Top tips for managing daylight in offices

Daylight saving – What you need to know

On 29th October at 2am, the UK reverts to standard GMT by changing clocks back one hour, to 1am, signaling the official end of British summertime.

With autumn daylight saving around the corner, it is important to ensure that office environments are maintained to foster employee wellbeing and productivity when it’s dull and dark outside.

The main purpose of daylight saving time is to make better use of daylight, in the hope of saving energy. Not only does daylight saving increase enjoyment of sunlight in summer months, it also saves money as we reduce the demand for artificial lighting.

On the other hand, in winter months, this hour is moved back, meaning we lose an hour of daylight from our afternoon schedule, and this can have negative repercussions. Read on to explore the impact of daylight in the workplace and the latest innovative office tools, which help replicate the benefits of daylight.

Why is daylight in the office important?

The most detrimental factor to productivity and wellbeing in the work place is a poor office environment. With increasing numbers of open-plan offices, enhancing the working environment and maintaining a productive office design, it is becoming an important subject matter. Central to this is ensuring maximum daylight illumination, which has been correlated to increased productivity and wellbeing. (For more information click here).

A lack of daylight can have serious consequences. Not only does it increase costs due to the need for artificial lighting, but it can also negatively impact our health and mood.

Daylight has 3 key positive impacts:

Vision – Our vision in natural daylight (excluding extreme sunlight) is better than in artificial lighting. Not only does it allow you to see things more clearly, but it also prevents you from becoming tired and drowsy from the offish yellow lighting that most artificial sources provide.

Health – The link between daylight and health is pretty clear – daylight provides us with Vitamin D, an essential element for a healthy immune system. Additionally, a lack of daylight in the office has been linked to ‘sick building’ syndrome, which links sickness with lack of daylight or windows in a building.

Mood – The presence of daylight in the workplace has been linked to increased workplace satisfaction, reduced long-term stress and increased productivity as a result.

How using a daylight lamp can mimic the above benefits

 

Although natural daylight is neither reliable nor consistent, there are ways to ensure that the benefits are sustained in your office. One signature way to do this is using daylight lamps.

If you want to truly step up the energy level in your office, go a step further and use daylight colour balanced lamps, such as the ActiVita Strip+ Daylight Lamp. These innovative lamps are designed to mimic the above wellbeing benefits of daylight, helping you to work brighter. It might seem like a small detail, but you can expect an overall big improvement in the atmosphere of your office, and productivity!

To stay up to date with the latest releases of our daylight lamps, follow @rexeleurope on Twitter or visit our website: https://uk.rexeleurope.com

Skipping Breaks: How Staff Are Losing More Than Just Money

Staff wellbeing has been a much debated topic in recent years, with businesses putting more focus on creating workplace environments that prioritise employee health – and ultimately, increasing productivity.

The productivity conundrum

Image source: Pexels

With reports that UK productivity growth is considerably lower than other major global economies like France and Germany, the pressure is on British businesses to increase productivity. In many cases, this pressure can be perceived as a call to work harder and longer hours without taking regular breaks, with recent figures indicating that the average lunch break in Britain is just 34 minutes. However, working longer hours without taking breaks can actually be having the opposite effect.

Understandably, office design is a huge contributor to team productivity – with everything from the colour of flooring to well-placed wall art creating visual stimulation. However, as well-designed as your office may be, it’s crucial that staff members spend time away from their desks and computers throughout the working day – and often, this is as easy as taking a five minute break outside. Today, we’re looking beyond the monetary implications to find out the effects that skipping breaks can have on employees.

The Telegraph published results from a survey conducted by DeskTime and revealed that workers who took 17 minutes time out away from their desk, for every 52 minutes they worked, experienced the greatest levels of productivity – which dispels the myth that working longer means you get more done.

The Huffington Post also provided five science-backed ways in which taking breaks can improve a person’s productivity, emphasising the human brain and body’s need for rest and recuperation after a certain period of exertion – in order to avoid physical and mental fatigue.

