Discover what elements to add to your workplace to improve the health, well-being and productivity of the team.
The opinions expressed by employees are personal.
Although there is no office model that applies to all companies, there is a consensus on the importance of certain elements to ensure the well-being of employees : exercise and movement, access to light, clean air and healthy food. Integrating them all in the workplace improves the lives of employees not only when they are inside the office, but also outside it.
Having a healthier and happier team improves productivity and innovation within the company. Here, five design solutions that help achieve this goal:
1. Offices that promote the movement
It is already known that sitting all day is not good for your health, but in most workplaces, interactions and tasks require staying in the same seat. The opposite extreme is also negative, since spending long hours standing is not ideal. Therefore, the answer lies in the ability to change positions and generate movements every 20 minutes. If your office offers different spaces , such as areas for standing joints or modular elements that can be arranged in different ways to promote movement, a more active environment is generated.
This is called “interactions with purpose”, which must be linked to various moments, such as team meetings, more interactive projects or moments of individual work. It also helps to have open and comfortable stairs , as well as areas that invite informal social interactions. Beyond the areas themselves, distributing work functions and technology to drive movement leads to a more energized and vibrant culture.
2. A building designed for employees
In recent decades, the design and construction community has focused on making workplaces more sustainable, which has a positive impact on health and well-being. One result of this is the International WELL Building Institute, which is at the forefront of new business practices that will reinvent physical spaces to make them better for the planet and for people.
The companies that lead this movement are getting acquainted with the most recent construction standard of this institute, which identifies 102 performance metrics, design strategies and procedures that can be implemented and that are divided into air, water, nutrition, light, condition physics, comfort and mind.
3. Spaces to interact
Another way of attending to mental health is to create spaces that promote coexistence between collaborators and better support networks between them. Social areas such as cafes or even informal spaces for breaks help people relax but also generate interdisciplinary collaboration . But we must not forget that respect for places of silence and tranquility is equally important. There, the distractions will be minimal and those who need it can focus on their tasks or simply get away from stress.
4. “Healthy” materials and work tools
Objects selected to create physical environments have a great impact on health. It is important that leaders take this into account when selecting them and planning renovations or new spaces. Companies that understand this make informed decisions that do not harm (or better yet, improve) the health of their employees.
5. Please … natural light!
Businesses cannot limit their concern for well-being to physical health, they must also deal with mental and emotional health. One of the design solutions to strengthen mental health in the workplace is to provide universal access to natural light. According to a study by Northwestern University, those who work in offices with more light sleep longer and with a better quality sleep, in addition to having a better quality of life and physical activity than those with limited access to natural light.
This note was originally published in.