Evolving Workspaces to Prioritize Employee Mental Health

Promoting employee mental health has become a priority amongst business leaders in all industries. 

During the pandemic, many employees struggled with their mental well-being due to anxiety, fear of losing one’s job, and a lack of social contact with their peers. 

If you lead a team at work, you should do everything in your power to ensure that your employees are happy and fulfilled in the workplace. Fulfilled employees lend a hand to positive company culture and will likely be more efficient and effective workers. 

You can create a more productive, mental-health-positive workplace by offering flexible working options and ensuring employees have access to an equitable working environment.

Flexible Work Options 

Flexible work accommodations have grown in popularity since the pandemic when many companies experimented with remote work for the first time. 

Most businesses opt for either in-person or fully remote operations, however, offering hybrid, flexible work schedules can do wonders for employee health and well-being.  

Offering hybrid or flexible work is particularly important for employees who have to make lengthy commutes. Lengthy commutes undermine employee health, as commutes over 45 minutes are shown to create stress and anxiety. 

Allowing workers to skip the dread of rush hour traffic and come in on their own schedule might sound like a leap of faith but may be just what you need to unlock employee potential and foster better mental health at work.  

If your office is simply too far from an employee’s home, you may want to consider offering satellite office space – such as access to a nearby coworking space. 

Coworking spaces are ideal for employees who want to “go to work” without having to deal with a lengthy commute. Shared working areas may even offer extra perks that you might not be able to offer in your own office such as vibrant community cafe areas and community networking events.  

Coworking spaces are also budget-friendly — particularly for smaller businesses with less working capital. 

Renting a coworking space for a few employees can cost far less than opening an entirely new office closer to their home. These spaces can also typically accommodate flexible schedules, so employees can find a workspace that suits them and their various time commitments.

Equitable Workspaces 

A well-equipped workspace can do wonders for employee productivity and efficiency. However, in today’s climate, it’s shown that employees need more than computers and standing desks to feel fully supported.  

Even small changes, like offering quiet, sensory-friendly break rooms can make a big difference to employee well-being. You can also experiment with workspace changes like:  

  • Offering access to green space at work 
  • Bringing in an on-site counselor for semi-regular visits 
  • Providing employees with sensory tools 
  • Ensuring employees have access to the resources and tech they need to complete their tasks efficiently 

But, just remember that fancy tech can’t fix poor company culture. New HR software and individual iPads may look great during interviews, but when was the last time you sat down and asked employees what they wanted from their workspace?  

Instead, we believe that focusing on delivering a workspace that aligns with your core company values and supports employee mental health. 

By asking employees about how the workplace makes them feel, you may discover implicit issues in your current setup. 

For example, if you haven’t made reasonable adjustments to account for employees with disabilities, you may find that your workplace is exclusionary and in need of renovation.  

Dealing with workspace discrimination is also an important step toward better employee mental health. Remember, some disabilities are “invisible,” meaning you may not be aware that your employees even have a disability. 

By collecting data and creating an equitable workspace, you can ensure that everyone feels supported and valued at work. 

An equitable, worker-friendly workspace can help you prioritize employee mental health. 

Even small changes, like making your working area more accessible to folks with invisible disabilities can make a big difference to morale and employee wellbeing. 

You can also promote greater employee agency by offering flexible working schemes in coworking spaces. Coworking spaces give employees access to all the resources they need and help employees strike a healthy work-life balance.

Learn about how we can streamline and improve your business’ productivity.