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Most office spaces are not set-up to support employee mental wellbeing

A study by workplace design company, Unispace, has revealed that most office spaces are not set-up to support mental wellbeing in today’s hybrid working environment.

The report, Mental health and the office: Understanding the current, and future relationship, between workspaces and wellbeing, published to coincide with World Mental Health Day (10 October) found that a staggering 95 per cent of employees would like to see improvements to their physical office space, suggesting that many are unhappy with their current workplace.

The study, which surveyed 3,000 office workers across Europe also found that almost half (47 per cent) of the workforce felt that remote working had had a positive impact on their mental health. This suggests that a significant proportion of office workers believe that going into the office could have an impact on their mental wellbeing. With many employers discussing mandating full-time returns to the workplace, Unispace says that considerations must be made to ensure the wellbeing of workforces are being protected.It also added a lack of appropriate facilities and designs that do not support hybrid working are driving much of this sentiment. While 74 per cent indicated a desire for separate spaces to collaborate and work individually, a further 21 per cent indicated they wanted access to more outdoor spaces or greenery at work.

The report also revealed that 75 per cent of office workers across Europe have missed the social element of the office. With social interaction known to bolster mental wellbeing, Unispace has warned that failure to adapt offices to ensure staff can thrive at work could be detrimental to staff wellbeing.Claire Shepherd, Chief Operating Officer, at Unispace, commented: “The link between office design and mental wellbeing is often overlooked, but the fact that almost half of the workforce felt that their mental health improved while working from home, highlights that too many workplaces do not meet the needs of the people that use them. We know that the office – a place that many of us are returning to on a more regular basis – can support mental wellbeing, from the positive collaboration and socialisation opportunities our colleagues afford us, to easy access to amenities, and much more.“Small changes can have a huge impact as well, from colour schemes, to lighting and representations of nature, to acoustics, and room temperatures. But it all starts with truly understanding your colleagues and their needs. Having gone through a difficult period that has tested the resilience of us all, businesses need to consider what more they can do to proactively support the mental wellbeing of their workforce.”

A safe, secure and compliant workplace 2022

Providing a safe, secure and compliant workplace is a key goal for many facilities managers today, coping with multiple regulations, strict data protection rules and new hybrid working practices is a challenge that can’t be ignored. But how do you achieve this across multiple sites and still control costs, reduce bottlenecks and manage the flow of visitors to your facility?

Pitney Bowes, a global technology company that provides commerce solutions in the areas of ecommerce, shipping, mailing and financial services has created a survey to find out how you’re managing these challenges today and how you are preparing for the future.

Please share your experiences and opinions on a safe, secure and compliant workplace by filling in this short survey. It will take just five minutes to complete and offers the chance to win a £150 Amazon gift card.

To take part in the survey click here.

About Sarah OBeirne

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