For this reason, employers should encourage staff to take regular breaks away from their desks, ideally once an hour, as it has the potential to deliver a significant impact on productivity. This downtime allows the brain to relax and refocus, in the same way that daylight desk lamps help, offering a fresh view and a renewed energy to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently, resulting in a better use of time and resources.

An increased risk of mental illness

Another concerning issue with employees not taking regular time out of their day is the effect it can have on their mental health. Missing breaks, whether it’s a full lunch hour or just a five minute break away from a desk, can have detrimental consequences for both employees and employers – not just in monetary terms, but also regarding productivity and an increased chance of mental health issues.

In workplaces where staff regularly forgo breaks by choosing to remain at their desk, there’s a much greater likelihood they will experience higher levels of stress and anxiety, which can lead to burnouts, depression and even long-term sickness. These feelings can be reduced considerably when workers ensure they take the appropriate breaks – as physically moving away from their desks and leaving the office to get some fresh air, sunlight, exercise and a change of scenery will all have a relaxing effect. This in turn will help to improve concentration levels and productivity, and most importantly mental and physical wellbeing.

The physical effects

Image source: Pixabay

Besides the higher risk of employees developing mental health concerns when regular breaks aren’t taken, there’s also evidence of physical effects on an individual’s health and wellbeing. Employees that are sedentary for long periods of time, eating lunch at their desks and rarely leaving their workstation for breaks, are at a much higher risk of developing physical health issues.

An article by Fit for Work published results from a BBC survey that reported 54 percent of employees regularly skipped lunch, of which, over 50 percent believed this to be a widespread culture in their workplace. The physical effects of skipping breaks or eating lunch at your desk, along with poor posture, can be an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, as well as instances of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.

The simple act of standing up and walking around for a few minutes will help to get the blood pumping faster around the body, which also feeds more oxygen to the brain to help with concentration.

When it comes to improving the productivity and profitability within a business, it’s imperative to remember staff are your most valuable asset. If you work towards encouraging employees to take regular breaks, it’s likely you’ll reap the benefits with a happier, healthier and more efficient workforce in the long-run.

How background noise affects the way you work

Carefully designed, sophisticated, open plan offices now account for 70% of all workspaces. These open spaces do offer important benefits and facilitate ways of working that enhance creativity but they also carry a major downside; lack of sound privacy.

Open workspaces usually feature smooth surfaces, which reflect sound, create harsh echoes and exacerbate environmental noises. A study by Steelcase and Ipsos has revealed that workers lose as much as 86 minutes per day due to noise distractions. Background noise has a significant impact on employee productivity levels and wellbeing in the workplace. We take a look at the problems associated with a loud office and offer solutions to reduce background noise.

How does a noisy office impact our wellbeing and productivity?

Loud sounds and prolonged exposure to certain noises can trigger physiologic stress responses in our bodies, such as spikes in blood pressure and heart rate. Even usual office noises, such as the telephone conversations or chatty colleagues can affect the rhythm and rate of our hearts, causing stress and affecting wellbeing of staff members.

Research from the British Journal of Psychology found that background noise kills productivity levels, with studies showing that workers can be up to 66% less productive when exposed to just one nearby conversation. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that the annual cost to Europe from excessive noise levels is £30 billion. This figure includes loss of productivity, lost working days and healthcare costs. So, what can you do to reduce noise in the workplace?

  1. Provide quiet areas to work

Use an empty small office or conference room and turn it into a ‘quiet room’ that employees can go to when trying to focus on an important task or project. These spaces will be designated for non-group work and help provide a place for staff to work independently and quietly.

  1. Introduce designated “loud spaces”

In contrast, you could also designate specific areas around the office that encourage interaction and discussion. Lunch areas or even phone rooms can help communicate to employees that while they’re at a desk, they should make minimal noise.

  1. Bring in sound absorbing materials

Open offices allow sound to travel throughout the whole space. Hard surfaces do a poor job at absorbing sounds, so bringing in softer materials such as carpets can help to improve sound absorption.

Plants boast sound absorbing capabilities that work just as effectively in an indoor environment as well as an outdoor setting. Plants also carry significant health benefits including improving oxygen levels in an office.

