Open Office: How does office-based working positively impact an employee’s mental health

We hear so much about the pressure in the workplace, office politics and work place mental health and wellbeing.  Over the past six months the shift to remote working from home has been essential for many people. Here’s how the office can and does provide a positive impact on our mental health.

This article will highlight some of the positive and essential things you can experience and implement to help your office environment to have a positive impact on mental health.

Going out to work is a huge part of our daily routine, even if you are not a fan of having a rigid routine, we all have a routine it generally starts with a morning coffee and cleaning our teeth. The walk, drive or journey to work become familiar and provide us with structure.

There is no on size fits all when it comes to routine, what works for your family and friends may not work for you, so it’s important to find a routine that gives you confidence, improves your mental well-being and that you enjoy doing.

Routines help us with time management, help us to set boundaries, and when we have these, we are more productive, our stress levels decrease and we can start to feel less overwhelmed. Helping to improve our mental well-being.

The office as a community: Community has become really important over the last few months and the office space has its own community. Communities allow us to have a sense of belonging.

Meaning of community: A group of people living and working in the same place/or having particular characteristics in common.

The office is a place where we meet people we can connect with, communicate with and share things that are generally important to us They can be both our success and hardships.

All of these are really important for our mental health. We can find that we share things in common such as hobbies. These help to increase our self-esteem, and our sense of belonging and hopefully we can share some fun and laughter too.

The community in the office can become a collective, there is research highlighting how companies encourage staff to help raise money for local charities and actively get involved with the wider community.

When we are in an office space it has been reported that staff feel visible to both their colleagues and managers. The opportunity to build rapport and relationships is easier, those quick conversations by the water cooler where many important decisions are made. These prevent people from feeling isolated and lonely.

When we are face to face with people, we are not only listening to what they are saying but we are observing their body language, 95% of our communication is non-verbal.! Being able to share feelings with colleagues and managers allows people to feel valued, which increases self-esteem and confidence, the person helping the person will also feel an increase in their self-esteem and self-worth, as helping others releases the love hormone Oxytocin which makes us feel good about ourselves. The face to face contact is essential for this to happen.

Positive actions and using positive language will also help increase others, self-confidence well-being. The more you use positive language the less stressed and anxious you will feel.

You might want to start by writing 20-50 positive words and using them daily. The simplest one to start with is Thank you.

One study by Yekes-Dodson –law found that colleagues who spent 15 minutes socialising and sharing their feelings of stress had a 20% increase in productivity and performance in the workplace.

The office is not only for work it is where relationships are formed. When we create a positive environment to work in it can and will have a positive impact on our mental health and well-being.


About Jo Perruzza

Through her business Working with you in MIND Jo helps organisations to embed Mental Health awareness into their work place , by creating and offering bespoke training programmes and coaching . This will increase your organisations productivity, health and happiness .
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