The future of workplace design hangs in the balance as many company HR executives are beginning to truly understand the need for environments that are healthier for their employees.
Gone are the days of dull grey cubicles arranged in cramped sections that created an entire generation of mentally and physically sick employees in their wake. In comes the dawn of a new way of looking at work spaces that encourage and inspire employees to be at their creative and innovative while on the company clock.
In the past ten years, studies have found that the overall quality and health of a work environment can directly affect the productivity levels of employees. Most employers know that they are required by OH& guidelines to provide a workplace that is free of obvious hazards. Now they are designing to prevent misery that many employees experience on a daily basis in their assignments. Additionally, the emphasis on creating workplaces that help restore employees has grown in recent years, especially with every employer’s focus on health care reform and changes in insurance requirements.
Indeed, employees who are healthier and happier are more productive — and this affects the bottom line profitability and appeal of a business. Therefore, it only makes sense that employers would want to take steps to improve work environments by adding aesthetical design elements and comfortable work spaces. Some are taking this to a whole new level by also incorporating on-site wellness centres to make it more convenient for employees to get healthier. While you may have already taken steps to create a workplace environment that’s more appealing to your workforce, how much thought have you put into adding health and wellness areas?
Here are some ideas for your corporate health and wellness designs.
- Add a healthy smoothie and snack bar in your corporate cafeteria so employees have more nutritional choices. Furnish this area with comfortable contemporary seating arrangements and bright decor to encourage use.
- Create an on-site fitness centre from a former large conference area that’s easy for all employees to access and take advantage of. Add the latest in fitness equipment, flat screen televisions, and modern lighting touches.
- Provide a mediation “quiet” room to give employees the opportunity to destress whenever they start to feel compressed. Add comfortable and adaptable soft seating options, soft lighting, and cheerful artwork on walls, a few tropical plants, and music therapy to restore a calm state of mind.
- Open up work areas with collaborative stations that encourage a healthier state of mind and task sharing throughout the day. Make sure each department offers some soft seating areas that double as meeting spots, instead of being inside stuffy conference rooms.
- Set up a healthy eating station on each floor or department in your building so that employees can get spring water, sugar-free and decaffeinated beverages, fresh fruits, and other nutritional snacks for free whenever they need to.
- At your corporate property, design the landscape complete with a bike and walking path that employees can use. Set up shaded seating areas near fountains or natural waterways, and provide a corporate basketball hoop so employees can enjoy the fresh air and exercise they need to stay healthy.
- Design offices that are accessible by both stairs and elevators but encourage your employees to take the stairs whenever possible. Add fun artwork, contemporary pendant lighting, and paint or decals of encouraging words in stairwells to inspire them to accomplish this climb daily.
Remember, your employees work hard for you all year long, and they deserve to work in an environment that provides them with healthful choices.
By taking the time to design appealing wellness centres in your workplace, you are doing your part and your employees will respond in ways that benefit your business.