Partitions and noise reduction panels are also a common way to block and absorb sound. For example, our ActiVita Noise reduction boards can reduce noise in any space by up to 50%. Incorporating some of these simple tips could well be what you need to improve productivity levels and of course, employee wellbeing and comfort at work. To stay up to date with our latest product releases and news follow @rexeleurope on Twitter or visit the Rexel website.

The changing workplace: Why wellbeing is one of the biggest HR issues of our time

The conversation surrounding health and wellbeing in the workplace has risen to the top of the business agenda in recent years. Many businesses are now questioning what they can do to make their staff feel comfortable, happy and healthy whilst at work. Meanwhile employees are choosing to work for the companies that will provide them with the support and tools they need to be productive in the working environment. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), employee health and wellbeing is one of the biggest human resources issues of our time, affecting millions of people worldwide. In order to solve these challenges, businesses are turning to a number of ergonomic solutions and products that create a comfortable office to work in.

The importance of an ergonomic workspace

So, why is it important to consider the ergonomics within the workplace? A desk is no longer somewhere to sit and work, but an environment that supports us to work efficiently. A workspace must be designed to enhance the productivity of the person using it and this extends to the way they sit and move about this space. Ergonomic workspace solutions mean that staff can tailor their workspace set up to suit their individual comfort needs and requirements.

Offering ergonomic solutions to improve staff wellbeing will provide businesses with some significant returns for the business’ performance. Research has shown that a comfortable, well-lit, workplace will increase productivity levels by as much as 16%. Ergonomic products are also crucial to reduce the number of employee sick days taken as a result of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs). It’s estimated that 8.8 million working days were lost in 2016 as a result of WRMSDs, so a key objective for businesses will be to reduce this number. Ergonomic and health and wellbeing office tools will play a major role in making this happen.

Tackling workplace wellbeing issues

A well-designed, ergonomic workplace will need to take into account the need for flexibility. This means that while a particular setting works for one person, it may cause another further discomfort or pain to another. So with this in mind, how can HR managers and business owners resolve wellbeing issues in a way that suits each employee?

A simple but effective way of targeting wellbeing challenges flexibly is to break them down by each of the body’s common pain points on the body and match it to the ergonomic product or solution that is designed to improve it. Common pain points are:

  • Neck – 2 out of 3 adults will experience neck pain
  • Back – It’s estimated that between 60-80% of people have reported having back pain at some point in their life
  • Wrist – Up to 12% of people report difficulty with wrist pain everyday
  • Leg – According to research, nearly 75% of people who work in an office double their chances of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) by not getting up from their desk and taking regular breaks
  • Eyes – 68% of office workers are unhappy with lighting conditions, often working without the light of a desk lamp, causing strain on the eyes.

Once the key pain points affecting staff have been identified, it’s time to choose the products that tackle these issues. The Kensington SmartFit and Rexel ActiVita products give the individual user to power to choose the setting that works for them, without getting in the way of colleagues. The adjustability of these products means that more than one user can benefit from them at different times – delivering that all-important flexibility that the modern office requires.

A comfortable office makes for happy employees

The 2016 What Workers Want survey by the British Council for Offices (BCO) and Savills revealed that 25% of respondents would be willing to travel an extra 30 minutes to work in their perfect office, so it’s more crucial than ever for managers to get the office environment right. 18% of organisations have already started using ergonomic solutions specifically to improve employee welfare, and that number is only set to grow to ensure that workers everywhere are working comfortably and productively.

Banner has sponsored a report in conjunction with ACCO Brands for OEN that explores health and wellbeing in the workplace, and the solutions and products that are available to HR managers and employers to ensure everyone within the company is happy and healthy whilst at work. If you would like to download a copy please visit: http://www2.oenmagazine.com/HealthandWellBeing/.

Rexel’s top workplace lighting hacks

 

Today’s employees will tend to spend most of their time at work indoors, whether that’s at home or within a company office. A major part of that indoor environment is the lighting. We often don’t think lighting is that important – as long as we can see the computer screen in front of us, it’s fine. But in reality, the strength and type of lighting we use to work does impact on our productivity and wellbeing.

