Improving the comfort of each employee within their personal workspace is an important part of improving overall wellness and happiness in the office. That's why ergonomics is such an incredible field; its fundamental aim is to improve the comfort of all (as well as safety, productivity, and accuracy) — by retrofitting and designing workstations and environments accordingly. And an element of our environmental comfort that is oddly overlooked? Temperature.
Top 10 Reasons Why Environmental Comfort is Important
The link between environmental and physical comfort is strong across numerous elements. Consider that optimizing the office lighting (an environmental component of work ergonomics) is shown to improve morale but will also reduce eye fatigue (a physical benefit). Or that removing odors in the air (an environmental component) contributes to a stronger sense of well-being but also prevents nausea and other ultimately physical ailments caused by indoor air pollutants.
3. Allergies, asthma, and sickness overall
High-quality air is key to health and well-being in the workplace. For those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other illnesses, the air at work is essentially the ‘tonic’ or the ‘toxic’ they are inhaling each day. For this reason, taking proper measures to clean and circulate the office air protects all employee health. It’s valuable to note that poor indoor air quality is also the primary cause of Sick Building Syndrome; conversely, investing in the air quality is a long-term investment in the health of the workforce.
The office environment can stimulate or stymie creativity. Research published in Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries highlights the importance of designing the office to support creativity. How, exactly? Through biophilic design, ideal lighting conditions, and thoughtfully-chosen colors, for instance. This, to catalyze your team’s creative potential.
8. Employee morale
Employees with control over the environment of their workspace have control over the factors that directly affect their ability to concentrate, find comfort at the desk, and produce at their highest level. This agency enhances morale. Moreover, people with the agency over their working environment are less likely to experience workplace burnout.
9. Eye Care
Improving the office space’s lighting not only benefits mental health and well-being but prevents Computer Vision Syndrome: a catch-all phrase used to describe eye-related injuries caused by prolonged computer use. Using protective tools such as privacy screens can also aid in this arena by reducing glare and blocking computer blue light. Otherwise, excessive blue light can inhibit melatonin production. Consequently, privacy screens contribute to a greater quality of sleep, helping prevent burnout.
10. Competitive Advantage
As we broaden our focus on office ergonomics to include the quality of the working environment, it’s important to take preferences into consideration. We all have a different idea of what the ideal workstation looks and feels like. That’s why our team considers it critical to give employees total control over the environmental aspects of their personal workspace. And equipment such as desktop space heaters and air purifiers are an economical way to afford this control. If your aim is to improve the comfort, productivity, health, and well-being of each member of your team, giving them the tools they need to achieve personal comfort at their desk is a surefire way to reach it.