The modern workplace is where we spend the majority of our time – it’s influence in our lives is significant, and enough to determine just how happy we are with our lives overall. As the awareness and recognition of wellbeing, mental health and self-care continues to rise, so does our understanding of just how much the workplace can impact us (and what we can do to manage said impact effectively).
The Modern Workplace 2018: People, Places & Technology Report found that 68% of those surveyed believe employees are placing increasing importance on the look and feel of the workplace. This is a cogent finding, given that many are recognising the link between our surroundings and how they make us feel. A working environment that feels stressful or oppressive can have several different ways of affecting employees, from inhibiting productivity levels to hampering attempts at boosting workplace wellness.
The workplace shift
An emerging trend in workspace design has been to offer employees more variety in the areas they work from – from informal spaces, to quiet areas, to social zones.
49 per cent of businesses surveyed in the report felt that they offered a great deal of variety in the spaces they offered employees, however, globally, there are differences in culture that can hinder this outlook slightly. Overall, many businesses see the correlation between more productive employees and more varied working areas, and they also recognise that productivity is not just good for the business, but also for the individual:
increasing job satisfaction and overall happiness at work.
Of course, it isn’t just about the workspace itself, but also about the ways in which we work. Many devotees of flexible working report increased levels of productivity, a better work/life balance and elevated job satisfaction. Flexible working can mean the traditional workspace gives way to more variety – for example, remote working from different locations. We know that variety is the spice of life, and it seems that much of the findings from the report support this:
give employees more room to grow, and most importantly, more choice, and it is likely that productivity and workplace happiness will thrive.