A recent study found that 68% of employees surveyed had complained about the lighting situation in their offices, suggesting that lighting is actually at the forefront of many employees’ minds. So why does light matter? Poor lighting can result in discomfort whilst working, for example eye strain, enhancing glare on computer screens and in some cases, it can even lead to postural problems. So, in fact lighting is a major contributor to our wellbeing levels at work.

Shine the right light

When adjusting light, it’s important to remember that different tasks require varied lighting and positioning. For example, too much light while working on a computer can result in a glare on the screen. Another top tip is to consider the time of day you’re working in order to proactively change the lighting.

Positioning of light is also crucial. While many offices simply use overhead lighting, a desk lamp may be a better option for some tasks.

Consider also the type of light used in the workplace. It is widely known that natural daylight is the best kind. Studies have shown that while artificial sources of light left employees feeling more tired at the end of the day, daylight resulted in participants feeling more energetic and alert, allowing them to work for longer.

Top hacks for a brighter day

Now we know why lighting levels in the workplace are important, here are a few of our tricks to ensure you have a bright day both in and out of the office:

  1. Get outside

Make the most of your lunch hour by taking time away from your desk and going outside to enjoy the wellbeing benefits of fresh air and sunlight. A short stroll outside may be what you need to have a productive afternoon at your desk.

  1. Be flexible

While you may be accustomed to sitting in a certain area of the office every day, it may be the time to move. If you find that you’re not getting enough natural light at your current desk, it may be time to seek out a new seat.

  1. Bring the daylight to your desk

When moving around isn’t possible, there are other ways to bring daylight to your workspace. Rexel’s ActiVita Daylight desk lamps are designed to mimic the benefits of natural daylight, rejuvenating and energising you to continue working efficiently throughout the day.

Incorporating some of these simple tips could well be what you need to improve productivity levels and of course, your wellbeing and comfort at work. Innovative daylight lamps by Rexel ActiVita not only deliver the energy boosting benefits of daylight but also enable users to choose and work with the light they need depending on the task, without impacting co-workers. To find out more about the Rexel ActiVita desk lamps, please visit the Rexel website or follow Rexel on Twitter @rexeleurope.

The air of success

What’s in the air you breathe in your office?

How often do you think about the quality of the air surrounding you in the workplace? Unless there’s something obvious causing an issue, the pungent odour from a colleague’s lunch for example, then we tend not to worry too much about air quality.

But that’s a mistake. According to research, we spend on average 90% of our time indoors. Some people are lucky enough to have a job that allows them to venture outside more often, but for the rest of us we have to make the most of the light that makes its way through the corner window and the breeze that blows in from the open door. 

Sources of indoor air pollution impacting the quality of the air in a building vary greatly and can include:

  • Particles from printers
  • Coughs and germs from co-workers
  • Chemicals from cleaning products
  • Dust mites from chairs and carpets
  • Moulds and bacteria
  • Pollen carried in on clothes
  • Pollutants from outdoors

What to look out for in your office

There are a few common symptoms that indicate the quality of your office air may be causing issues:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Allergies
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Nausea

If you suffer from any of these symptoms or have staff showing signs of these symptoms, there may cause for concern. The American Industrial Hygiene Association provides a good summary of the impact of indoor air quality (IAQ).

Indoor air quality

When we think about the contributing factors to employee wellbeing, especially concentration and eye strain, noise and lighting are often considered before IAQ.

Damian Carrington, writing in The Guardian, reports statistics showing IAQ contributes significantly to ill health. Although the government and the World Health Organization set “acceptable” limits for air pollution, there’s no level of exposure that can be seen to be safe, according to the report.

A breath of fresh air

Personal air cleaners such as the ActiVita Air Cleaner deploy negative ions to improve the quality of air over a small area. The ActiVita Air Cleaner will look after an area 8m in radius, enough to serve a small team of office workers. Pollen is a great example of an indoor air pollutant. 1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from hay fever and pollen allergy symptoms are estimated to cause between a 3-8% decrease in productivity. Indeed, pollen can be more concentrated indoors than outdoors.

