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Design for Wellbeing

Studies have found that as much as 45% of all working days lost are due to ill health. By designing an office space to maximise the wellbeing of its users, employers can attract and retain staff, encourage collaboration and productivity.

Movement and Flexibility
Workplaces should be helping to combat sedentary lifestyles by making smart choices around the layout and design of their workspace. It’s estimated that around 85% of office workers are sitting down at any one point in time, while only 6% are moving about. Utilising an Activity Based Working methodology, or adopting more ergonomic furniture options, can be effective ways to improve movement within the office. Another great way to design for movement is with variable desks than can transition from sitting to standing workstations.

Studies show links between workplace stress and office layout; by encouraging movement, and allowing collaboration as well as flexibility, employees are better able to relieve stress and become more productive in the workplace.

Designing a dedicated breakout area, where employees can relax and unwind, can be an important aspect of office wellbeing. Allowing workers to step away from their workstations, as well as collaborate and relax with colleagues, is an effective way to promote healthier working while within the office environment.

Dedicated workspaces are important not just for employee interaction, but for privacy as well. All workers need private areas at some point throughout the day, whether to make phone calls, concentrate, reflect, or remove themselves from distracting conditions. By incorporating both interactive and meditative spaces within your office layout, you can help improve employee satisfaction.

An often overlooked aspect of wellbeing are the comfort levels of those within the office environment. Ergonomically designed furniture and flexible workstation design can help to prevent long term injuries like neck and shoulder tension, all of which are major causes of headaches. Adequate lighting, and neutral office tones can help reduce eye fatigue. Another consistent trend over the last few years has been incorporating greenery in the office. Green walls or plants on desks can be a great source of employee comfort, as studies have shown that the introduction of plants into a workspace can reduce negativity, stress and can improve indoor air quality.

At the end of the day, the benefits of offices designed around wellbeing are going to have a range of positive benefits. As the old saying goes, a happy employee is a productive employee.

Thinking about re-designing your office space? Contact our expert team today.

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