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6 Ways to Improve Staff Mental Health Through Office Interior Design

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Rap Interiors

It is a long known fact that working environments can have a major impact on mental health. Equally, the state of someone’s mental health can affect their job performance.

With this in mind, you should take steps to create a working environment that is conducive to good mental health. One way to achieve this is through intelligent office interior design.

To help you create an environment where employees are happy and productive, we’ve pulled together a list of office space design ideas that lend themselves to good mental health. Read on for six of the best…

Recharge Rooms

While many offices have a seating area where employees can escape for lunch or a quick chat with colleagues, recharge rooms function primarily as a space for mental and physical rejuvenation. They’re rooms where employees can take a break to stretch, sleep, meditate, or simply just zone out.

Consider incorporating the following recuperative spaces into your office space design:

  • Meditation Room – Just a few moments of meditation each day can reduce anxiety, focus concentration and improve sleep, which is great for mental health.
  • Yoga Room – Introducing a yoga room is an excellent way to encourage employees to do more exercise. This is also good for mental health, as being active can reduce emotional intensity and help to clear your thoughts.
  • Power Nap Room – Poor sleep can result in mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, meaning you can really make a difference by offering a power nap room. This can be particularly beneficial for employees who work long hours to meet strict deadlines.
  • Electronics-Free Room – In the modern office environment, most of us are slaves to electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs. By offering a chill out room where employees can escape their screens, this will allow them to disconnect for a few minutes and return with a clear head.

Not only are recharge rooms good for staff wellbeing, but they can help to project a positive company image. This is a great way to attract talented employees who place importance on good working conditions.

Private Meeting Rooms

According to a study, more than three quarters of British workers have “suffered in silence” with mental health issues. In contrast, 97% of senior managers believed they were accessible if employees wanted to talk about mental health.

To encourage employees to open up about mental health problems, provide a meeting room where noise can’t escape and privacy is ensured. A breach of privacy can be avoided by implementing soundproof glass with manifestation, an infallible locking system and furniture with noise reducing properties.

Talking to employees about mental health problems will make them feel happier and more confident. This, in turn, will boost retention and ensure there is no stigma attached to mental illness in your workplace.

breakout-area-with-grass-walls-and-soft-seating-created-by-office-designers breakout-area-with-grass-walls-and-soft-seating-created-by-office-designers

Activity Based Working

Office interior design has come a long way since the claustrophobic “cubicle farms” of the 1960s, with more companies nowadays favouring flexible modes of working. ‘Activity Based Working’, for example, allows employees to choose how and where they want to work.

To facilitate activity based working, employees are provided with a variety of activity zones which allow them to undertake specific tasks. These can be zones for quiet concentration, creative thinking and collaboration.

Everybody is different, so offering employees the freedom to choose their preferred mode of working is invariably good for mental health. For example, employees who require peace and quiet may find themselves battling against distractions in frenetic working environments. ABW will allow them to avoid unwanted distractions and focus with the task at hand, helping to reduce psychological exhaustion and anxiety.

Want to see an example of activity based working? Check out our Hudl commercial interior design case study here.

a wall covered in leafs for an eco friendly office design a wall covered in leafs for an eco friendly office design

Biophilia

Spending time in a green space is said to have a number of health benefits, from reduced stress and anger levels to an improved overall mood. Therefore, it makes sense to marry nature with office design by bringing the outside in.

Known as ‘Biophilia’, you can create a greener office environment by introducing the following:

  • Living Walls – This is the process where vertical surfaces are transformed into a wall of plants, making for visually stunning features.
  • Plants – Pick your plants based on how well they function in offices spaces and the health benefits they bring. The Peace Lily, for example, can grow in low light and even clean the air.
  • Plant Holders – Plant holders can double up as storage solutions and makeshift department dividers, making for practical additions to your workspace.

You can complete the biophilic look with wall vinyl graphics, imitation grass floors and a green paint scheme. For a fitting shade of green, we recommend Pantone’s 2017 colour of the year ‘Greenery’ due to the way it “signals users to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”

a bright office with white walls and a glass partition a bright office with white walls and a glass partition

Natural Light

A recent study showed that 35% of employees identified the absence of natural light in their office as a major concern, resulting in feelings of isolation, tension and claustrophobia. Therefore, introducing more natural light can really help to lift the mood amongst employees.

To allow more natural sunlight to enter your office, consider knocking down sun-blocking walls and replacing them with glass partitions. In addition to the health benefits, glass partitions will add depth to your space and give it a contemporary visual edge.

the blends for friends cafe with wagamama style bench designed by fit out company rap interiors the blends for friends cafe with wagamama style bench designed by fit out company rap interiors

Breakout Areas

Breakout areas are a simple and effective way to lift the mood in the office. They encourage employees to take time out to relax, re-energise, connect with colleagues and step away from their email inboxes.

For a really enticing breakout area, introduce fun elements like bean bag chairs, ping pong tables and beer fridges. Combine these with dining furniture and a tea point and employees will be counting down the minutes until lunch!

the result of an intelligent office refurbishment: an employee with good mental health the result of an intelligent office refurbishment: an employee with good mental health

Thank You for Reading

We hope that some of these ideas will find their way into your workspace and have a positive impact on your staff. Don’t forget, an office environment which lends itself to good mental health is not only in the best interest of staff but your business as well. By taking steps to promote good mental health, you can boost productivity, attract talented employees, enhance your public image and continue to grow as a brand.

Do You Need Help With Your Office Space Design?

If you’re in need of a fit out company to help you transform your space, then Rap Interiors can help. Whether you need a new reception area or a complete office overhaul, we’ve got the experience and expertise to provide a full turnkey fit out or refurbishment.

To arrange your free consultation, call 0333 600 1234 or email refurb@rapinteriors.co.uk