— 15 May 2019
Mental health is the foundation for our health and well-being, giving us the ability to cope with everyday pressures, manage life changes and help us bounce back from difficulties. Anyone can suffer from poor mental health. The Northern Trust characterises mental health problems as changes in thinking, mood or behaviour and include anxiety and depression. Poor mental health affects at least one in four people across the UK each year.
Mental health in the workplace
Employment can have a positive effect on people’s mental health. It can provide a sense of purpose and self-worth and opportunities to meet people and make friends. As an employer it is important to promote mental health at both an organisational and individual level. The workplace offers an excellent opportunity to reach large numbers of people with information and offer support to improve their mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems.
Although the workplace has many positive aspects, there are various factors that can cause stress or increase the risk of developing or worsening existing mental health problems. Poor acoustics in the workplace can lead to excessive noise levels which can be stressful for employees when exposed for long periods of time. Confined work areas with little personal space can inhibit concentration and productivity and effect employee’s mental wellbeing. Research has also shown a link between workplaces with restricted natural light and poor mental health.
How interior design and layout can have a positive effect on mental health
There are many elements that can be considered when designing an office space. Recently there has been a rise in break-out and recreational areas. Add some fun furniture to these spaces to create a lively, fun place where employees can have group discussions and problem-solving sessions. These spaces can boost creativity as well as offer a more relaxing environment and as such promotes a healthier workplace environment.
There has also been an increase in the use of pods in office spaces. Pods offer several benefits to the office and employees. In an era of ‘always-on’, personal pods can offer a private space where employees can work without being disturbed by surrounding noises or visual distractions. These pods have been designed explicitly for this purpose and many companies find that employee levels of productivity have increased since pods have been installed. Pods can also be designed as modern, technology-equipped phone booths or meeting spaces, for either in-person or virtual interaction. These pods again offer a private, comfortable, sound-proof setting.
Upholstered wall paneling can help reduce excessive noise in office spaces. These acoustic panels effectively reduce reverberation noise levels as well as add interesting textures to the space. Reduced noise levels help create a less stressful environment for employees which can reduce the risk of associated mental health problems. Studies have shown that a positive work environment has a number or benefits for employees including reduced risk of mental health problems, improved morale, increased self-esteem and confidence and improved working relationships.
If you are interested in implementing these elements into your office space, get in touch today to see how we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org | 028 8775 8111