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Tips for Improving Collaboration and Well-being at Work

With a little effort, we can all leave work feeling as well, or even better than when we came in.

Most people spend 45–60 hours each week at work, and workplace stress is the single greatest enemy of well-being. Each leader and employee has the opportunity to consider their workplace environment, and how it could reduce work stress, improve overall health, and improve team relationships.

There are countless studies on different approaches to worker well-being, ergonomics, and wellness programs. Here are a few practical tips that are easy to implement and will get you started.

Don’t sit all day or stand all day. Mix it up!

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth reinforcing. Height-adjustable workstations are the new normal. They are linked to increased productivity, better concentration, and improved overall health.

A study by Steelcase quantified the ROI on height-adjustable workstations and found that:

  • Sitting is reduced by 17%
  • Discomfort in shoulders, neck and back is reduced
  • They are easy to use
  • Productivity is increased
  • Health outside of work is improved

Improving the ergonomic environment of a workplace does not need to break the budget. Standing desks are coming down in price, and offering flexible options can be a reasonable solution as well. For instance, if your organization cannot offer all employees a standing desk option, perhaps you have space for shared flexible workstations with standing desks that people have access to throughout the day.

Photo by Slava Keyzman on Unsplash

Comfort is key

Just like your home, comfort in the office environment is important for productivity, team dynamics, and wellbeing. Temperature and lighting are factors that can distract or enhance a workspace. Also, the ability to add personal touches to an individual workspace, like plants and decor, can improve productivity. An introverted person might choose to have less stimulation around their space, and an extrovert may be energized by more visual stimulation. Giving workers some control and choice over their space ultimately makes them feel more comfortable and “at home”.

Photo by Clarisa Guerra on Unsplash

Good posture affects more than your spinal cord.

Technology is shrinking, and hunching over a laptop, tablet, or smartphone is not only unhealthy for your spinal cord, it also affects cognition. Sitting up straight with a monitor at eye level improves convergent thinking; problem solving and logic-based thinking. Moving around, standing up, and changing positions helps with divergent thinking; creativity, and abstract or philosophical thinking.

Reduce stress with flexible space

Leading organizations can make a significant impact on collaboration and well-being by offering flexible options to their team. Most jobs require a variety of workspaces. 95% of workers say they need quiet, private spots for confidential conversations and concentrated work during the week. Only 40% say they have access to this type of space. 91% of employees say they need space to re-energize and take a break, but only 49% have access to a comfortable relaxation space at work. 40–50% of individuals report that they do not have a pleasing view, natural light, or good air quality during the workday.

By offering employees access to a variety of flex space; soft seating near windows, a standing desk area, quiet focus space, and soundproof conference rooms; employees will be happier and less stressed. Teams can choose between different open or closed collaboration spaces that fit their task or meeting, ultimately improving their productivity and relationships.

A relaxation space for taking a quiet break and re-energizing can be a game changer for stress in the workplace as well. Not only offering the space, but encouraging and modeling its use is necessary. Employees who feel that they have a good work-life balance are more productive and satisfied with their job.

Now, let’s get really practical. Here are a few tips we can all try today to improve wellness at work:

  • Instead of sending an email, walk over to your co-worker’s desk to have a conversation.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • Place a plant near your desk to improve air quality and bring the outside in.
  • Work out during a lunch break, or walk a lap or two around the building
  • Use a height-adjustable workstation.
  • Find a reason to get up and move for a couple of minutes every hour.
  • Open a nearby window for fresh air.

Ready to make a change?

If you are curious about implementing affordable flexible shared spaces at your organization, or would like to explore these ideas and possibilities in a workshop with your team, reach out to us at We look forward to making room for better teams and better space at your organization!



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