Charlotte Barnett, Business Development Manager at Blueprint Interiors highlights six ways your office design can support happy and productive people and why it should be treated as your company’s biggest wellbeing at work initiative.
1. HOW STAFF FEEL AT WORK
Here in the UK, our average working week is 42.3 hours. That’s a huge portion of our lives. Which is why it’s important to feel as good as you possibly can whilst you’re at work.
The environment you work in directly influences the way you feel, even in ways that may not immediately spring to mind. As our design team well know, design decisions that can seem small, actually have a big impact on the wellbeing of people in the workplace. Take colour – it can influence mood and even productivity. For example, neutral and earth tones can promote relaxation because of their associations with nature.
A workplace optimised for your team is bound to make them feel good, but also has other benefits for your business, as the science shows that happy workers are productive workers. So it’s a win-win investment decision.
2. EMPOWERS PEOPLE TO BE THEIR BEST
If your space isn’t designed to accommodate the needs of your team, you’re not setting them up to produce their best work. This can negatively impact wellbeing, so thinking carefully about how your office can support your people is invaluable.
One increasingly popular approach is agile working. People often work collaboratively as a team, but also need spaces where they can go to concentrate on their own. Adopting an agile working culture allows your people to decide how they work best and involves creating an office with different spaces that facilitate different working styles and tasks, and promoting a culture where people feel that they can actually do this.
3. ENCOURAGES TEAMWORK & COLLABORATION
As humans, we have a need to feel valued and appreciated, and being part of a tight-knit team can make us feel just like that!
Collaboration is massively beneficial in the working environment for other reasons too. Creating areas to encourage natural conversation or collaboration encourages creativity, knowledge-sharing and can lead to problem-solving.
Providing a work café is a great way to foster natural interactions and conversations that can often spark the best ideas as your people begin using it for socialising and as an opportunity for teams to have informal meetings away from their normal office spaces.
4. SHOWS PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT THEIR WELLBEING
Investing in improving a workspace for your team lets them know they are valued and that you care about their experience at work. A poorly-designed workspace can make it hard to concentrate, but changing aspects of the design can make life much easier for your team. So if your office is too noisy or amplifies reverberation, focus on improving the acoustics. Or if the lighting is so bright that it’s giving your team headaches, look for a more appropriate lighting solution.
5. SUPPORTS PEOPLE MORE THAN A LUNCHTIME YOGA CLASS
Together, all of these elements provide a powerful way to support the overall wellbeing and happiness of your staff. Other workplace wellbeing initiatives like yoga classes, or time for mindfulness can then be used alongside, or even carried out within your beautifully-designed space to further enhance your team’s wellbeing.
6. CREATES THE WORKING CULTURE YOU WANT TO PROMOTE
It’s also important to think about the culture you create around your workplace. Company culture is an integral part of your business, and strong working cultures have a correlation with teams who feel happy and valued at work. Being clear about the culture you want to promote is easier when your office is a physical representation of this vision.