National workplace wellbeing day falls on Friday, March 31 - so what can you do to improve your office environment?
Grow It Yourself (GIY), known for its guidance on cultivating the best vegetable patch, now shares its top five tips for improving office space.
The advice has been collated through GIY's experience working with corporates including Diageo and Energia.
One – more plants
Research shows that certain plants act as air purifiers and also release oxygen into the atmosphere. This significantly improves indoor air quality and employee cognition. Good plants for indoors spaces include kale, mint, coriander, jade, bamboo and snake plants.
Two – natural light
Regular exposure to UV light encourages production of Vitamin D which has been shown to elevate levels of serotonin in the body making us feel happier and more content.
Increasing exposure to natural light both in the office and allowing for a few minutes of outside time during the day can dramatically increase employee wellbeing.
Three – workplace dining
Studies are suggesting that employees who don’t talk about topics other than work may have poorer mental health than those who do. Supporting healthy eating initiatives can give workers something positive to talk about over the lunch or tea break.
Four – get blending
Green smoothies are full of antioxidants and nutrients that support cognition. They are also a healthy way to get through the morning and afternoon tea time sugar lows in the office.
Five – encourage volunteering
One guaranteed way to increase productivity in your office is to create a sense of purpose and belonging. Encouraging employees to contribute to something meaningful in the community, through paid staff leave, in or outside of normal working hours, is a fantastic way to develop organisational pride and improve employee morale.
GIY founder Michael Kelly says that their GIY@Work programme is resonating with companies that want to engage with their employees on issues of wellbeing.
“They know that their employees are getting out from behind the desk even if it’s only for a few minutes and doing something that is proven to be beneficial for mental and physical health”.
In The Workplace
Vodafone is launching a new programme designed to provide people who have taken a career break, many of them likely to be women who have quit their jobs to raise a family, with a way of returning to work.