Negative ions attach themselves to the pollen particles to effectively remove them from the air. There’s a productivity gain to be had too; in a study conducted by Surrey University, people exposed to high levels of negative ions showed a 28% increase in overall task performance.

Check out the Rexel ActiVita range for more details about how a few changes to your workplace can help you feel healthier and happier.

Top tips for staying healthy at work

Rexel - Food for thought

 

Improving staff wellbeing is a broad topic covering many areas. In a previous blog, we explored how workplace wellbeing programs can benefit an organisation’s productivity but another aspect to examine is the impact a healthy lifestyle has on employee efficiency during the working day.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle carries the following benefits:

  • Fewer days of absence
  • Enhanced output at work
  • Reduced amount of work-related stress

To help staff boost their efficiency, here are some tips on how to have a healthy day at work.

Diet

Food is the essential fuel for a working day. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) eating the right foods can boost brainpower by up to 20 per cent. Recommended brain foods include:

  • Berries containing antioxidants that help to improve memory and motor coordination
  • Oil-rich walnuts and avocados that keep cell membranes youthfully flexible
  • Bananas that provide the brain with the glucose it needs

Hydration

Coffee is the drink of choice for many employees to give them that much needed lift during the working day. However, drinking coffee can often result in an energy crash in the middle of the day. The European Union Food Safety Agency (EUFSA) recommends a maximum daily caffeine intake of 400mg for adults, which is the equivalent of 4 espressos.

Consider switching a cup of coffee for a glass of water. In fact:

  • Drinking a pint of water improves brain reaction times by 14 per cent
  • The EUFSA recommends adults drink between 2 – 2.5 litres of water per day
  • An estimated 60 per cent of the human body is water

Standing while you work

Several scientists have advocated the benefits of standing up while at work. Official guidelines from Active Working CIC recommend staff should spend at least two hours of the day standing up to alleviate possible musculoskeletal pain. Additional research by sport and exercise expert Dr John Buckley shows that standing up increases heart rate, meaning more calories are used.

Taking a break

Pausing for a lunch break is essential for the brain to recuperate and prepare for a productive afternoon. A break allows staff to refresh and return to their work with renewed energy.

However employees across Europe are often choosing to work through their break, resulting in a decline in output. Figures show that:

  • One in five people in Germany don’t take a break at work
  • An estimated two thirds of the workforce in Britain do not stop to eat their lunch
  • The average lunch break in France is just 22 minutes

Staff rely on their brains and bodies to help them stay productive at work, so it’s crucial that they stay as healthy as possible to help them achieve their goals.

To find out more about Rexel visit www.rexeleurope.com or follow us on Twitter @rexeleurope or LinkedIn Rexel Europe.

Sources

https://hbr.org/2014/10/what-you-eat-affects-your-productivity/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacia-pierce/10-best-practices-to-staying-healthy-at-work_b_6844336.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/foods-you-should-eat-to-increase-productivity-2013-5?op=1&IR=T

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11644683/Stand-up-for-at-least-two-hours-a-day-in-office-workers-warned.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24532996

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/10183227/Thirsty-work-drinking-water-can-improve-reaction-times.html

http://www.thelocal.de/jobs/article/german-employees-urged-to-work-less

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11326076/British-workers-are-skipping-lunch-and-thats-hurting-productivity.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-bartolotta/5-science-backed-ways-taking-a-break-boosts-our-productivity_b_8548292.html

http://www.optistaffing.com/2015/04/08/increase-your-productivity-drink-more-water/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/11634163/Dont-drink-more-than-four-coffees-a-day-EU-warns.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-radio-and-tv-17561232

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/nda100326

The ‘ideal’ office for a productive day at work

CBT10987_Rexel_idealoffice

Does the look and feel of an office affect the productivity of the employees working there? Organisations now take a lot of time and effort to design a workspace that looks good, feels inviting and most importantly, creates the atmosphere that employees love to work in. Some of the biggest brands in the world are known for their cool and vibrant workspaces, such as the cutting-edge designs of the famous Google offices.

