Welcome to a new decade and a fresh attitude in the workplace. A multigenerational movement is leading the charge and expects more from their office environment and rightfully so. The office is where most of us spend 40 hours a week, so why shouldn’t we have creature comforts, or at least some mindful resources, that go above and beyond the standard-issue office chair, clumsy conference rooms, and nausea-inducing fluorescent lights?
Studies have shown that the more comfortable we are at work, the more productive we actually are. In fact, the office can be downright unhealthy when employers lack mindfulness in their approach to design.
What does mindful design mean? It’s the concept of putting employees, people, that is, first when creating your office layout, selecting furniture, considering acoustics, choosing the lighting, and manipulating space. In many cases, it requires making tough choices that may mean spending a little more upfront for a bigger payoff in the end. However, healthier employees will cost you less than sick employees, and a well-intentioned office will make your workforce more robust and far happier.
As opposed to artificial overhead light, natural light results in less eyestrain, fewer headaches, a reduction in sick time, and an overall feeling of alertness at the end of the workday. Benefits aren’t just physical, either. Employees with access to natural light and daylighting techniques (such as skylights, reflective surfaces, and light shelves) report an increase in comfort over poorly lit conditions. When it comes to your bottom line, lighting represents the largest source of electricity consumption in US offices, which means the savings offset by the increase in natural light can be significant.
Excessive noise in the workplace is disruptive to many, sometimes to the point of overwhelming distraction and the inability to concentrate. When work isn’t accomplished, the internal stress combined with dissatisfaction from management is a double-dose of anxiety that can lead to long-term health problems. Alleviate this problem before it happens by incorporating attractive and functional acoustic furniture throughout the workplace.
There are several different options on the market now—hanging screens, mobile partitions on wheels, and even multipurpose privacy screens that can double as acoustic furniture.
Bringing in plants adds unparalleled beauty to an otherwise ho-hum space. But modern offices that include plants, natural light, and other elements in Mother Nature’s recipe book are more conducive to a productive and happy workforce. The perk of nature is that you don’t need to do a whole office redesign to incorporate it. This allows a company on a tight budget to bring plants in one at a time as the funds allow and still transform an office.
Recharge spaces are essential to help employees regain fruitful energy spent throughout the workday, but these can mean more than just a simple, quiet office in which to shut the door. Yoga or meditation rooms, reading nooks, and peaceful gardens are excellent places for one to gather scattered thoughts and take a much-needed breather. Science shows that a little downtime, a change of scenery, and a few minutes of meditation can help us shift perspective and come back to a project refreshed and ready to tackle it with a new approach.
Mindfulness matters whether it’s expensive remodelings like adding a room for meditation or on a budget with a single acoustic panel. Employees know when you’re thinking about them and will respond positively to well-intentioned employers who make changes for the betterment of the team. In a world where we need more thought and care in our everyday lives, a plant, a window, and some peace and quiet go a long way.
Interested in revamping your office for the benefit of your workforce? StrongProject has sophisticated modern office furniture solutions for your deserving team.