Rebuild your Environment Focused on Health
Enviah has seen a massive shift occurring in the needs of officing space during the pandemic and as we return to work. What was once standard practice is no longer. Leveraging this moment to rebuild our cultures and rebuild an environment focused on the people that make each company what it is. Gone are the days of assigned workspaces or “achieving the corner office”.
Instead, the future of work will be focused on human health and the employee. The environments where work occurs, be it in office, virtually, at home, or in community spaces, will be designed to meet those needs, rather than expecting employees to find ways to fit in a space. Humanistic design will be paramount and will have tangible effects on an organizations’ bottom line. The environment is a tool; both the built environment as well as nature. Business leaders don’t often recognize how much the environment can influence behaviors and activities. It can be a barrier. If we don’t use that environment to support and evolve an organization, and really be aligned to what your vision is, it will continue to hinder you from ever achieving your optimal potential. The need for in-person office space is no longer needed in mass amounts as we had in the past.
Through our work, we have reduced on average 40-60% of an organizations’ in-person dedicated office footprint while simultaneously designing office spaces that encourage staff engagement and collaboration in turn improving performance at their optimum. It is clear the future is a hybrid environment, but how do organizations determine needs and evaluate the benefits or the possible hindrances? Our team has defined four specific areas to increase the health of their work environment: physical health, relational health, environmental health, and mental health, which are critical to the success of each organization.
EMPOWER YOUR STAFF TO PERFORM AT THEIR OPTIMUM
Encouraging physical health in the workplace has become a necessity; the need for ergonomic working spaces and access to nature are needed to have an optimal working environment. Walking meetings can markedly improve the overall health of your team and increase overall productivity at work. Harvard Medical School reports that researchers found that walking reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31%, and these effects were seen equally between men and women and are evident even at a casual pace of 2 miles per hour. Design your work to put physical health as a priority for your team for your return to work post-COVID. Looking for a guide for scheduling your next walking meeting? Check out our recent blog post here: Walking Meetings: Discover Your New Meeting Environment
The pandemic caused the world to shift and pushed many into isolation. A critical transformation needs to take place to rebuild relationships. Many studies have been conducted regarding the measures of productivity of remote work, including the May 2020 Global Work-From-Home Experience Survey conducted by iOmetrics and Global Workplace Analytics. In this survey, it was discovered that, when working alone at home, employees say they are productive 75% of the time at home, compared to only 62% of the time at the office. However, in the same study, it is shown that responders felt that when it came to the task of collaboration and working with others, they felt 60% effective at home compared to 86% effective in the office. This data confirms the hybrid working model allowing for focused work at home, and collaborative work in the office. The new work environment needs to focus on building relational health. Relook at your in-person office space that has unassigned offices and has collaborative spaces. A multi-use space could be used that allows for social distancing and make sure to have whiteboards nearby to capture the brainstorming sessions your team is bound to have.
Slowing the curve of the pandemic is crucial to achieving a healthy hybrid working model. The model will only work if your team feels safe enough to enter into the workspace, and feel comfortable working there for extended periods of time. The pandemic has taught us that environmental health and awareness are here to stay. We need to have a supportive space to reduce the environmental transmission of disease. The physical space and cleaning need to be safe and supportive of health. Fortunately, there is legislative guidance available to align an organizations’ processes and systems of services, such as the MIOSHA COVID-19 Workplace Safety Ambassador to better implement COVID-19 regulations and best practices. The program is 100% free and offers educational and on-site support from MIOSHA ambassadors. If you are interested in this program, watch the MIOSHA Ambassador Program Overview explanation video here.
The isolation from the pandemic has also caused us all to see a need to improve our personal mental health. According to an article by Fast Company in October 2020, 40% of people have reported feeling lonely in a study conducted by the mobile coaching platform BetterUp. In the same study, it notes that lonely workers are less satisfied with their roles, which caused them to receive fewer promotions, switch jobs more often, and were more likely to quit their current job within the next six months. Combatting loneliness and declining mental health is of the utmost importance as we all relearn how to safely work with others. Prioritize the mental health of your team by implementing a wellness program that also emphasizes mental health and provides resources for your team. Building spaces for staff restoration or providing guidance on how to create mind-body practices at the home office. Consider becoming a be nice. Ambassador for your team and create an action plan to be more mindful of the mental health of your organization. If you’d like to learn more about the be nice. Ambassador program, visit their page here: be nice. Ambassador Project
Use your environment to build a healthy workplace.
To get your team started, we created an infographic to talk through these four simple steps to make your workplace healthier today. Use this as a reminder for when you are ready to get back into the office to improve your teams’ working experience and have a happier, healthier work-life.
Want to learn more? Check out our site here.