1. Create comfortable workspaces
Ergonomics will play a key part in your office design and the wellbeing of your employees. By ensuring the furnishings and equipment you are providing are up to a high standard, you can reduce associated health issues which could result in days absent from work.
Low quality desks, chairs, technology and even the set up of the equipment can cause problems with joints, wrists, hands and backs. For desk-based roles, improving the quality and set up of fixed workstations can significantly improve wellbeing and performance.
2. Make it sustainable
Designing your office for sustainability can positively impact both health and wellbeing in the workplace. Using sustainable materials is just one small part of an environmental design; your office should consider the ventilation, biophilia, lighting and amenities and how they can support your team to do their best work:
• Ventilation/air conditioning – make sure you are able to control the temperature and air flow around your office; poor circulation and inadequate heating and cooling can result in decreased concentration levels.
• Lighting – take advantage of natural light and where necessary, include adjustable or smart lighting systems. A lack of light while working can result in health concerns like headaches, stress, fatigue and strained eyes.
• Biophilia – a low cost and simple way to boost wellbeing and productivity is to introduce more greenery to your office. Employees have been found to be 15% more productive in a biophilic environment.
• Amenities – it is important to promote an active lifestyle in a workplace which is primarily desk-based. Include bike racks and shower facilities to encourage people to walk, run or cycle to work and maintain a healthier, more proactive routine.
3. Offer a variety of workspaces
It is important to accommodate the needs of different working styles and behaviours, starting with a range of environments. High noise levels can impact productivity and make it difficult to maintain concentration; on average, employees spend 28% of their day managing and recovering from unnecessary interruptions.
Develop your office design plan to include spaces for all types of work. Quiet zones and private booths will heighten concentration levels for more focussed work. Informal meeting spaces and agile areas will be the perfect set up for collaborative work and group discussions.
4. Advance your tech
In 2019, an intrinsic part of any modern office design is the technology that is built in to support it. 24% of UK office workers feel that poor workplace technology negatively affects their mental wellbeing which can have repercussions on morale and productivity.
Support your employees with the latest technology and equipment to optimise performance. Develop a proper system for meeting spaces by including ipads or room booking software to avoid clashes. Flexible and agile working are becoming more prominent methods in the modern workplace, so consider introducing laptops and tablets to allow more freedom and diversity for employees.