A London office refurbishment and fit out can reduce stress and improve workplace communication. Poor health in the workplace is estimated to cost British companies over £100 billion annually through sick leave.
Fast London Pace
An average-sized London business with 250 employees will make an estimated loss of around £250,000 annually due to sickness absence.
Add to this the fast pace of working in London it’s easy to see how workplace stress may play an important role in absences in the workplace.
According to The Health and Safety Executive the number of employees suffering from work-related stress has not declined over the last decade. In 2014/2015 there were 440,000 cases of work related stress, anxiety and depression. The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2014/15 was 9.9 million days, that’s an average loss of 23 work days per case!
Creating a Positive Environment Starting With Office Refurbishment
There are a number of things a London business can do to alleviate workplace stress including enhancing the workplace environment through an office refurbishment. A well thought out, well planned office refurbishment can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
You can have an incredibly positive effect on your workforce by creating an environment that feels comfortable, clutter free and where you can communicate with fellow colleagues. Not only will they feel energised through a more athletically pleasing environment, they will also be inspired by conversations within the office.
“The mistake many businesses have made in the past is to stop conversation in the office, over fears that it will stop the work flow. That is certainly not the case,” explains Babs Hubbard, Director of JBH Refurbishments.
“Let’s face it, in most cases we see our colleagues more than our own family, so building friendships in the workplace can help alleviate stress and help you work as a team, after all who doesn’t want to help their friends out? At JBH we encourage our staff to forge friendships, and as a result we have exceptional staff retention and a brilliant team.
“As providers of office refurbishments in London we work closely with businesses in high stress environments, to improve communication in their workforce.”
Planning Your Office Refurbishment Layout
One way to improve communication in any office, is to position the desks inwards, facing each other. People can feel uncomfortable about turning around to have a conversation, or interrupt a colleague, but if they are facing each other it makes it easier and feels more natural to start a conversation.
Breakout areas are a great way to give staff a place they can “get away” from their desks and give their brains a break. Very often taking some time away from a computer screen can be all that’s needed to bring stress levels down. Breakout areas can even act as a relaxed environment for ad hoc meetings away from the formal meeting room areas (that won’t interrupt those trying to concentrate), to a place to meet and greet clients or brainstorm new ideas. With London office space at a premium, breakout areas can be situated within a partitioned zone in a large office, in the kitchen area, or as part of a small meeting room.
If you have limited space, moving walls and folding doors are a great way to provide temporary office partitions for a variety of uses including additional office areas allowing for private conversations and meetings, meeting rooms, breakout areas etc. Office partitioning is a versatile solution which has acoustic properties for optimum privacy. It also comes with a number of options, including tracked or suspended doors and a variety of glazed and solid finishes.
As well as improving communication, as part of any office refurbishment, JBH assesses the available natural light, ventilation and the storage facilities.
“Natural light is very important when creating a stress-free office environment. It can not only make you feel happier, but also make you healthier. If there is not a lot of natural light available in your office we can provide and installed recessed LED lighting into a suspended ceiling,” explains Babs.
Mental Health Research UK (MHRUK) backed this up when they reported that an estimated 1 million working hours are lost each year due to seasonal affective (SAD), or winter depression. Dr Laura Davidson says “Employers and educational establishments need to take on board just how important natural light is to good mental health. They have a responsibility to ensure that work and study environments have sufficient windows to flood the building with as much natural light as possible”.
And lastly . . .
Clutter can cause stress, on the flip side a tidy, uncluttered office can help alleviate stress. The perfect solution tidying up the workspace by storing files, office supplies and samples is floor to ceiling storage walls. They are available off-the-shelf in various finishes, or the carpenters at JBH Refurbishments can create bespoke storage to suit the space available to you.
We hope that the ideas above will give you a starting point from which to launch your office refurbishment project in London.