Your happiness is paramount to your health. Naturally, you do your best work when you’re feeling happy and healthy. Mental health has become a more openly discussed issue in recent years. The idea of taking a “mental health day” is increasingly more accepted, along with a growing awareness of the true cost of poor mental health on one’s overall well-being not to mention the quality of employees’ work performance.

How can your office be healthier? There are a few simple environmental factors to consider. Giving some thought to the following elements in your office environment is an easy and affordable way to help yourself or your employees to have a happier, more productive day.

Light

It’s no secret that exposure to natural light has a direct correspondence to health. Studies have shown that workers who have offices near windows are both more active during the day, and more rested when they arrive at work in the morning. Because sunlight affects the body’s circadian rhythms, just sitting near a window during the day can help you get a better sleep at night. It’s clear that designing an office with plenty of windows is a great way to take a positive step toward fulfilling your employees’ general health and well-being.

Solitude River Three Panel Marble Wall Fountain

Solitude River Three Panel Marble Wall Fountain
Dimensions: 69"H x 78"W x 6"D

Fountains

More than just beautiful décor, fountains can provide many health benefits in an office setting. Their flowing water is calming to listen to and fills the air with negative ions. These negative ions have a marked positive effect on one’s mood and they help to keep dust and pollution in the air from drifting, making the overall environment healthier and happier. Consider adding a water fountain to a dry office environment; it will act as a natural humidifier.

Classic Quarry Nojoqui Falls Wall Fountain

Classic Quarry Nojoqui Falls Wall Fountain
Dimensions: 58"H x 25.5"W x 7"D

Scents

Perhaps smell is not something that comes to mind often during the course of your workday, but it is just as important as your other four senses and can play a large role in your health and happiness. Due to the rising level of workers who suffer from allergies and sensitivity to smells, some workplaces enforce a “No Scents” policy which bans the use of personal scent products such as perfume. There are also smell-related health hazards to consider such as paint, exhaust, and solvents from nearby trucks or dumpsters. To provide a positive scent experience that will lift your office’s spirits and health, invest in a diffuser which mists natural essential oils into the air.

Music

Office noise levels and the content of the noise you hear can have a dramatic effect on stress levels in the workplace. Conversely, most workers report lower stress levels and a more positive, productive frame of mind when given the option of listening to music. Soft, pleasant music played throughout an office can help to diminish the sounds of stressful or distracting conversations and help everyone to focus on the task at hand. If you have the option of listening to a personal stereo, chances are you’ll enjoy an even more positive effect from music at work, as your ability to choose what you hear is both empowering and cathartic.