The environments we live and work affect our well-being. From Monday through Friday, most of our hours are spent at our workplace. We’ve shared the reasons why people need to spend more time outdoors: proximity to natural elements, such as greenery and sunlight, is associated with a 15 percent increase in improved well-being and creativity, and six percent higher productivity. But it’s not just outdoors that can improve our well-being. The quality of the indoor office environment influences an your tenant’s health and stress levels.
Capital One’s 2019 Work Environment Survey highlights the need for adaptability in workplace design. Based on that survey and our research, we share the 6 design elements that tenants demand.
Get proactive: If 90 percent of professionals believe they perform better in a well-designed workplace, then you should consider adding these innovations to improve your building’s appeal.
Communal tables at restaurants were all the rage a few years ago, and now coworking is on the rise. The appeal for these spaces may be due to a change in environment that feels more like a place to hang out than to work. According to the Capital One survey, 65 percent say that they are more productive when they change their physical location while working. Fitspot’s collaborative spaces are a way to escape from the office and tackle a brainstorming session, or knock out a project away from the desk. The survey found that 22 percent of surveyed professionals want to see more collaborative spaces in their workplace. Other ways to add social spaces to your workplace: gaming rooms, theaters for presentations instead of a traditional conference room, and lounges. Once you have these social spaces, you can easily incorporate pop-up experiences like kombucha happy hour, trail mix stations, and chair massages.
Does your office have windows? If so, this can have a major impact on well-being. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory reviewed the effects of natural light on building occupants, and the results showed higher levels of serotonin, Vitamin D and melatonin, These are vital in regulating mood, sleep, and alertness. You can tap into these benefits by situating desks near windows. If your conference rooms have windows, consider opening the blinds to let natural light in. Your employees won’t be daydreaming at the view, that daylight will radiate positive vibes.
In Fitspot’s buildout of business centers, we try to put conference spaces and meeting rooms on the outside of the buildings, to take advantage of windows. Even if you can’t have an exterior room, adding in clear glass walls instead of solid will allow for light from the surrounding building area.
Art and Color
Think of the emotions you feel in an art gallery. In the pop art section, with bright colors and bold pieces, you may feel energized. In the Renaissance art section, you may feel calmer. The fact that color dictates our mood is not new. But beyond just coloring the walls of your space, you can also install artwork and creative imagery. A survey by the Business Committee for the Arts and the International Association for Professional Art Advisors found that in more than 32 companies, art reduced stress, increased creativity and encouraged the expression of opinions. Here are the colors that will enhance your workplace most:
- Yellow for energy
- Green for harmony and balance
- Blue for trust and relaxation
- Orange for creative performance
Plants and Biophilia
A pop of greenery in the workplace is aesthetically pleasing and beneficial to employees. Plants balance the energy of a space and absorb noise levels. The natural green color promotes a sense of relaxation, enhances mood and improves concentration. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is between two and five times greater than the outdoors. Add some plants to your space – fresher air leads to larger improvements in decision-making, particularly with areas of planning and strategizing. A NASA study of indoor plants revealed the most effective plants at removing indoor air pollutants. Some of the plants are listed below, and they are very easy to care for indoors.
- Bamboo Palm
- Peace Lily
- Chinese Evergreen
- Moth Orchid
- Broadleaf Lady Palm
In Capital One’s survey, 31 percent cited an integration of natural materials, indoor plants or water features to their workplace environment. When Fitspot designs spaces, we pay careful attention to these aesthetics, placing greenery in heavily-trafficked areas. We may design a cafe with a living wall behind the bar, or organize a common space around a tree.
“Hybridization” of Spaces
Why do employees want “work from home” options? They may love their job and the company, but they need that feeling of comfort associated with the home. “Hybridization” is how properties and companies can blend elements inspired by the home, hospitality and coffee shops into the workplace. You can add a warm and inviting feel through sofas and cushioned chairs, use energizing color tones, and allow spaces beyond the desk to work, such as a communal table or chaise lounge chair. Fitspot’s buildouts focus on flexibility and adaptation, offering common spaces that can just as easily play host to a meeting as to a lunch break. Instead of just desks and chairs in offices, we recommend active workstations and reconfigurable furniture options.
Rest and Relaxation
Another point to consider: space for mindfulness and relaxation. According to Capital One’s survey, nearly all professionals agree that it’s important for companies to create programs and spaces that support their employees’ mental health and well-being (87 percent). One of Fispot’s areas of design, rest and relaxation, includes nap pods, meditation rooms, and spas. The trend has grown to 50 percent, as the second most desirable design element after natural light.