The design and appearance of a workplace environment can encourage employees and boost their productivity or otherwise impose upon them stress, frustration, or health problems leading to more sick leaves and lesser productivity.
Active design is that philosophy which believes in the betterment of public health by providing the infrastructure that encourages activity. This philosophy is now being used in design office spaces as well.
The millennials want to work in an office that takes care of both their employment and lifestyle choices. A healthy, peppy office with enough inspiration and design ideas implementing good physical and mental health practices will be a much-preferred place to work at than a regular office with a fixed salary. Active design ideas therefore also help in talent retentions for which major companies are vying.
Are you looking for some office design inspiration? Here are our top picks. Enjoy the read.
1. Design the space to allow walking
Office goers nowadays sit in one designated chair for hours glued on a desktop while doing the minimal movement. Obesity and health issues like diabetes are on the rise. The design of the office should be made as such it gives people more reason to walk around. Locating the cafeteria, communal food lounges, team meeting lounges, printer rooms at a reasonable distance from the individual work desks is essential to making employees walk around more.
2. The strategic location of stairs
The location of staircases should be placed in locations that are accessible first, before the elevators. Designs are now being created were open, visible, and broad stairways are the primary mode of movement for up to four levels.
3. Proactive furniture
In most modern offices, sitting desks as the only workstation have now changed. Modern and moveable smart furniture such as sit-stand workstations, cycling workstations, treadmill desks, etc. is now put to use by modern office spaces as working does not always necessarily require sitting. Many parts of our work, such as answering phone calls and emails, don’t require sitting and can be accomplished while walking or exercising. Although it is challenging to encourage employees to make a daily visit to the gym or yoga, life gets easier with this health-friendly furniture.
4. Dedicate exercise spaces
Employees can take a break from work or beat the afternoon yawns by taking an exercise break and they can do so without having to leave the office if there are designated exercise rooms like swimming pools, running tracks, biking tracks, pedestrian paths in the outdoors for the employees it will encourage them to exercise and boost their metabolism. Fitness of the body brings fitness of the mind.
5. Finding the right location
People are more likely to use staircases instead of elevators if they find it prior to the elevator or within twenty feet from the entrance. Designers are nowadays placing lifts beside stairways allowing people to opt for the stairs when the bins are crowded and taking longer to arrive. Similarly, the exercise spaces, resting corners, and reading nooks should be located within significant movement areas.
6. Create spaces for collaboration
Make the active design spots areas of conversation and collaboration by adding up lounges to invite people for a chat and enjoy a social moment outside of work but without having to go out of the office. Wellbeing designing is about encouraging people to choose a healthy life by giving them access to health and wellbeing tools such as fitness furniture, greenery, exercise areas, etc.
7. Strategic and creative symbols
Make use of strategic and creative symbols to promote ideas like walking and cycling instead of using lifts and other services. This simple strategy can lead to a 50 % increase in stair use than otherwise. Draw these symbols or paint the words with motivators like the number of calories burnt while taking stairs vs taking the lift etc. Keep these symbols in strategic locations so that employees actually see it even before reaching the elevator or stairs. Write the symbols in multiple languages and large fonts for the eyes to catch sight easily.
8. Replace traditional lighting with desk lamps
Instead of using the regular fluorescent lights that hurt the eyes, and leads to headaches, switch the medium of lighting. If the majority of light flooding in is natural light then remove all distractions restricting natural light. Fluorescent lights also don’t look good and using contemporary floor lamps, or desk lamps define the space and create an intimate work atmosphere for the employees and give the notion of more open space.
9. Design the entryway wisely
The entryway is one of the first things people notice while they enter your office, so start building your impression right there. Make it more work-centric or inviting by adding your company’s vision in large formats or adding relevant magazines on the shelves. Bring in some fun couches or chairs to encourage conversation.
10. Color tones for office
Choose vibrant colors like red and yellow, colors that stimulate productivity, in team gathering areas or group project rooms. Use cooler tones of color like blue and green in more relaxing places such as resting zones or reading areas. Use a bright orange in the kitchen, directing people to walk and grab some healthy snacks.
11. Bring in greenery
Although greenery brings immense calm and also beauty both indoors and outdoors, it can mean a tremendous amount of effort for maintaining them. Therefore you can opt for more realistic artificial indoor and outdoor plants. While decorating the indoor, we need not forget about adding foliage outdoors. Outdoor landscaping with artificial plants can also be achieved by bringing in customized plants for spaces, pre-lit outdoor topiary trees, fake outdoor plants in pots, etc. Fake outdoor plants are both 100 maintenance-free, and weather fade proof. They not only beautify the space but brings in all the charms of greenery in the facade of artificiality.
12. Office aroma
The soothing smell in the workplace makes for a relaxing and productive day. Certain smells can soothe our senses and therefore help us concentrate better. Office humidifiers and essential oil diffusers are now widely used as both stimulators, and air fresheners.
The significant problems of workforce health and the enormous expenditure on healthcare facilities call upon employers to build an active workplace design that incorporates the mental and physical well being of the office employees.
Offices are now not only spaces where one works for eight hours, but those eight hours are also hours of creativity, research, and efforts of a person. And given the right tools to access the best of all the areas of work, the overall health of the employees improve, which keep them motivated and thereby increases the total productive hours and efficiency.