In any business, it’s vital that employees are provided with workspaces that inspire and engage them, and that they are able to feel comfortable in. Gone are the days of white walls and linear desks, as companies large and small put more emphasis on creating vibrant spaces that people look forward to working in. But while design is imperative to any great workspace, there are other changes you can make that impact sustainability and environment, mental health awareness and active learning within a workspace.
Here’s just a few ways you can create a great workspace that works for your employees, your business and your wider community.
Create a green office space
Ensuring we’re living a more environmentally friendly life is as equally important in the workplace as it is at home. A recent survey by Avery revealed that three quarters of workers wished their employer would do more for the environment, with almost half admitting to being greener at home than at work. Creating a green office space doesn’t need to be difficult though, there are so many simple ways you can develop a more sustainable workplace.
The simplest and easiest change you can make to becoming a greener office is by providing (clearly labeled!) facilities for recycling. But why not take this one step further and reduce the need for recycling by becoming a paperless business. It’s great for the environment, you’ll save costs on paper and printing, and chances are it will be much easier to find things in online storage, increasing productivity.
There are also ways to reduce your carbon footprint through energy-saving technology. It might be as simple as adding motion sensors to your lights, or you may want to implement whole building management systems which have the ability to control energy consumption, temperature, lift usage, equipment and so much more.
Of course, when it comes to energy saving and remember the little things like turning off lights or not leaving equipment on standby, why not make this into a challenge for your employees. Bring out your colleagues’ competitive streak and promote mini-challenges for your team: how about challenging them going plastic free for a month or seeing how many people can make their commute more eco-friendly.
At Bruntwood we’re extending our sustainability agenda to the make-up of our buildings, repurposing our buildings so that they are as carbon free as possible. Find out more about this and the simple changes your office can make to help the environment later this week, as we discuss more changes as part of Green Office Week, 13th – 17th May.
Encourage continuous learning
It’s very easy to get stuck in your ways in the workplace, but even if you’ve been in the same business or industry for years, there is always something new to learn. Whether it’s on the job training or taking a course in your own time, creating a working environment that supports continuous learning is so important; after all it is a crucial tool for every career.
Giving your employees the chance to develop new and existing skills will not only benefit their career in the long term, it can also have a positive impact on the business. With their new found skills, employees will find new opportunities to help find innovative solutions to problems. While colleagues will be building on their existing knowledge and understanding, by opening their minds and changing attitudes, they will also get better at seeing different perspectives in all situations, enabling them to take on new challenges.
Encourage your employees to stay curious, to ask questions and explore topics they might not have thought about before. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and working with different teams and people with ways of working that don’t match your own can spark new ideas and keep momentum in your work.
Find out how you can bring more learning into your workplace with Learning at Work week and discover how it can help you to shape your future. We’ll be discussing how Bruntwood is implementing a better learning environment into our business this Wednesday.
Make mental health a priority
Whether you’re a small enterprise or a global company, mental health awareness is key in any business. Work is a major part of our lives, and whether it’s work-related or otherwise, sometimes life can get on top of us. Simply addressing mental health in the workplace can go a long way, but there are other small changes that can be made to improve employee wellbeing.
Physical activity has been proven to be beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing. So why not provide opportunities for employees to add more steps to their 9-5 through walking meetings and lunchtime walking groups. Flexible working hours can also be a great help, allowing people to get to the gym outside of those peak hours so that they can get the most out of their workout. Simple activity like this can make a huge difference to employee wellbeing, boosting self-esteem and aiding concentration.
Working in a supportive team is imperative for everybody’s wellbeing, but especially so for someone with mental health problems. Even if an employee doesn’t feel entirely comfortable talking to a manager about their mental wellbeing, finding a colleague to rely on to have those conversations with can be hugely beneficial. Encourage your employees to find a mentor or small group that they can always ask for help.
We’ll be discussing more ways to make positive changes to support your own and your colleagues mental health later this week as part of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
These are just some of the small changes you can make to your workspace to help create a thriving environment and community.
We believe and invest in creating vibrant spaces, ensuring that they encourage healthy, happy lifestyles, reduce environmental impact and unlock the true potential in people. In placing vital importance on these key areas, we are able to create thriving communities that grow and develop for the good of our people, our cities and the wider environment.