People talk about healthspan more these days than lifespan and as we all know we spend a decent chunk of our lives sleeping (hence the rise of 100s of mattress firms) and working. However, working and health aren’t often connected in people’s minds. Lead designer at Formation, Aaron Hayes says, employee wellbeing underpins everything we do. We talk about “fresh air” as much as “lumber support”, today we have the knowledge and tools to empower employees to work when and how they need to stay physically and mentally fit and we make the most of it
Anyone can design an office, but few do it properly
Many firms focus on improving the aesthetics of the environment rather than looking at the problems that may exist within. We take a different approach, our main focus is always the people working within the environment, they are the most important element in any business. A well-designed office should not only look good, but it should be a place where your employees want to work and enjoy being. That is critical to the development of any successful business.
The modern working environment has evolved with a new emphasis on agile and collaborative working becoming more important, aided by developments in technology we are more agile than ever before, creating less of a requirement for static fixed workstations within an office. More and more employees are working remotely, but this does not just involve home working, promoting flexible working within the office itself is also important.
Three benefits of flexible working within the office itself
- it is good for your health – moving is a great way to prevent back problems and improve circulation, too many people stay seated at their desks for long periods of the working day.
- it can improve productivity – as humans, we generally work better in teams, the collective power of a team should not be underestimated, most people have different skill sets, so combining them and putting our heads together can only help to find a solution to any problem.
- it can improve communication between colleagues – talking is much better than email, so creating informal meeting and collaborative spaces where people can meet away from their desk or a formal meeting space can only promote this.
A well-designed office environment should work for the people working within it, so as part of the design process, we like to understand the requirements of the collective, as well as the individuals, including their day-to-day tasks, who they work with, how they work and how we can make the environment work best for them.
Those are my big three but health is No 1, it has to be….