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How to create a more positive working environment

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of welcoming Jim Taylour, Head of Design & Wellbeing at Orangebox into our Manchester showroom to deliver a topical talk on the current state of workplace wellness.

We invited architects, interior designers and consultants from the Northern A&D community – including 3dReid, Bridge Architects, Hilson Moran and Bruntwood – along to the showroom to hear from Jim.

Left feeling inspired, we wanted to share a segment of his insights on our own Knowledge Centre and offer our advice on how to create a more positive working environment.

Communal area in sleek modern office with a marble island surrounded by chairs

To boost mood, six positive employees are needed for every one negative

As part of the talk on workplace wellness, Jim touched on the concept of positivity and how this has a direct impact on how a business and its workforce functions.

Apparently, in order to maintain a certain level of positivity and morale, a workplace needs 3 positive people for every 1 negative person. In order to improve or increase positivity and morale, 6 positive people are needed for every 1 negative person.

Innovative collaboration breakout rooms in natural themed modern office

Of course, for businesses to acquire this healthy ratio of positive employees, they need to offer an attractive working environment. This comes down to attraction and retention tactics and knowing what you can do to breed more positivity in the workplace…

A happy employee is 12% more productive than an unhappy one*

In order for people to be happy – and therefore more positive – at work they need to feel:

  • Valued and appreciated
  • Accepted and included
  • Considered and looked after
  • Inspired and continually developed

what are the benefits of a positive working environment

Here’s how these factors can be influenced through strategic office interior design:

The 6 Dimensions of Workplace Wellbeing

The six pillars which are believed to come together to create the ultimate employee experience are Optimism, Mindfulness, Authenticity, Belonging, Meaning and Vitality.

Considering all of these when creating a workspace design will allow staff a sense of purpose, motivation and connectivity to the company and their colleagues. This will then nurture a happier, more satisfied workforce.

Simple ways to improve mental health in the workplace

Click for more on Steelcase’s 6 Dimensions of Workplace Wellbeing.

Consideration of colours & comfort

It’s common knowledge that colour can massively impact mood and mental wellbeing, especially for those with neurodiverse conditions such as autism and depression.

Stick to oranges and yellows to inspire bright, energising emotions or blues and greens to instil calm. Steer clear of reds and black if you want to fend of feelings of panic and anxiety.

Similarly, physical comfort has a direct effect on cognitive function and mental state so consider investing in some intuitive ergonomic furniture designed to support the human body.

ergonomic features of an office creating positive environment

Fostering a sense of community & culture

This links back to the 6 Dimensions of Workplace Wellbeing and how vital it is to create a sense of belonging if you want to breed a positive, motivated workforce. Designated social spaces, agile working and introducing elements of fun are all effective ways to create a better sense of community in the workplace.

Ensuring your company culture is communicated clearly will also act as a driving force to push staff and unite them through one set of mutual objectives.

steelcase node chair in training and learning

Providing ongoing development opportunities

In order for staff to be happy in their jobs, they need to feel like they are developing continually as a professional. Regular training and education is a great way to satisfy this but you’ll need to create the right type of learning environment.

As well as the right furniture, technology and fit out, training spaces also need to be fully equipped with sufficient resource. Once you’re done here, head over to our list of the must-have stationery and supplies essentials for your education facility.

*Statistic from a study by the University of Warwick

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