooden or reconstituted wood tables and finishes) are great ways to create a Biophilic effect within the workplace.

Encourage activity within the office.

An increasing number of firms are using an office refurbishment, not just for complete overhauls, but for small changes that can boost certain wellbeing aspects too. With activity being an important part of wellbeing, areas are being created to encourage employees to move more; bike storage, gyms and fitness suites are growing in popularity within workplace design.

These areas do not need to be extravagant; they can be something as simple as a games room that has table tennis, table football or a pool table –or just somewhere that a person can put down a mat and exercise. As long as it helps people to unwind and recalibrate, it's worth looking at.

Interested in refurbishing your workplace to aid employee wellbeing? Get in touch with Oaktree today

Here Oaktree Interiors, we are a vastly experienced office design and build company, having carried out hundreds of fit out, refurbishment and relocation projects across London and the South East of England.

As a result of our innovative approach, we have established a leading service that has helped many different types and sizes of businesses to better utilise their offices. If you've been thinking about improving your office interiors for the future, feel free to get in touch with us.

On our website, you'll be able to find additional information on our services; our case studies page contains many examples of the bespoke work we have carried out for our myriad of clients (presented in high-definition imagery and in-depth text).

Please take your time looking around this website to familiarise yourself with our office refurbishment services; if you would like further information on anything you might have seen, why not consider getting in touch with us directly? You can call our team on 0345 21 86955 or you can send an e-mail to hello@oaktreeoffice.com
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