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3 ways collaborative working practises are boosting mental health

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We can all agree: flexible working has its pros and cons. One serious con? The impact it's had on employees' mental health. In fact, 33% of business owners rated their staff's health and happiness as a top priority in the early months of the pandemic.  The pandemic has left many companies forced to work flexibly without adequate preparation in place; everything from cyber-security to communication are issues they are tackling on the backfoot.

The good news is that collaborative workspaces are implementing practices to alleviate the strain on mental health. Below we dive into a few ways serviced offices can practically boost employees' wellbeing: Flexible contract lengths means staff can work face-to-face as and when (even if that's not five days a week), and we go on to big up some inspiring providers working tirelessly to offer workspaces that directly improve mental health by placing growth, creativity, & community at their core. 

Read on to find out how collaborative working practices boost your team's mental health. 

Coworking spaces facilitate face-to-face interaction: proven to improve mental health. 

Did you know it is psychologically proven that humans benefit from interaction? A sense of 'self-actualization' ranks in Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs along with safety. There has been much research to indicate that full-time remote-working has had negative effects on peoples' ability to interact and form meaningful connections with other humans beyond their household, and this is bad news for businesses looking to reduce absenteeism at work. Mental health costs UK employers over £30 billion every year through lost production, recruitment and absence. 

Coworking spaces are tackling this by providing inspiring environments where impromptu catch-ups and face-to-face training can occur to destigmatise conversations around mental health. 

*Here's a few key times of year to bring mental health to the forefront of your team's agenda:*

- April: Stress Awareness Month 
- May: Mental health awareness week, Learning at work week
- October: World Mental Health Day 

- November: Anti-Bullying Week 

Employ a flexible working approach to accommodate your team. 

Serviced offices assist you with this in a plethora of ways. For instance:

1. Collaborative offices offer flexible contracts. 

This means you can have them for as little or as much time as you need. If your company requires a private meeting room on a Wednesday for 5 people, but hot-desking* (hot-desking means (people who share a work area, with no fixed-seat assigned), on a Thursday for 10 people, and nothing in-between, flexible serviced offices can facilitate that flexibility. 

2. Flexible workspaces mean you can take a smaller number of desks in multiple locations to reduce your employee commute time - and the stress that goes with it. 

The Ford European Commuter Survey found that for over 5000 respondents across Europe, the commute was more stressful than their jobs themselves. The general public do not want to WFH full time, but rather are anxious about commuting, and the pandemic has (understandably) exacerbated this. How can companies alleviate these concerns and get people back working together? 

> Co-working and hot-desking options are popping up far and wide in places previously considered suburban parts of London. With this in mind, we've put together some areas that are piquing your interest a little closer to home.

Take your lead from the providers offering holistic collaborative working practices. 

Flexioffices recent study found perks such as team building that focus on their career growth/development were highly valued. Over 44% of workers that have team building events provided by their work make them feel more motivated. Providers such as Huckletree offer innovative programmes, like the 'Future Founder Academy'; packed with practical skills to launch a business and further your employees' aspirations so they can do what they do best - and feel empowered for it.

There are many providers who place their tenants' welfare at their core. The Office Group (TOG), for example, offer all sorts of Wellness programmes in their buildings like yoga, puppy-petting hours, and provide bookable relaxation rooms. 

The main takeaways.

In short: your employee mental health matters. 
According to the British Safety Council work-related stress, depression and anxiety account for 40% of all work-related ill-health cases and 49% of working days lost throughout the year.

Implementing collaborative working practices - such as facilitating face-to-face interaction, localised working, and offering wellness packages/incentives at work will help your staff do what they do best.

At Flexioffices, we know that employee wellbeing go hand in hand with business success; there is no need to prioritise one above the other. Instead, we can help you find the workspace solution that meets all your needs - for now - and beyond now. 
Find the workspace that will make your people want to come to work, happier, and healthier.

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