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How office design can improve mental health

Mental health is becoming a concern for employers across the UK, and nearly a third of UK businesses state that mental health and well-being is more important than physical illness. By creating opportunities for breaks or developing more open-plan spaces, employers can positively impact the lives of people working for them.

Why is mental health important?

Your employees’ mental wellbeing matters. Looking after your employees is central to any business and their success, to put it simply, happy people make for happy customers.

As a society, we must do everything we can to help those in need. Evaluating the way we work and trying to understand how it affects employees is part of that process.

What are businesses getting wrong?

Interior design and layout can have both a positive and negative impact on mental health. Have you ever thought about how your office could be affecting staff morale and mental wellbeing?

A noisy work environment caused by poor acoustics can be distracting for workers, and those exposed to excessive noise for long periods of time are more likely to show symptoms of stress. In the long term, this stress can lead to poor mental health including issues such as depression and anxiety.

Cluttered, closed off or confined work areas mean employees lack personal space, which can inhibit concentration and productivity.

On top of this, restricting natural light can be linked to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression associated with the change in weather and climate, particularly common in winter.

How improving your office design and layout can help

The benefits of redesigning an office can be both quantitative and qualitative. A more motivated workforce can lead to greater productivity, and fulfilled staff are less likely to suffer from mental health issues.

Not all mental health problems are linked to a person’s place of work, but a well-designed office can create a positive environment to talk about issues with management or peers.

Absenteeism can be improved too. A report by Bupa found that an estimated 743,000 employees in the UK took long-term absence in the last 12 months, due to mental health issues.

How do we improve employee mental health?

As part of the process of office designs, fit-out and refurbishment, we aim to create more open environments, giving your workers enough personal space and freedom to work comfortably and flexibly.

Another component of our design process is workplace analysis, which accounts for the amount of light in an office as well as space, material and service optimisation.

To find out how we can help you make your workspace inspired by your people, contact us here.

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