Studies suggest that our surroundings can have a significant influence on how satisfied
we are in the office, affecting work motivation, and even patterns of interaction within
the business. If a workplace is performing poorly this can be as much of a source of
pressure as a heavy workload, poor work-life balance or significant organisational
With rising concerns over the issue of sedentary behaviour in the workplace and its
effects on both mental and physical health, as well as the cost of recruitment; the
wellbeing of your staff simply cannot be ignored.
Although there is no 'one-size-fits-all' office design approach to
designing for wellbeing, there are certain areas that must be considered. Here are five
concepts you should consider with regard to office design and wellbeing in the
1. Office Layout.
a workplace that focuses on wellbeing, the layout of your office has a crucial part to
play. Open plan and flexible office layouts have the potential to increase
collaboration, boost innovation and use space efficiently. However, it is important for
organisations to integrate quiet spaces for privacy and concentration so that employees
have a choice of working environment depending on specific tasks.
the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), flexible working conditions can
significantly reduce employee stress and make for a much healthier and happier
workforce. By allowing your employees to manage their working style and choose their
working environment, you are giving them a sense of control and
2. Bring Natural Elements Into Your
This is a growing trend in the workplace. Designers of
today are recognising the link between humans and their innate affiliation with the
natural environment, especially within the workplace. According to a study by Human
Spaces, EMEA office workers who work in environments with natural elements report a 13%
higher level of wellbeing. Research has also found that the presence of natural elements
can act as a buffer against the negative impacts of workplace stress, having a positive
impact on both wellbeing and creativity.
Natural elements can be incorporated
into your office design through the use of colours as well as texture, natural materials
and plantation to bring the outdoors inside. For example you could create an impact by
incorporating a living wall into your reception
According to research
into the psychology of colour, the choice of the colour scheme within a workplace can
have a significant impact on employee mood, behaviour and overall wellbeing. For
example, high wavelength colours such as red can quicken heart rate and cause feelings
of anger and impatience. Where a slow wavelength colours such as blue and green can
provide a calming effect,alleviating stress and enabling concentration.
one of the most popular colours used in the workplace and has been proven to increase
productivity and stimulate performance. Blue also encourages loyalty, trust,
responsibility and peace; all important aspects to emphasise in an office
4. Lighting &
Both lighting and temperature have significant impacts on
physical and psychological wellbeing in an open plan office. According to research by
Leesman, 81% of workers believe temperature control to be an important factor of an
effective workplace and 77% believe natural light has a part to play.
light is essential for employee wellbeing, engagement and productivity and as such, it
is important to incorporate as much as possible throughout the work space. In order to
make full use of the available lighting, you must consider different levels of lighting
for different areas and tasks within the office. For tasks requiring a lot of
concentration, you should use more powerful light levels, whereas you would have lower
light levels in a breakout area to encourage
behaviour not only diminishes levels of productivity but can also increase the risk of
serious health issues such as depression, obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well
as the potential for musculoskeletal disorders.When designing a workplace to combat
this, the ergonomics of your office furniture can have a huge impact.
furniture should be as flexible and adjustable as the rest of your office in order to
provide a sense of wellbeing throughout the whole workplace.Important features to look
out for when choosing the correct office chair includes: rotation and height adjustment,
sufficient leg space and a back rest of 50 cm. However, ergonomics should not be limited
to just the office chair alone. Screens should be on adjustable monitor arms to avoid
eye strain and height adjustable sit/stand desks should also be considered to encourage
Incorporating Wellbeing Into Your Workplace Strategy.
With regards to office design and incorporating wellbeing into your
workplace, it is important that you engage with your employees.Whether it's face to
face, using an online poll or an employee satisfaction survey. By engaging with your
employees and considering their feelings, you can design an office layout that is suited
to their needs.
Not only should wellbeing be considered on a office design level, but
in order for it to be effective, it should also be incorporated into your workplace
strategy. At Active we offer a workplace consultancy service.This means that we are able
to analyse how your workplace works and what needs to be done in order to improve. We
can help you create a workplace that incorporates the needs of your employees and is
aligned with your strategy for employee wellbeing.
For more information on how we can help, please get in touch with a
member of our experienced and friendly team. You can get in contact with us by calling
us on 0845 130 9066
You can also contact our team online by:
- Filling out our contact form.
- Using the chat feature in the bottom right of your screen.
- Or by following us on Twitter @activefmcouk, Facebook @ActiveFMLtd or any of our
other social media accounts.