Feel good, in the office too!
Personal wellbeing shouldn’t be put on hold while we’re at work. Here’s how you can foster a healthy working environment for all
ur working lives should help us live our personal lives more fully. Here’s how you can help teams – and yourselves – thrive 24/7, by building the right office environment.
Are you sitting comfortably? Feeling energised? Do you feel like you’re in the right place for the tasks you’re about to take on? If not, what needs to change about your surroundings? These days, we have a much greater awareness of how our daily office work environment impacts our workplace happiness. But it’s not always something we have time to consider when we already have enough to do. And, too often, the office space we end up with is dictated by what we can afford – designer furniture, stimulating views and proximity to an artisan coffee shop tend to fall by the wayside.
But this doesn’t have to happen. When sourcing workspace, there are ways executive assistants can help their companies find affordable shared workspace that’s designed to make people want to be there. Forward-thinking businesses are being more strategic about incorporating wellbeing into their company culture – recognising how this can boost employee productivity, tackle negativity in the workplace and retain talent. Businesses can, and should, consider the influence they have on their employees’ wellbeing – starting with the office ecosystem.
A healthy office environment goes beyond the basics, like having a decent amount of natural daylight, plant life and ergonomic desk chairs. It extends to facilities that support a healthy lifestyle for those who use the space day-in, day-out. This could mean an on-site gym, or bike racks and showers that encourage people to stick to their fitness goals – or even a partnership with a local gym that offers company discounts. It’s about intuitively designed space with breakout areas, so people can step away from their screens and socialise (rather than opening up their lunch box at their desk because there’s nowhere else to go). Given that the space is shared with other like-minded companies, flexible workspace (flexspace) gives companies access to these kinds of well-thought-out facilities at affordable entry points. Whether businesses opt for communal coworking space, or hire private offices within a shared workspace, flexspace makes a more aspirational office environment more accessible too.
A healthy workspace is also about having the right local environment, with good facilities on your doorstep. Having cafés, outdoor space and shops nearby helps staff make the most of their breaks – be it a walk in a park, or getting the Christmas shopping done. And the same goes for transport links. The easier it is for people to get to and from the office, the less their commute to work eats into their personal lives.
Taking things even further, a good office environment isn’t just about physical infrastructure and location – it’s also about the social environment. Small touches can go a long way in showing employees that the company recognises they have a life to lead beyond their job role. At this time of year, gestures such as Christmas decorations, treats, and office Christmas parties or gatherings all boost social cohesion and a sense of reward for working hard all year round. Given the reach and scope of the executive assistant role, an EA is likely to have a powerful part to play in maintaining a positive social environment, which can help tackle loneliness during the festive period, and make employees feel included.
A healthy office environment is about supporting employees’ wellbeing and personal routines – but this could also mean facilitating them working outside the office. There’s a strong connection between flexible working and wellbeing, as it lets people cut down the time they spend commuting, work closer to where they live, and work more efficiently, in hours that are in line with their personal productivity patterns.
With flexspace, executive assistants have a range of tools and solutions for energising their company’s workforce, helping them (and themselves) to stay physically and mentally healthy, and creating an office culture that empowers them to get their best work done – all while feeling their best selves.