As we live in an era of numerous technological and societal advancements, we can freely say that the evolution of office environments has reached its peak nowadays. And what does that mean? Well, it means that stationary cubicles were no longer the norm, since the open office was introduced as the newest design approach. Even though this concept allowed the employees to connect and communicate much easier, the lack of privacy and poor acoustics left the people with increased stress levels and difficulty staying focused.
Since both of these designs failed to meet the needs of individuals, people began to understand that the new way of doing business requires spaces that fit different preferences – from focused alone time and teamwork to sitting in the sun and recharging – all in the same day. Fostering the wellness-minded workplace has never been easier, so keep on reading and find out how to make it happen!
Light, air, and water – the three essential elements
Everyone knows that light, air, and water are the three essential elements that affect our well-being in all aspects of life, which is exactly why they need to be incorporated into the office environment, too. First of all, lighting is known to positively impact our productivity and mentality, and this is particularly true for natural light. Simply put, lighting can easily become problematic if the wrong source is used in the wrong place, as artificial one can’t replicate the light from the sun. Of course, relying on natural light completely is not possible, so make sure to pick artificial lighting that suits the work space properly.
On the other hand, the impact of air quality on employees’ well-being is also extremely important. Unfortunately, a lack of climate control that results in office temperatures being to high or too low is quite common, which is why HVAC chilled-beam systems should be widely adopted. Lastly, ongoing water usage in the office is of the utmost importance as well, and some people claim that harvesting rainwater and using it for irrigation and flush fixtures is a much better and environmentally-friendly solution than an underground cistern that offsets thousands of gallons of water every year.
Healthy eating + fitness + leisure = increased productivity
As mentioned above, the new way of thinking and working allows for business spaces that suit employees’ individual needs and preferences. This is why more and more companies are coming up with their own leisure rooms these days. During the last decade, everyone has been focusing on health and fitness, and even though an active lifestyle is an individual decision, there are a lot of companies and businesses that are more than glad to connect to this movement.
They are integrating both fitness and improved food culture as major components of workplace design, and office leisure rooms aren’t an exception either. Apart from fostering a healthy atmosphere among the employees, these are offering a wide range of possibilities to improve their well-being, lower their stress levels, and boost their mood. So, instead of grabbing an unhealthy snack from a vending machine, there are healthy breakfast and lunch options the employees can choose from.
Do we even have to mention the importance of potted plants in the office environment? Not really, so be sure to incorporate them into the office interior as soon as possible. Apart from complementing the entire space, these will also purify the air and get rid of harmful toxins, which is another benefit that mustn’t be overlooked. Besides these, investing in features such as Inada Massage Chairs, standing desks, or offset stairs will certainly pay off since these can lead to increased productivity, employee loyalty, and sense of responsibility, which makes it a completely worthwhile investment, right?
Developing noise control strategies is an absolute must
Needless to say, noise is an issue in the majority of workplace environments, and it’s important to say that it can both enable and disable productivity – depending on the individual preferences and the types of work that need to be done. No matter which way the employees prefer, enabling them to control noise by providing a special room with a door and acoustical separations is highly required, so make sure to take it into consideration if you want to foster the wellness-minded workplace.
This is particularly important because the employees tend to be less distracted by the noise when they have a degree of control over it. There are three main strategies of noise control and these include absorption, blocking, and covering (also known as sound masking). Absorption can be done through carpets, fabrics, and acoustical ceiling, whereas blocking can be achieved through walls, panels, screens, partitions, and furniture system. In order to achieve the desired result, all three stages need to be integrated.
Besides that, people with similar work patterns or subjects of study should be sitting in the same area, which is essential in open offices. Of course, quiet areas should be separated from noisy and energetic ones, which is why there should be a possibility for people to come together without disturbing the colleagues who are still working. The last option is defining policies which will allow the employees to reserve both quite spaces and collaboration spaces. And yes, noise-canceling headsets are a huge must as well!
As you can see, there are numerous design methods that’ll allow you to foster the wellness-minded workplace and show your employees that you truly care about their well-being – both emotional and physical. Incorporating the three main elements – light, air, and water in the best possible way is crucial, as well as introducing the basics of healthy eating, fitness, and leisure to the work space. Besides these, noise control strategies are very important here, which is why they need to be taken seriously, too. We can definitely agree that fostering the wellness-minded atmosphere is all about investing in employees’ health and overall well-being, right? After all, the World Health Organization defines wellness as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. That’s exactly what all the companies should care about the most!
Mianna Korben does the 9 to 5 like any other typical gal. But, when the clock strikes five she finds the most comfortable nook and starts writing about things she enjoys most. She writes about the things she is passionate about and tries to embrace daily in her lifestyle choices. Feel free to find her on Twitter. https://twitter.com/KorbenMianna