The Impact of the Workplace on Employee Health
- Posted in
- Office Ergonomics
If a workplace doesn’t cater to the health and wellbeing of its employees, its culture is bound to fail. While productivity and company earnings are high on an organization’s list, building a culture of health and wellness in the workplace should be regarded just as highly. Research has shown that employees are far more likely to experience mental and physical health problems such as anxiety, depression, stress, hypertension, and even develop addictive coping mechanisms such as alcoholism. In fact, the World Health Organization recently defined “burnout” as an occupational phenomenon in the international classification of diseases.
At Beaux-Arts Group, we have seen the attitudes surrounding employee health in the workplace undergo a paradigm shift in the 30+ years that we have been designing solutions for our clients in medical, education, government, and retail spaces. Here are some considerations that impact the mental, physical, and emotional health of employees in their workplaces:
The health toll of disengagement
Before venturing into the benefits of creating a happy and healthy workplace, imagine the cost of higher insurance premiums, a negative employer brand, increased absenteeism, lower productivity and a reduced desire for employees to innovate. Companies that fail to address the needs of their employees are sure to feel the effects of their disengagement and disillusionment in their bottom line.
Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, has famously declared “The Workplace is Killing People and Nobody Cares” in his book, Dying for a Paycheck.
In a keynote address, Pfeffer said, “Companies that build great workplaces also improve human physical and mental health and lifespan.” He estimates that unhealthy work environments cost society a staggering $130 billion and 125,000 deaths each year.
Physical office space
The layout, design, and elements of a workplace have more effect on the wellbeing of the worker than one may imagine. Physical factors in the work environment such as overcrowding, or poor layouts may cause common accidents such as tripping, striking against objects. Not only that, but enclosed work stations may cause the employees to feel claustrophobic, trapped, or have other psychological dark connotations.
Temperature, air quality, lighting, noise, and ventilation can have a direct correlation with employee health as well as productivity. For instance, very high temperatures can lead to heat stress and exhaustion, making it intolerable for any worker to perform maximally.
Office furniture does not just perform a utilitarian function, but carefully designed and planned layouts can create a comfortable, safe environment where workers feel happy and secure.
There are several companies specializing in workplace and office furniture, such as Knoll – a furniture designer that has stood the test of time as paradigms surrounding the workplace have changed. As the leading Knoll dealer in South and Central Florida, we know at Beaux-Arts Group that their designs are built with employee health and productivity in mind. From hybrid cubicles to open designs and beyond, Knoll is one of the furniture companies that has adapted best to tailoring its designs to last.
Technology, toys, tools
Nothing is more conducive to workplace productivity than giving the employee the resources to use the best tools out there, accomplish tasks and workflows.
“This may be dictated at the employee level, or through a chain of supervisors or managers, but a process for giving workers the technology to excel will create a culture of innovation and excitement,” says Anne Adams, Principal at Beaux-Arts Group.
“At Beaux-Arts Group, we have adapted with growing trends in connected technologies in AI, video conferencing, and other networking technologies that remote teams and other virtual employees have adopted in recent years to encourage productivity,” she continues.
At Beaux-Arts Group, we understand the relationship between the workplace environment, employee productivity, and wellness. Our team focuses on the employee experience when creating workspaces that are built to last, solving complex challenges in tradition, ergonomics, and even generational differences. For more information, contact the Beaux-Arts Group today to learn more. Serving Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers and beyond.