How to create a happy, healthy workspace

30 October 2015

Promoting a happy, healthy working environment not only has a positive effect on the wellbeing of your employees, but it can boost staff productivity too1. You don’t have to have the financial might of a global corporation to be able to create a harmonious workspace. Making a few small changes can have a big impact.


Having no access to natural light during the day can have negative influence on sleep quality2. Research has shown that giving workers in open plan workplaces control over their own lighting sources can increase job satisfaction and decrease stress3. If natural light is a problem in your workplace, enhancing indoor lighting but avoiding harsh lighting could also help combat workplace health issues4.

Heating and cooling

There is no legislation regarding the highest or lowest temperature in a workplace, but it’s recommended that workplaces should be no colder than 20°C5. During particularly hot or cold spells, consider providing fans or heaters as needed and relaxing any formal dress codes6. For long-term comfort, ensure windows can be opened and are properly insulated.

Air flow and quality

Poor air quality can lead to allergies, respiratory health issues, headaches, tiredness, low staff productivity and higher rates of absenteeism7. Air conditioning or ventilation systems should be fitted to the required standard of filtration efficiency8.


Ergonomics is the science concerned with the ‘fit’ between people and their workplace, but is largely used to relate to the layout of workstations. Ensuring your employees are sitting comfortably is vital to reduce9 the risk of damage to the wrists, shoulders and back. Talk to your employees. Workplaces where employees are involved in taking decisions about health and safety are safer and healthier9.

Occupational health and safety

This covers a broad area and will vary depending on your line of work. Factors to consider are workplace stress, musculoskeletal disorders (for example back problems) and, in a workplace where employees come into contact with substances such as chemicals, skin and respiratory conditions10.

Each year more than a million working people in the UK experience a work-related illness. This leads to around 27 million lost working days costing the economy an estimated £13.4 billion1. Improving happiness improves motivation and is great for business as well as staff morale11. Offering health insurance as part of an employment package guarantees that your employees will have access to healthcare professionals who are on hand to help them at any time.

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