Wellness is a large deciding factor as to why many choose to stay home. Occupant health and well-being should be a top priority for employers. Healthy employees will have a better quality of life and increased work productivity. More information can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/initiatives/resource-center/case-studies/engage-employees-health-wellness.html.
It is becoming apparent that the wellness of employees goes hand in hand with contributing to sustainability. Listed below are some ways, from a designer’s perspective, that can enhance the office environment.
Windows provide natural light and natural ventilation. To ensure indoor air quality it is important to have operable windows. Light indicators are available to install, they specify when to close and open a window for optimal heating and cooling. Windows are also crucial to providing views of the outdoors which lowers stress and improves well-being.
Individual Temperature and Light Control
The benefit of working from home is complete control of the home environment. Individual temperature control is very important to implement in an office. Occupancy sensors for lighting and dimmability is also vital. There have been many studies that have proven the benefits of ‘circadian lighting’ that mimics the circadian rhythm, by replicating sun colour and position throughout the day.
Biophilic design strives to use nature, and lessons from nature, to enhance the built environment, and to connect people with the Natural environment within buildings.
It is important to consider because we are programmed to feel connected with nature. Biophilic design is a great way to reduce stress. The visual appearance of plants can also aid in creativity and focus, based on their colour.
Colour combinations that occur in nature, patterns that are copied from plants & animals, as well as fresh air, daylight, and oxygen-producing plants will all support the connection we yearn to have with nature. The “living wall” was introduced into the design world a few years back and it was a way to bring vegetation into buildings as an air purifier, improving humidity and visual interest in corporate projects.
One colour fits all does not reflect any company’s brand. Cautious, typical, and sterile just do not work anymore. Your perception of a company will be very much influenced by the work environment of its employees. Picture the offices of Dunder Mifflin compared to Google. Companies with a strong personality and a statement about their principles and intentions can capitalize on their messaging by creating a real-life workplace that reflects that personality. People now have higher expectations if they are expected to return to the office. Employees who are proud to be part of the organization will be proud of their workplace because it reflects them and their purpose. What a great reason to come to work! On top of that, a collaborative work environment produces synergy and better teamwork. Steelcase found that people have a greater sense of community when space is stimulating. Furniture and fixtures should be timeless, fun, inviting, and adaptable.