Tiny cubicles are a thing of the past and open-space plans are slowly becoming outdated as well. There’s a solid reason for this and that is shifting the focus to employee wellbeing.
There has been so much talk lately about the effects of interior design on our mood, productivity, and overall wellbeing. Challenged by this past year and confined to our homes, we have all had the chance to realize how true this is.
Work is already stressful enough. The least that can be done is to help employees feel comfortable and relaxed in their work environment as much as possible. Hence, trends in corporate interior design are evolving once again with more emphasis on employee wellbeing than ever before. Businesses are reconsidering the importance of workspace and its relation to mental health and productivity.
Below, we will discuss some ways in which you can boost employee wellbeing through interior design.
Embrace Biophilia and Natural Materials
Biophilia is not exactly a brand-new term but it has been adopted by more and more designers and architects in recent years. Humans have always been aware of their deep connection with nature and that spending time outdoors is beneficial. However, given everything that’s been going on, that connection to nature became even more emphasized lately. Hence, more elements of biophilia have been applied in interior design.
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear this term is plants. Indeed, having plants in the workspace and our homes impacts our health. They help us breathe cleaner air and they are very pleasant to look at due to their lovely green color. Plants are especially important in urban areas where there are fewer of them and the air is polluted.
On top of adding living plants to your workspace, you can also embrace other natural elements such as wood, cotton, wool, leather, stone, etc. Natural details such as handcrafted wooden bookcases, wool carpets, or ratan lamps are perfect additions to a mindfully decorated, wellbeing-oriented workspace. Employees in a well-designed workspace with accents on nature feel more energized, motivated, and overall more satisfied.
Reconsider Your Office Layout
Is your open-plan office layout beneficial to all your employees? Many businesses are already starting to realize that the open concept does not suit all employees. Not everyone is an extrovert who doesn’t mind the noise and being surrounded by busy coworkers all day. Some are most productive when they are in a quiet setting.
This is why office layout is such a crucial part of employee wellbeing. All your employees should feel comfortable and inspired to work in the office environment. Hence, it is best to incorporate both open-plan layout as well as private areas so that employees can make their own choices regarding where they want to work. The ability to choose the setting will impact their productivity as well as their wellbeing.
Provide Comfortable Chairs
Speaking of energy and motivation, it is hard to focus on work and achieving your goals for the year if the office furniture is not functional. Getting ergonomic chairs for all your employees should be one of the first things you do when you begin redesigning the workspace. It should not be regarded as an expense but rather as an investment in your business.
In fact, redesigning entire offices to boost employee wellbeing is directly related to company success as it is bound to boost productivity levels and employee satisfaction.Employees spend at least 8 hours a day sitting in those chairs. Sitting for long periods already affects our health but uncomfortable chairs also affect our posture which can have long-term consequences and leads to back pain.
Let Natural Light In
Lighting is inseparable from our wellbeing. Poorly lit, stuffy offices with small windows are bound to affect employee mood. Being exposed to natural light makes us happier since it boosts the production of so-called happy hormones. This is why it is essential that your workspace is well-lit so that employees can get plenty of light even though they spend the entire day at the office.
Consequently, there is an emphasis on making the most out of natural lighting in interior design. The right lighting can increase energy levels in employees and thus contribute to their wellbeing.
Add Workplace Amenities
Many businesses have already adopted the practice to incorporate a separate area for relaxing where employees can take a break from their screens and catch up with their coworkers. It is also becoming widely accepted to have a recreation space/gym in the building that is free for your employees, of course.
You can go beyond by adding a washing room, a kitchen stocked with fresh snacks and, a childcare area where employees who are parents can safely leave their kids while they work. All these amenities are efficient in reducing work-related stress and promoting wellness. You will have healthy and happy employees and this directly translates to business growth and success.