Findings from research conducted by Carleton University determined that Canadian knowledge workers spend considerably more time working today than they did two decades ago (13- 16% more). Not surprisingly, the study also found that absenteeism has been on the rise during that time.
Today's workers are facing mounting pressure to 'do it all': balancing work, family life, personal goals, and more.
That pressure is causing both physical and mental health issues, which doesn't bode well for anyone.
Since the typical workplace has evolved from a location people go to for eight hours a day into a place that essentially goes with us everywhere (thank you, internet and smart phones), there should be some give and take. We expect employees to be more available and connected, so, in exchange, it seems logical (and responsible) to provide a healthier, more appealing place for them to work. Here's how we suggest going about it:
Office design influences the way we work. Art, wall color, lighting, and furniture each have the power to stimulate creativity and productivity. Given how important collaboration is in today’s workplace, it’s important to equip members of the team with the tools necessary for problem solving, idea generating, and communicating, in general. The first place to start in any office is the boardroom, and a functional and inspiring conference table creates the base for every productive meeting.
Creators of the Gather furniture series – Allsteel – explain it perfectly: "We are social beings. We convene, congregate, confer, and collaborate. We come together to discuss, disagree, ideate, share, brainstorm, and solve problems. Sometimes, we want to be heard. Other times, we're there to listen. Large groups and small. Planned and impromptu. We gather when we have a job to do and often, we do it better in the company of others. It's the way work gets done."
Research shows that people appreciate having a choice in how and where they work. And as it becomes more common for employees to have a say in which space suits their personality and current task best, companies are opting for more flexible workstations. Sit-stand desks and reconfigurable workstations enable businesses to grow and adapt to the wants and needs of their staff.
People who work in an office setting are finding more reasons and opportunities to work away from the office. Meetings and brainstorm sessions frequently take place at local coffee shops and restaurants – and there’s a reason why: people are drawn toward that which is familiar, comfortable and homey. In many cases, a homier environment benefits workers – creating a sense of ease that promotes creativity and productivity. Instead of driving employees out of the office, forward-thinking business owners can provide a relaxed, homey workplace to keep employees close. This elevated floor cushion offers a sleek and trendy starting point, and just like at home, the design options are endless.
Finding methods to promote and integrate healthy living into the workplace is the way of the future. According to Steelcase, "research shows that successful organizations support their employees with a holistic approach to mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing."
In-house fitness rooms, shower facilities, bike storage, an equipped kitchen, privacy pods (like these), and silent rooms are all feasible options that business owners can use to support the wellbeing of their team.
If you could use some support of your own, get in touch with one of our design consultants today – we’d love to learn more about your business, its people, and how to help drive it forward.
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