With increasing onus on employers to consider the wellbeing and mental health of their workforce, providing the right office environment is more important than ever.
In 2017, research by Mind UK confirmed that the right work environment has a positive impact on employees’ productivity levels and their overall wellbeing levels.
Office design plays a significant role in creating a happy and healthy work environment. Microsoft recently launched treehouse meeting spaces, which the company hails as having a “powerful impact on creativity, focus and happiness”.
Although the perks enjoyed by employees of large corporations may be unrealistic for most, you don’t have to enjoy the budget of a tech giant to boost staff morale.
Stafflex has recently undergone a £130,000 refurbishment, part financed by Funding Circle and the Leeds Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to facilitate its rapid growth.
Brian Stahelin, managing director and founder of the company, says that while expansion was the catalyst for the refurbishment, employee wellbeing was a major consideration in the design.
“It’s early days as the refurbishment was only completed this summer, but our employees have all expressed that they’re pleased with it,” he says.
“Historically when you do a refurbishment, you get an upswing in business because employees believe the company is investing in them. As everyone settles into the new space, we fully expect to see improved results and better staff wellbeing.
“Employee welfare is important to us, all of our staff have gone through mental health training and we now have five mental health first aiders in place so it was a consideration during the redesign of the office.”
Open plan space
Thanks to the new design, Stafflex’s 22 staff members have much more space and can now enjoy a number of breakout areas in which to relax - away from their desks.
Before the new look, Stafflex consultants all worked on the ground floor and there was a small reception area with just one table. Now, consultants are housed upstairs in an open plan office space.
Staff also have access to private meeting booths to carry out registrations with candidates and there is a meeting room which fits 10-12 people.
The creation of the new reception floor has provided a flexible space which can be converted into a training area to fit 15-20 people.
“In the previous setup, senior management were based on the first floor in their own office rooms and we felt this is wasn’t the best use of space,” says Stahelin.
“Now we have an open plan office and a couple of small separate offices for the directors. The new canteen is a place where people can gather and sit completely away from their desks. It can accommodate up to 30 people and also features sofas and a television.”
Fit for the future
“We wanted to completely modernise the office environment and make better use of the Stafflex branding to bring the office on-brand and consistent with the rest of our marketing,” says the recruitment boss.
“Now we’ve created a space which we think will hopefully differentiate us from our competitors, providing that ‘wow effect’ when people walk through the door.
“We also have enough space for more employees as we expand.”
“Another big drive of the refurb was to improve the experience for our candidates [as well as staff] providing them with a more enjoyable experience then what is currently on offer elsewhere.
“With the new refurb, they will have more space in the reception area instead of sitting around one small table, as well as private meeting booths for carrying out registrations instead of doing them at consultants desks in the main office."
Stafflex held an event last week with clients and partners to launch the new office space. Huddersfield Town Commercial Director, Sean Jarvis and Huddersfield Giants Club Ambassador, Eorl Crabtree helped open the office alongside Managing Director Brian Stahelin.