Create well designed, inspiring workplaces

66% of employees still rate the office as the most productive place to get work done, even with all of the remote workforces. But sadly, many workers describe their workspaces as being less than inspiring. The majority of workers describe their office as standard, plain and dull. 43% would like to see more attention paid to workplace design, also citing a desire for natural light, private spaces, standing desks, lounge areas and ergonomic/flexible furniture for multiple uses.

According to a study by Texas A&M University’s Health Science Centre School of Public Health standing desks also improve productivity. The study monitored 167 employees in a Texan Call Centre over a six-month period, and found that, “employees using stand-capable desks were more productive than their colleagues in standard, seated desks. And the productivity of the standing-desk workers continued to increase over their seated colleagues steadily over time. In the first month, the stand-capable group had 23% more successful calls than their seated colleagues, and by the sixth month, they had 53% more successful calls.”

Make breaks mandatory

45% of employees eat lunch at their desk every day. But more than 74% of employees say they feel more productive after a break. So why don’t they take them? Guilt.

More than 50% of workers want breaks to be actively encouraged, and even simply having a well stocked breakroom offering healthy snacks can significantly increase employee productivity. Employees seek well-stocked break areas for improved happiness and productivity, as well as to create a more social environment and to decrease stress.

Focus on personal and professional development

Having the right tools available is a major step toward a healthier workplace. In addition to providing updated and relevant technology and software, offer a way for employees to continually better themselves. Implement a company-wide personal growth program and work with individuals to reach their goals. Retention will improve – and that’s enough of a business case right there.

Adopt flexible work hours and paid time off

Stress kills, and there’s nothing more stressful than juggling life and work commitments. Allowing flexitime and remote work options gives people control of their lives and goes a long way toward fostering employee loyalty. Plus, when they inevitably come down with an illness like the flu, they won’t feel pressured to bring those germs into the office, possibly infecting colleagues. The flu is responsible for an estimated 5 million missed workdays and billions of dollars in lost productivity each year.

Include fitness into daily activities

Having an on-site gym or offering fitness subsidies might sound like options only the largest of companies can afford, but even the smallest businesses can incorporate fitness into the workplace. Walking increases creative thinking and we know that sitting all day is terrible for your health. Instead, get employees moving by holding “walking meetings.”  Consider investing in fitness wearables and inspire teams to challenge each other in monthly or quarterly exercise contests.