The average person will spend 1/3 of their life working, which means most of us will spend more time with our work colleagues than with friends, family and even our children. So, in order to find and retain top talent, it’s essential for a company to create an environment that empowers people with the right space to work, think and collaborate naturally.
Wellbeing in the workplace has been a major focus over the past year, featuring the almighty debate of the open plan office – does it improve or hinder productivity? This is still being discussed, where many believe that open plan encourages proactive discussion and the flow of creative ideas, others think that all it creates is distraction and reduced privacy and focus.
LEO’s London offices via office snapshots
With around 70% of offices being open plan, and for those who find it difficult to create a productive and peaceful environment for employees to work in, we have put together some simple design tips that improve wellbeing in the workplace…
So easy to get right, but so easy to get wrong! The wrong lighting can increase headaches, eyestrain and blurred vision. Some simple changes to consider…
Adding skylights to maximise the amount of natural lighting into the workspace and controlling the glare on windows and computer screens will allow employees to spend more time focusing on work and less time fiddling with the blinds. Likewise, arranging large bulky furniture so it doesn’t block out the sunlight is equally as important.
Natural sunlight is the best and most effective form of lighting, especially when it comes to the persons mood and the mental response to it. However not all offices have the luxury of large windows, so artificial lighting is key. The choice of light fittings is equally as important as where they are located in the office, focussed ambient lighting and lamps are best around desk areas creating the illusion of ‘zones’ in a space. Larger fittings with a brighter lamp are best in social spaces and board rooms allowing the whole space to be equally lit and enables focus to be directed in multiple areas.
Office design for innovation and design centre Studio 5B, located in Mumbai, India Designed by Praxis
You can work in the most beautiful office in the world but if you are not comfortable then it is almost impossible to enjoy your work.
Ergonomically crafted work areas, enabling employees to alternative between sitting and standing positions and providing employees with different areas to work in throughout there day is an efficient and proactive response to ensuring that the employee is comfortable.
Sound is one of the most important aspects which requires thought in the workplace, limiting sound from building systems or the outdoors, especially in city locations is imperative to reduce distraction or disturbance to employees work progress.
work by K2 Space
An employee’s mental wellbeing is equally, if not more important than physical. Ensuring that an employee feels considered and cared for in the company is vital for a productive workplace. If the interior design of an office considers social and breakout spaces, improvements are found in concentration, collaboration, confidentiality and creativity.
Of course, creating an area where people can work and essentially ‘get the job done’ is what an office is created for, however providing employees with areas to relax and de-stress works hand in hand with this.
Go green!! Working in an environment with greenery is proven to increase productivity in the workplace. This can be created with living walls and flower gardens, or simply placing potted plants throughout the space. For offices who have the luxury to completely re-design their space, creating outdoor spaces such as rooftop patios and staff gardens for events and meetings or just to allow people to work outdoors creates a diverse environment.
Not everyone works in the same way, so one of the most important aspects to wellbeing in the workplace is choice… offering employees options as to where they would like to work means that they can work in the best way suitable for them.
The Moneypenny offices, with treehouse meeting room. Photograph: Moneypenny
Employees who lead an active lifestyle are likely to be more productive. A few ways to encourage movement at work include offering open and accessible stairways rather than directing everyone towards the lift. Creating shower facilities for those who choose to exercise in the morning before work and offering opportunities for physical activity such as group fitness and meditation classes throughout the working week.
WeWork – Rise By We, a wellness club in New York