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How to optimize office spaces in order to impact positively to workers


According to Fellowes Workplace Wellness Trend Report: “93% of workers in the tech industry said they would stay longer at a company who would offer healthier workspace benefits ”. Forbes posted an article that analyses how a quality workspace design can lead to a less stressful work environment and a productive atmosphere. In this article they emphasize that in order to produce their best work, employees need to feel comfortable in their physical work settings.


“Office design is such a valuable business investment; there’s even an international organization that has established requirements to create productive and comfortable indoor environments. The WELL Building Standard™ (WELL)”.

WELL Building Standard is the first of its kind to focus on how human health and wellbeing are being considered into design, operations of buildings and construction. In order to get WELL certified, there are seven areas to take into account for positive change (Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind). Let’s review how changes can be applied in those seven areas, in order to optimize resources at office spaces and have a positive impact on workers behaviour:


Air

Air quality has definitely a significant positive impact on employees health and productivity. “Research carried out by the World Green Building Council recorded an 11% increase in productivity as a result of increased fresh air to the workstation and a reduction in pollutants”.


How to optimize the space:

  • Implement a no-smoking policy.

  • Add plant offices.

  • Open windows.

  • Develop green cleaning protocols and keep office clutter-free.

  • Install air filtration systems.

  • Maintain a healthy level of humidity (sensors can be a helpful tool to start measuring).


Water

Water consumption can have a positive impact on the human brain, 73% of our brains are water. This resource can help to boost energy levels, increase ability to focus, provide clarity of mind and raise alertness. “This, in turn, helps us become more productive at work”


How to optimize the space:

  • Provide safe drinking water

  • Install a water cooler

  • Educate employees about the benefits of drinking water

  • Host water challenges


Nourishment

To encourage correct nutrition, healthy eating habits and food culture is a powerful tool to fuel workers energy and productivity


How to optimize the space:

  • Limit access to processed foods

  • Label food clearly for food allergies

  • Improve access to good hand washing facilities

  • Make nutritional information available

  • Promote healthy food options over advertising unhealthy ones

  • Foster mindful eating – create dedicated eating spaces

  • Improve the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables


Light

Experts say that a proper lighting system in workplaces can diminish the risk of eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision.


How to optimize the space:

  • Consider adding skylights

  • Control glare

  • Maximize natural lighting

  • Move big, bulky furniture that blocks sunlight

  • Replace flickering lights

  • Layer different types of lighting in a workspace, such as ambient and task lighting


Comfort

Ergonomic furniture can “lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity, and reduce the severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)”


How to optimize the space:

  • Ergonomically crafted work areas with the ability to alternate from sitting to standing positions

  • Provide employees with different areas to work during their day

  • Limit sound from building systems and create quiet zones

  • Create breakout areas, hot desking and informal meeting areas, and creative spaces for brainstorming

Mind

“The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace study showed that people who work in spaces with natural features reported 15% higher levels of overall wellbeing. Furthermore, the respondents expressed feeling 6% more productive and 15% more creative at work.”


How to optimize the space:

  • Create collaborative spaces, as well as areas to relax and de-stress

  • Add greenery: potted plants, living walls or flower gardens

  • Design outdoor spaces (rooftop patio or staff garden)

  • Offer flexibility - give options for where and how employees want to work


MKThink works at the intersection of people, place and environment. As trends change, so does the balance of that intersection, which means we need to re-think how we used to do things. Let us work with you to see where the future is going and how you want to shape it. To find out more, contact us.


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To read more about: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2019/01/24/how-your-office-space-impacts-employee-wellbeing/?sh=359ca26664f3



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