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How to Design a Healthy Open Plan Workspace

How to Design a Healthy Open Plan Workspace

Since 2015, there’s been a renovative wave revolutionizing the modern office. Maintaining a healthy workspace has become a top priority for employers to ensure a productive and comfortable environment for their employees. But, what does this entail? 

What constitutes a healthy workspace? 

There are many models and factors that come to mind, including bean bags and incorporated coffee shops with their own baristas in an office space. However, the model that continues to lead the renovative revolution in the corporate world is the open workspace. The hypothesis indicates that the lack of spatial boundaries provides the employee higher propinquity to their colleagues, thus increasing productivity. However, we wonder, does it work?

According to a study conducted by Harvard Business School in 2018, an open workspace has the opposite effect on employee productivity. Researchers saw a decrease in their focus and interaction, despite being in close proximity to each other. Emails and IMs sent were exacerbated, replacing face to face interactions. Now, you must be thinking: “We have an open workspace, does that mean employees in my company underperform?”. Whilst there’s no correct answer to this question, we do have solutions that can help you mitigate this effect.

Adding private spaces such as soundproof rooms where employees can take a call, host a meeting or sit down to focus on individual tasks can help you circumvent any productivity issues. Though private rooms may help, they’re not the sole solution to making your open space into a healthy workspace. 

How to make an open space a healthy workspace: 

There are a few things to consider, and according to the WELL Building Standard™,  an international organization, focusing on maintaining a healthy environment for a commercial space’s greatest asset, the people, there are seven main factors that must be taken into account:

1. Air 

The quality of air is essential to increase employee productivity. Given it affects the employee’s health, ensuring clean air is an asset of comfort and focus for your team. Non smoking policies and air vents aren’t sufficient to keep an unpolluted environment. Frequent air duct maintenance is required to maintain a clean environment. We know a few experts that can help in case you’re in need of an air duct inspection. Incorporating air filters and office plants can help you give your employees a breath of fresh air every morning. 

2. Water 

Water consumption can help us improve the quality of our rest during our sleep time. It also enhances our focus and prevents fatigue or exhaustion. Therefore, making water easily available and accessible to your employees can help them stay productive in a healthy workspace. Here are a few ways to make water accessible to your staff: 

  • Install a water cooler. 
  • Provide them with free water bottles. 
  • Gift them company branded bottles they can fill up anywhere 

3. Nourishment 

It is no myth that a healthy body = healthy mind. This is why what your employees ingest at lunch time matters. The correct diet mitigates fatigue, stress, jumpstarting the smooth functionality of brain cells. The key to boosting your employees’ focus lies in the available meals and snacks provided in your cafeteria. Here are some options of snacks and beverages that can help your team focus during the afternoon fog:

  • Blueberries
  • Tuna cans
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Eggs
  • Nuts

4. Lighting

Sometimes, mood and energy can be controlled by the flick of a switch. A warm lighting helps us feel relaxed, stimulating better sleep patterns. Whereas blue light enhances focus and keeps us awake and aware of our surroundings. A strategic lighting design aids employees in feeling awake, aware and ready to tackle the day when they arrive at the office each morning. Adding cooler lights to your office can make it a healthy workspace environment, boosting concentration and productivity. 

5. Fitness

We are not meant to be a static species. Our ancestors were known to be nomads, hunting for high sources of protein and balancing it out by gathering vegan choices. Nevertheless, movement and nourishment have always been key components to supplying energy to our bodies and keeping our minds focused. 

How can you incorporate movement into an environment where people spend most of their time focusing their mental efforts on composing strategic business plans? 

There’s an array of choices you can select from to make your workspace fitness friendly. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Adjustable workstations
  • Standing desks
  • Ping Pong and pool tables as active furnishing
  • Endorse exercise outside the office 

6. Comfort

Many factors must be considered when assessing the comfort in your office space. Supplying the right furniture comes a long way. Maintaining sustainable ergonomics is about your employee feeling comfortable at their desk and having multiple options where to work from. Relating it to our previous point, constant movement is important, providing various comfortable workstations will help your employees focus and perform better. 

7. Mind: 

The CDC has determined a positive correlation between work performance and mental health. Though many may offer from disorders the unbalance of chemicals and hormones propitiate, our environment may exacerbate, if not initiate a mental health crisis. How can your office design create a healthy workplace to mitigate or prevent any mental health issues on your employees? 

A biophilic design helps your employees to destress, enhance creativity flow and motivation. Some key components of this particular design include: 

  • Maximizing sunlight and natural view 
  • Adding greenery
  • Constant airflow 

So there you have it…

Developing a healthy workspace may not be an easy task, but with the right team of innovative and creative designers, it is definitely possible! So check out our services and get in touch with us today to help you optimise your workspace and keep your team happy in a comfortable and healthy workspace!

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