– Mental health vs work surroundings; what’s the catch ?
– Does your work setup affect your productivity? Know the answer here.
We spend almost as much (if not more) time at our workplace as we do at our homes. Our surroundings, therefore, affect our productivity and mental health a lot more than we can imagine. Good employee mental health means good work generation and good results.
Around 40% of office-goers say that their jobs are stressful, with the office set up and environment playing a major contributing factor to the stress-levels. This list provides you with 5 simple, beginner-friendly steps that can be taken to improve mental health and productivity at the workplace.
- Natural Lighting, Plants, Bonsai and Zen Gardens : Studies show that fresh green plants have a soothing psychological effect on mental health and are also shown to improve work productivity. A study also shows that plants help boost memory as well. Natural lighting reduces stress levels and improves levels of focus, as artificial lights are generally straining on the eyes. Placing bonsai trees and having zen areas around the workplace ensures that employees have enough access around them to unwind. A small desk-top miniature zen garden can be made by using a big shallow pan, white sand, a few small rocks and a hand held rake.
- Personalization, DIYs : Using photographs of your loved ones, be it your spouse, children or parents, is a great way of making your workplace even more personal and stress free. Choose from memories that remind you of good times and every time you look at them, you will feel a sense of calm. Having this around your workplace will have a stress reducing impact on your mental health and might even inspire you to be more productive. Including handmade DIYs (do-it-yourself items) made by your own self or gifted by someone special will also make your space feel more like your own.
- Calming Decor : If your budget allows, try including ergonomic furniture, calm toned walls and decor, seating and carpet colours. According to mental health and psychological studies, the type of colours in your surroundings also affect your productivity a lot. Try experimenting with the type of colours you like to have around, which make you want to work. Try adding small pops of bright colours that also provide a sense of youth and upliftment in the workspace. In a room of beige colours, a pop of red or yellow would break the monotony of beige tones, similarly with a majority of white office decor, any bright colour will bring a sense of playfulness in the work setting.
- Isolate and Interact : An office space should allow the employee to relax as well as be as productive as possible. Anyway, the COVID pandemic has made people stay and work at a distance. To ensure this, an office space can have places where the employees can hold interactive sessions when required, but also be able to relax and work in isolation if needed. The choice of being isolated while working does wonders on mental health and work productivity as it allows for the employee to take a break when needed.
- Include a Biosphere Space : If your office space for work is limited, then you could try initiating a separate space just for the employees to unwind at. This space should have an as-close-to-nature-as-possible-type of feel to it. The employees should be able to use this space as and when needed and should provide them with natural lighting, greenery, ample oxygen and fresh air and clean white spaces to work. Call this place the ‘unwinding centre’ and watch it lead to employees’ better performances.
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