Tips for Creating Safe and Comfortable Employee Workspaces

Over the last several years many organizations have allowed employees to work in a hybrid environment, or even entirely remote. Though this strategy can work well, many organizations are encouraging employees to get back to the office this year. 

“90% of companies will require employees to return to the office in 2023. 21% of companies will fire workers who do not return to the office. 88% of companies are offering incentives to get employees to return, including catered meals, commuter benefits, and higher pay.”

So what else can you do to help your employees want to come back to the office?

Building a psychologically safe work environment while designing a comfortable workplace is a great way to start. 

A psychologically safe work environment can not only help reduce workplace stress by up to 74% but also promote overall well-being, engagement, and productivity. 

  1. Lead by example. As a leader, model the behavior you want to see in your employees, including being open to feedback, admitting mistakes, and treating others with respect and empathy. 
  2. Establish clear expectations and boundaries for your team. What is and is not acceptable in the workplace? This includes behavior towards colleagues, work quality standards and communication protocols.
  3. Foster open and honest communication between employees and management. This means creating an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions, ideas, and concerns without fear of negative consequences.
  4. Promote a culture of continuous feedback and learning. Encourage employees to share constructive feedback with each other and to learn from mistakes.
  5. Recognize the importance of employee well-being and support it through policies and practices such as flexible schedules, wellness programs, and mental health resources. 
  6. Address conflicts and concerns quickly and effectively. Create a safe space for employees to bring up issues and ensure that they are addressed in a timely and appropriate manner.

Your physical environment is just as important as the psychological environment in your organization. It requires a thoughtful approach that considers the needs and preferences of your employees and is essential for promoting well-being and productivity. Here are a few things to consider in updating your space:

The Impact of Lighting

Lighting can have a significant impact on the comfort of a work environment. Natural lighting can improve mood and productivity, while harsh fluorescent lighting can cause eye strain and headaches. A combination of natural and artificial lighting can help create a comfortable and inviting space.

Choose Ergonomic Furniture

Ergonomic furniture can help reduce physical discomfort and prevent injuries. Chairs, desks, and computer equipment should be adjustable and provide adequate support for the body.

Incorporate Plants and Nature

Plants can help improve air quality, reduce stress, and add a natural element to the work environment. Incorporating plants into the workspace can create a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

Provide Comfortable Temperature Control

Temperature control is essential for creating a comfortable work environment. Ensure that the workspace is properly ventilated and that employees have access to temperature controls to adjust the temperature to their preference.

Noise Reduction

Excessive noise can cause distractions and reduce productivity. Consider using sound-absorbing materials, such as carpets or curtains, to reduce noise levels in the workspace.

Create Designated Spaces

Creating designated spaces for different activities, such as quiet areas for focused work or collaboration spaces for group projects, can help employees feel more comfortable and productive.

Building a psychologically safe and physically comfortable environment like this requires ongoing effort and commitment from all members of the organization. But by prioritizing open communication, feedback, and support for employee well-being, you can create a workplace that promotes trust, respect, and engagement among your team. Commercial Office Environments is here to help you get started building a space your employees can enjoy and appreciate when getting back to the office this year. Drop us a line, we’d be happy to help!


Sources: Resume Builder, 9 in 10 companies will require employees to work from office in 2023; Accenture, Why psychological safety at work matters to business