Key changes in the workplace to support employee mental health - Niki Fuchs in HR Review

1 min read
Published: 9 Mar 2021 9:29

Supporting employee mental health is becoming a priority among businesses. Even before Covid-19 stress, anxiety and other mental health related issues were driving workplace absence. In the UK, 70 million working days were lost each year, costing approximately £2.4 billion in lost productivity annually.

In a recent article with HR Review, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Office Space in Town Niki Fuchs shares her tips on how businesses can capitalise on office design to reduce employee stress and encourage happiness.

Niki highlights how engaging with employees to understand what they need from their workplace to best support their wellbeing, can ultimately benefit a business’ productivity.

Prioritising workspace design can play a significant role in the overall staff wellbeing. Mood, productivity and mental health can all be positively (or negatively) impacted by the smallest of climate factors: room temperature, air quality and natural light. Introducing adaptive sensors to optimise air quality and temperature control, and removing any obstructions of natural light, can have huge benefits without being disruptive. Likewise considering the aesthetics by including colour, art and graphics can boost mood and create a much more enjoyable space in which to work.

Ensuring fast connections and efficient processes, through investment in technological advancements, helps to save time and reduce administrative burden, reducing stress and allowing more time for employees to focus on themselves and their mental wellbeing. Similarly, encouraging employees to use mental health apps and ‘health’ related technology is an easy way to help them to support their mental health.

Engaging with people is essential to our wellbeing and businesses should find ways to foster a strong sense of community amongst their employees by creating opportunities for social interaction – whether through breakout spaces, team socials, charity fundraising events or sporting competitions.

Creating a culture throughout the business which makes employees feel appreciated, valued and trusted is crucial in helping them to maintain a healthy relationship with their working environment, as therefore also their general wellbeing. Employees who feel able to have open and honest conversations, and ask for help when its needed are less likely to suffer in silence when they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Likewise, educating employees on mental health and how to spot signs of stress in themselves and others, will also help.

Read Niki's tips and the full article here.