How can the physical workplace help with regards to helping people cope with mental health issues?
The physical workplace can help in many ways. Biophilic design has been found to play a significant role in supporting mental health and, while there is less research directly examining the benefits between other ambient factors and mental health, there is good evidence linking natural light, ventilation, temperature and noise to wellbeing and comfort.
Activity based working designs are increasingly popular and, although not a blanket solution, the provision of quiet areas, team desks and collaboration spaces, for example, have been found to support social interaction, communication and control of time and space – all of which are core features of job design linked to mental health.
Other features, such as open staircases, the provision of sit/stand desks and onsite gym and wellbeing facilities, are also important as frequent exercise buffers mental ill-health.
Do you have any tips when it comes to helping deal with our own mental health?
Driven by our research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, we encourage people to build their IGLOO to stay mentally healthy at work – we all need to have Individual, Group, Line manager, and Organisational resources available to us to be able to protect and maintain mental health.