As office operations gradually return to normal, employers are now encouraging employees to return to their old workspaces and leave the comfort of their homes. This may sound good news for employees who feel more comfortable working in an actual office space than their make-shift home office.
Today, companies are investing in wellness-focused interior design to enhance the well-being of their employees. Wellness offices use an evidence-based approach to create a favorable workspace environment that motivates and inspires employees to work effectively while keeping their health in mind.
These wellness offices look more like homes than an actual office that comes with warm, cozy, and inviting interiors. Others even resemble an actual residence with designer stone veneer siding and a large front garden.
This article will discuss the thoughtful design methods of wellness-focused offices and how they will change the modern workplace.
Eliminate the cold, sterile workspace environment
Every standard office shares a few similar features, from clean desks, metal surfaces, and neutral walls. The corporate ambiance is clearly evident in every design element, from colors and furniture to flooring choices.
A homey office design offers a twist to the sterility and coldness of a traditional office. For example, pastel tones and warm colors are better choices than corporate hues such as white, black, and gray. This also applies to mosaics, wooden elements, and decors made of natural materials.
Traditional offices lack that cozy, warm feeling, which makes employees a little detached from their workspaces. Remedy this by adding soft and snuggly items such as pillows, cushions, rugs, carpets, and curtains. Scatter the items in lounges or any area where employees take a break. Textiles are more common in residential design but an unconventional choice for office environments. Incorporate textile items to deliver that “home sweet home” ambiance in the office.
Diversify furniture selection
Furniture is typically the reason why offices look similar. From chairs, desks, and storage units, almost every piece of equipment resembles each other, whatever office you’re visiting. This is because employers buy furniture in wholesale purchases. While this helps them save on costs, using the same furniture for each department and break room areas will result in dull and lifeless rooms.
Furniture selection for office environments requires serious design planning to get the feel and look of a cozy, welcoming workspace. Curated furniture, designer pieces, and quirky choices make perfect furniture pieces for the office.
While buying unique furniture pieces is more expensive than buying wholesale, this makes a great investment in improving employee well-being and loyalty. What you get are a higher retention rate and a more satisfied workforce.
Make room for non-standard spaces
When we talk about non-standard spaces, we refer to areas that cater to the needs of employees, such as a game room, break room, meditation space, outdoor space, or fitness area with showers. For the break room, turn it into a place where employees can unwind during lunches or breaks. Include game consoles, sports tables, and a large sofa.
Making room for wellness spaces allows employees to work according to their needs, whether as a group or individual. It encourages them to step away from their workstation and get their much-needed break in a private, isolated area or with a group. This will also stir creativity if your employees are running out of ideas to pitch. For example, instead of setting up a small pantry, why not turn it into a social space? This area will help promote impromptu interactions among office workers and establish a sense of community and belonging.
Customizing workspaces according to their function has a positive impact on employee well-being. According to a study about the Workplace Design for Well-being, researchers discovered that using the same office design for different departments has negative effects on well-being and productivity. Employers can avoid this by incorporating customized areas into the workspace that accommodate each department’s individual needs and functions.
Companies should create workspaces based on the work nature of a department. For example, if the role requires a quiet space to focus on the task, the employees need a private room with no distractions. Otherwise, if the department focuses on collaborative work, an open floor office space works best to encourage teamwork.
Investing in employee well-being can make a huge difference by bringing emotional wellness, better productivity, increased loyalty, and unity in the workplace. While many employees are still choosing their homes over offices, employers can encourage more people to return by providing a space where employees feel at home and at ease.