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  • The Benefits of Designing a Healthier Work Environment

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  • One of the seven components covered by the WELL Building Standard is fitness.

    Designing a workplace that promotes a healthier lifestyle can greatly benefit employee wellbeing, increase productivity and improve company culture.

    A staggering 90% of our time is spent within a manmade static environment. Therefore designing an office which enables employees to engage in a more active lifestyle and educating your team on the importance of wellbeing is essential to improving overall wellness.

    At Oktra we understand and recognise the importance of facilitating fitness in the office. Our teams run, cycle and sweat all year round – both in and out of the office! In the following, we will consider methods to effectively encourage fitness in your office and beyond.

  • In-office fitness

    Failing to make time for exercise can have a destructive impact on individuals’ current and future wellbeing. According to the Guardian, in the UK 11.3 million days of work were lost in 2013-2014 due to stress, depression or anxiety – that’s an average of 23 days per person. We will focus on two main areas to consider when creating various fitness opportunities for your teams throughout their working day, and the benefits they have.

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  • 1. Active furnishing

    Equipping your office with active furnishing, can significantly enhances your team’s wellness. It gives them the option to choose how and where to work. Your furniture can be a key factor in influencing the way in which fitness is perceived by employees. We have a ping pong table at Oktra HQ to promote fitness and create some light-hearted competition.

    Finally, equipping your workplace with active seating can further endorse wellbeing. This can include, exercise ball chairs, or one of our personal favourites here at Oktra, the Ballo. The Ballo is an innovative take on traditional ball chairs, allowing room for flexibility and movement while sitting.

    2. Structured fitness programs

    Organising tailored activities in a natural and enjoyable way improves productivity levels and increases participation. During exercise our bodies release endorphins that can boost self-confidence and energy levels. Hiring a personal trainer to offer healthy guided activity that all employees can partake in is another great way to encourage in-office wellness. We too have embraced this in our office, by promoting safe and convenient exercise through weekly yoga classes and Friday bootcamp.

    Beyond the office

    Additionally to endorsing in-office fitness, we suggest supporting a healthier lifestyle that goes beyond the work environment. Encouraging your team to take part in regular sporting events such as football matches, biking or running, offers a chance for employees to mix outside of the office, and creates a great company culture.

    At Oktra we frequently promote cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening exercise events. This month alone we took part in the Standard Charted Great City Race 2017, competed in the Weybridge Community Rowing Regatta, and participated in The Prudential 100 Cycle Ride.

    Encouraging fitness in the office and beyond significantly contributes to employees’ mental and physical health. It nurtures a happier, healthier work environment and lifestyle.

    Physical and mental health are often closely linked. Exercising increases the release of serotonin, which can regulate our sleeping pattern. It is clear that our minds and bodies are inextricably connected.

  • If you need further advice on how to design your workplace to improve employee wellbeing why not get in touch today.

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