Wellbeing in the workplace has become an integral part of business in recent years. Due to the rise of coworking spaces, we’ve seen trends for modern-day offices evolve. We’ve seen a shift to open-plan, communal, shared spaces to encourage collaboration, teamwork and a sense of wellbeing and fun. Some of these trends are shifting again. Office’s don’t need to be bland however we do need to consider the health of staff in new ways.
Due to the global pandemic, the need for social distancing and remote-working has increased, and we’re likely to see design trends adjust when we emerge in the new normal. We’re already seeing offices around the world, adjust to ensure the health of staff. It’s unlikely some of these adjustments will cease completely if the COVID-19 vaccines prove to be effective at eliminating the pandemic.
Research published back in September 2016 found that focusing on wellbeing in the workplace leads to better productivity, increased employee retention, reduced number of sick days and increased morale. We’re likely to see a shift in the way desk-bound work is done so office design will continue to evolve.
Below are a few ideas to help promote wellbeing in your workplace.
The concept of people spending eight hours working on the same desk every day is a thing of the past. In the future, we’re expecting more people to work part-time from the office and part-time from home. Modern offices will also offer a number of different work settings and let their employees choose where and how they’ll work.
Modern offices will include informal spaces where teams meet to collaborate in a safe, socially distanced way. Great interior design can be an effective way to define these areas. There will also be private spaces where individuals can focus and work quietly. Traditional desks will still exist, but they won’t be the only place an employee can work.
Introducing choice offers a number of psychological and mental advantages. It discourages sedentary work and promotes movement, which is crucial for long-term health.
Movement is critical for your general wellbeing. Office interior designers are making use of standing desks (also known as sit-stand desks) that allow staff to work in a standing position. This can be particularly helpful for those who have a bad back or struggle with bad posture.
Studies have shown that standing for just half an hour a day while working helps reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and stress.
Standing meetings have also grown in popularity as an effective form of collaboration. As a result, office designers have started including tall working benches to facilitate these meetings.
Don’t forget to consider your workforce and what they are most interested in. Lunchtime trips to the gym or going for a run are becoming more common in some workplaces, so office designers are incorporating showers and changing rooms in their workplace designs.
You can also introduce games like foosball or table tennis to help your employees relax and refresh before getting back to work, while building strong relationships within your workforce.
It’s been proven that color can influence our mood and productivity. Traditionally, offices were neutral shades and bland textures. Today, designers use bold colors and textures to improve the sense of wellbeing in the workplace. For instance, green and blue are known to elicit feelings of calmness, while brighter colors can be used to energize workers.
Besides painting the walls vibrantly, accent walls can be used to great effect in modern offices. You could also introduce color to your office by using branded bean bags or custom created bean bag designs that suit the design theme of your office. They are a great way to cost-effectively bring a bland space to life.
Vibrancy can also be added through the use of colorful carpet, or wall graphics. Choose colors and designs that resonate with your brand and office style.
By thinking creatively, you may be able to use unique aspects of your space to your advantage. For example, if boring carpet tiles are covering your hardwood timber floors, why not tear them up, sand and polish the floor boards, and introduce some real character to your space.
Lighting has a huge influence on wellbeing in the workplace. Interior designers will use natural light as much as possible. Fluorescent lighting that is common in older workplaces has been proven to negatively impact your health. Fuller spectrum lighting is a far better option for your workplace.
Modern office designers will adopt lighting schemes suitable for different settings and moods in the workplace. For instance, meeting spaces may use 200 Lux, while desk spaces usually opt for 300 Lux. They may also use light colors to brighten up dark corners of the office and make the space more inviting.
Bring the Outdoors Inside
Biophilic design, a concept that supports the incorporation of nature into the workplace, has grown in popularity in the past few years. As a result, companies are striving to introduce more plants, natural light, and natural materials into their offices. Greenery increases the levels of oxygen in the workplace, which results in increased focus, improved productivity, and better mood.