While cold and flu season have been top of mind for many, office wellness means more than that and starts from the ground up—sometimes literally. While cleaning, hygiene and policies can all contribute to the overall health and wellness of an office, the wellness of workers is heavily impacted by their workspace. As we saw from our Workplace of the Future designers, designing for wellness is a priority that’s only going to continue growing as the way we work evolves.
Designing with workers’ wellness in mind can be daunting—but there are some top areas to keep in mind when you’re looking to make your office space work harder for your wellness.
Natural space – Utilize the natural light and green space you have, and create work areas that make the most out of your windows. As we’ve seen from the World Green Building Council, workers with access to natural light tend to get a better night’s sleep and a more productive day of work. In addition, natural touches like houseplants and even using furniture with more natural materials can improve indoor air quality.
Room to rest – What does your breakroom look like? If you answered that you usually just take a break at your desk, you’re not optimally using your break time. A well designed breakroom can not only allow you to reset your mind and get back to your best work, the right breakroom layout can also encourage collaboration and give workers an alternative space to get work done, giving their eyes (and postures) a much-needed break from the computer.
Flexible furniture – With 84% of office workers sitting for four or more hours a day, office work can take a serious toll in the form of headaches, back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. Adaptive, multipurpose furniture is helping offices maximize space while also offering employees options. This can even extend to alternative desk setups like sit/stand workstations and treadmill desks!
Quiet time – While breaks and collaboration can encourage productivity and foster a feeling of community that is key to workplace wellness, quiet time is also crucial. As you seek to design your office with wellness in mind, provide quiet spots that allow workers to relax, concentrate and focus on their big ideas. Quiet, private spaces are a perfect balance to collaborative areas and allow employees more energized by introspection to thrive and be well.