Respecting the Physical and Mental Health of Employees Supports a Healthy Bottom Line
How to create safe spaces that protect the hearts and minds of the people that use them
Most of us haven’t lived through a time that has put such a collective strain on our physical and mental health. Every decision matters. There doesn’t seem to be any easy choices. Just a long list of workable scenarios.
We’ve seen anxiety and stress levels rise. Employee assistance programs are being used more than ever. Don’t forget the trifecta of isolation, burnout, and frustration. This is our reality and it’s not good for anyone. Now that we are reuniting, we want this to improve. But will coming together reduce or increase stress levels? How will productivity and engagement be impacted?
These are questions we’ve thought a lot about. The good news is we can be better together. Here’s how. You demonstrate your values by building a space that reflects and respects the human experience. You integrate design and construction elements that reduce anxiety, increase concentration, and connect people to each other.
Create room to breathe
Choose configurations that have room to work solo and give the freedom to move without fear in shared spaces. Consider air filtration systems than can be built into current HVAC systems to keep air clean and safe.
Go medical grade
Borrow from an industry that knows about infection prevention and control. Select materials that are easy to clean. Use finishes and surfaces that reduce transfer of bacteria.
Advocate for high tech and low touch
Embed technology in your walls so that screens aren’t a haven for germs. Move towards touch-free using motion-activated sensors where possible.
Bring the outside in
Nature has all the answers. Invite her in. Keep it light with transparent glass. Keep it fresh with plants and living walls. Use timber to incorporate natural elements.
Communicate. Share information. Encourage conversations and question asking. Harness the power of technology to create virtual safe spaces where hearts and minds can support each other.
Investing in your space and your people develops your culture, your business, and your brand. Because if you take care of your people, you’ll also take care of business.
This article is part of a series on rethinking space.
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