But how can managers create the ‘ideal’ office? The first step is getting the right balance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Working in uncomfortable temperatures is a common complaint from office workers and temperature has been shown to drastically impact productivity rates. Studies suggest that temperatures above 25°C can lead to a 2% decrease in efficient working. Another consideration for the productive office is ventilation. Research has shown that poor ventilation can result in Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), which ultimately reduces the productive output of an organisation’s workforce.

Natural light is another consideration for creating the ‘ideal’ office. Researchers have found that poor lighting in an office makes employees feel tired, leaving them unable to focus on their work.

The tools for the ‘ideal’ office

Choosing the right equipment is also fundamental to creating the ‘ideal’ office. It goes without saying that devices including laptops, phones and tablets are a must for productive work. In order to work efficiently as well as communicate with others, employees rely on their devices to be in working order every time they use them. Technology that isn’t working will of course impact and reduce the output of employees.

Electricals, such as office printers, shredders and laminators, are all vital to consider when thinking about productivity in the workplace. Choosing a shredder that operates quickly and requires little manual operation is a must for a productive office. Rexel’s Auto Feed shredder range uses patented technology to automatically shred up to 750 sheets, bringing an end to manual shredders wasting precious working hours in the office. Instead simply stack, shut, done!

Creating the ‘ideal’ office atmosphere

The ‘ideal’ atmosphere should reflect the organisation’s personality as well as optimise the productivity of employees. Colour is a commonly used atmospheric tool and researchers have demonstrated that employees respond to colour in different ways depending on their task. For example the colour blue can be used to encourage creativity, while red colours in the office are said to help employees working on tasks that require a greater attention to detail. Above all to maximise productivity, the atmosphere should be positive and a place where employees feel good about both themselves and their role in the organisation.

To find out more about why Auto Feed shredders play crucial role in the ‘ideal’ office and to receive Rexel’s special offers and product updates, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.

 

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2015/feb/03/perfect-workspace-productive-ideal-office

http://digest.bps.org.uk/2009/02/colours-affect-mental-performance-with.html

http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/05/create-productive-office-environment.html

https://indoor.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-60946.pdf

 

 

 

Are employee wellbeing programmes the key to improving productivity?

 

The concept of employee wellbeing is of growing importance in workplaces worldwide. It is a broad term with numerous definitions and in a workplace and wellbeing report, Dr Bridget Juniper defined it as: “The area of overall wellbeing that is primarily determined by the workplace.” In addition, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) describe employee wellbeing as: “The creation of an environment that allows an employee to reach their full potential for themselves as well as their organisation.”

In 2014, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills sought to determine whether the level of wellbeing had a direct effect on employee productivity rate. Their research showed there were positive links between the level of wellbeing and employees’ job performance. A higher level of wellbeing enabled workers to be more effective and creative with problem solving whilst improving attitudes towards collaborative working. Though the definition is extensive, multiple studies clearly have shown a definitive relationship exists between employee wellbeing and productivity.

The impact of wellbeing on employee productivity

Improving the general health of employees has been shown to increase the level of productivity for organisations. The NHS announced a £5 million initiative that offered fitness activities such as Zumba and yoga in an attempt to improve rates of staff absence due to poor health.

A prominent topic impacting employee wellbeing is break allowance. There is concern that employees often do not take their lunch break away from their desk and in 2014, Bupa surveyed 2,000 office workers and found that almost 64 per cent didn’t take their legally required break. This resulted in 30 per cent of respondents stating that they often felt ill due to skipping their break. 40 per cent of those surveyed added that without taking a break, they felt their productivity would decrease.

A lack of wellbeing support can also affect the productivity for the overall organisation. Figures suggest that the cost of decreased productivity caused by poor employee wellbeing in the UK amounts to £15.1 billion each year with the annual cost of sickness absence at £1,500 per employee.

Are organisations doing enough for their employees?

