Why It’s Worth It To Invest In The Employee Experience
With so much focus these days from businesses on the candidate experience, it’s easy to lose sight of what happens after you recruit top talent into your organization.
When is the last time you thought about your employee’s physical experience at work? Have you created a place where employees actually want to show up, not where they need to show up? I am not just speaking of the cultural implications, but their physical environment as well.
Why should businesses invest in creating a pleasant physical workspace where employees can thrive? For starters, employee wellbeing is strongly correlated to productivity and performance and even a small shift in wellbeing can have a dramatic impact. Numerous studies show that employees who enjoy and like the environments they are a part of will be more engaged, productive, happy and healthy. Do you know what your employees’ value the most?
Green Space and Natural Light
Workplace green spaces can help employee performance; academic research from a recent Harvard study suggests that green spaces can relieve mental fatigue, which can improve employee work performance, satisfaction, learning, inquisitiveness and alertness.
Humans function on a body clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. This innate sense of time is influenced by environmental factors, particularly light. Let’s face it, the lighting in your office can probably be improved. Fluorescent bulbs have long been derided as the culprits of headaches and eye strain. Not everyone can have the corner office, or a window view, so encourage your employees to take frequent breaks and to move outdoors when possible.
Where Companies Can Start
Not every company can start from ground up; budgets and priorities may limit what steps some businesses can take. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make small changes to improve sustainability and overall wellness.
Try implementing the following in 2019 and improve your employee’s experience at work:
Noise Control: Controlling noise levels in collaborative or open office spaces. Provide quieter workspaces that employees can "sign up" to reserve to get important work done.
Sustainability: Waste reduction, including recycling and composting are important to all humans today.
Filtered Air: Changing out HVAC filters with higher grade filters. Providing opportunities for humidifiers or dehumidifiers if needed.
Outdoor Break Room Space: Create an outdoor space for employees to partake in fresh air and natural light while on lunch breaks.
Bring the Outdoors In: Stock plants in common areas and give out low maintenance plants like succulents to new hires, rather than the donut tray in the breakroom.
Meditation/Quiet Zone: Create a room that specifically caters to relieving stress and noise exposure. Create a comfortable space that is well insulated that also has a "no noise" policy for employees to get away during the most stressful times.
The Bottom Line
There is no one-size-fits-all approach that can guarantee wellness of your employees. However, by providing access to flexible work arrangements, natural lighting, healthy food and physical activity will help to keep your staff healthier in 2019, which translates to higher productivity and minimizes time away from work.