Despite the extensive research, statistics show that many workplaces are yet to implement wellbeing schemes. A 2013 survey revealed that two thirds of organisations were yet to introduce wellbeing schemes into the workplace. The lack of evidence of financial returns from employee wellbeing initiatives is often cited as a barrier to their widespread adoption. Only 16 per cent of organisations would use the health of their employees as a factor to measure the success of their programme.

Developing a wellbeing scheme

So who should be taking responsibility for the wellbeing of employees in the workplace? Acas recommend that both management and employees should work together to create a wellbeing programme specific to the organisation. Be it a healthy food menu for the office canteen or installing high quality equipment that removes the stress of manual tasks, by clearly defining their goals, companies can implement successful wellbeing initiatives that boost the productivity of the entire organisation.

Promoting employee productivity and wellbeing is a core concern for Rexel. By developing high quality products to enhance the workplace, we hope to support employee wellbeing and boost productivity. Find out more about the team and receive exclusive offers and updates by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/366637/bis-14-1120-does-worker-wellbeing-affect-workplace-performance-final.pdf

http://www.360healthperformance.com/employee-health-wellbeing-productivity-survey/

Eco-friendly offices boost workplace wellbeing

The demand for green offices is a popular trend for businesses and according to PWC, sustainable buildings are now a major consideration for many office tenants. Across the world, cost, environmental impact and employee wellbeing are motivating developments in the race for sustainability. Green workplaces take many forms, often with heavy emphasis on energy consumption and the use of recycled materials. Implementing environmentally friendly practices throughout workplaces is becoming commonplace.

Green offices

Pursuing environmental policies in the workplace can provide both managers and employees with a range of benefits. Research suggests that green office environments trigger improvements in employee productivity and a study by Exeter University in 2014 reported that offices with plant life led to an increase in productivity by up to 15%. Employees were also more positive about their working life and more engaged with set tasks. Owners can also save money by lowering utility bills and reducing operation and maintenance costs.

Green office policies are advantageous for attracting and retaining staff. A survey by TheLadders revealed that 90% of people would cite working for an eco-friendly organisation as important to them. Additionally, 72% stated they would choose to work at a green office over another company’s less green workspace. This demonstrates that pursuing green policies is not only beneficial to the individual worker but also the whole business. Increasing productivity through environmental initiatives will provide numerous returns for organisations.

Addressing air quality

Another issue propelling the focus on green offices is the impact of indoor air quality. Research shows a direct link between the standard of air quality and the productivity levels of workers. A 2006 investigation showed that poor air quality in the office environment could lower output by 10%. Specifically, measures such as typing speeds and task output were decreased in offices where the air quality was of a lower standard.

Air quality will also impact on the wellbeing of employees. Figures show that offices with better ventilation have 35% less short-term employee sick leave, while several studies have found links between low standards of air quality and Sick Building Syndrome. Poor air quality will also trigger a variety of illness symptoms amongst employees, ultimately generating a negative impact on the productive output of the whole firm.

Improving your workplace

Poor air quality could be the result of several circumstances inside the office building. Contaminants such as dust, chemicals, moulds or gases and environment conditions including temperature, humidity, lighting and noise will all affect the standard of air quality. Reducing air impurities can be very straightforward. Installing an air purification solution will reduce airborne pollutants or particles in order to maintain a healthy environment in the office. Occupants should be diligent in reporting any air quality issues experienced to halt any complications early on.

Rexel is constantly developing new products to enhance the office environment with performance and quality in mind, ultimately helping to improve workplace wellbeing. If you would like to receive the latest updates and offers from the team, sign up to our newsletter by clicking here

Please also feel free to leave us a comment below. We’d really like to hear how you’re working to improve your office environment!

 

Sources:

http://www.pwc.com/us/en/asset-management/real-estate/publications/emerging-trends-in-real-estate-2015.jhtml

http://info.theladders.com/inside-theladders/to-make-your-company-grow-think-green

http://senseair.se/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/1.pdf

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/sep/24/office-building-design-worker-health-wellbeing-productivity