5 Workplace Trends You Should Know About (You won’t expect number 4…)
The traditional office design is slowly dying as the demand for a more flexible workplace rises. According to Jenny Brown from commercialrealestate.com.au, the conventional office layout such as working in a personal cubicle, is a contributing factor to the rate of absenteeism that has cost Australia a total of approximately $5.12 billion annually in lost productivity.
The World Health Organisation forecasts stress-related illness, being cardiovascular diseases and mental health disorders, to be the two leading contributors to illness by 2020. That is why employees must have a positive state of mind for them to do their best work.
While office trends tend to come and go, one thing for sure is the significant impact that office environment and design have on workers’ health and well-being. If you are in a dilemma on how to design your office layout, Xynergy Commercial has compiled a few ideas you might want to consider.
1.Open plan workplace
Breaking down the walls to bring people together is one of the ways to allow co-workers to engage with each other more actively, and not separate departments too much. Research done by Harvard Business Review found that the success of an open office plan is dependent on ‘place identity,’ which means how people feel about the space. Huge organizations like IBM and Microsoft, invest millions of dollars to increase place identity in their workplace. They acknowledge the significance of increasing place identity to build a stronger connection and higher engagement among their employees. On the flip side, one potential drawback is the lack of privacy. For people with tasks that require high concentration, an open plan office would be problematic. Thus, to prevent complications, it is possible to create ‘team spaces’ or add movable walls all around; they provide a low-cost, flexible, and aesthetically pleasing method to divide up space within your office.
2. Stand up from time to time
People nowadays are more proactive when it comes to their health based on a survey done by Packaged Facts. Unfortunately, not many people can work a full-time job and still have the energy to exercise every day. That is why people opt for a standing desk so that they can do both work and exercise at the same time with minimum effort. Robert. H from Harvard Health Publishing wrote an article on the benefits of standing up while you work and how sitting too long is detrimental to your health. Even though it is too early to say that standing desks are better than regular ones, they are shown to have impressive health benefits. Some of the benefits include reduces back pain, lowers your sugar level, and it can improve your mood and energy level. You can custom made your standing desk, and many of them are adjustable too; Consequently, you can alternate between sitting and standing.
3. Color matters
Many people associate bright colors with energy, but the fact is that not all of them represent the right energy. Evident from a study done by the University Of Massachusetts, adding color to your office does affect the employees’ stress level, creativity, and can even influence their level of morale. For instance, the color red increases the intensity of emotion and gives a sense of urgency, and for that reason, retail outlets often use red in their sale and clearance signs. Not only the color itself affects your mood, but the saturation too. Patricia Valdez and Albert Mehrabian have done a study on how color influences our emotions. They concluded that the color teal/ light blue have low state-anxiety scores, and they are more pleasant compared to other colors like grey, red, or black. Hence, for office space, the color teal/light blue would be most suitable. Nevertheless, you should pick and choose a color theme that corresponds to your industry’s need. You don’t have to paint your office a particular color; you can add a few art pieces for added inspiration and enthusiasm.
4. Recharge rooms
In recent years the breakout space has become a key feature in many offices. It is no surprise that in this day and age, countless number of people spend most of their working hours glued to their desks staring at their computer screens. Creating a ‘chill’ space in the office is essential for employees to restore themselves and take good breaks away from their computer, phone, or even work-related conversations. With a breakout area, employees can return feeling recharge, improve employee morale, and reduces the general feeling of being ‘burn out.’
5. Biophilic design
In recent years, biophilic design has been one of the biggest trends in office design. The biophilic design aims to make indoor spaces feel more natural by incorporating natural elements in the area. Biophilia is a term popularized by American biologist Edward O Wilson in the 1980s when he noticed the increasing rate of urbanization had steered us to disconnect with the natural world. With migration rates to urban setting rises, biophilia is of ever-increasing significance to our health and well-being. Big businesses like Apple, Amazon, and Google has invested much money into biophilic design, and it has shown to improve employees’ concentration and engagements. There are two different methods to apply the biophilic design to your space effectively. First is with direct experience of nature like putting potted plants or setting up a water fountain. The second method is with indirect experience of nature by corporating natural materials or merely putting images of nature in your space. More detailed information can be found in Kellert and Calabrese, The Practice of Biophilic Design ( www.biophilic-design.com).
The workplace trends mentioned above may or may not work for you, but what’s most important is maintaining high energy levels and motivation in the workplace, and these methods may help you achieve that. The tricky part is that every team and workplace require different strategies that suit them, ergo, you need to have an open discussion with your colleagues or team on how to set up the ideal office for your workplace.
Published by Xynergy Commercial, 2019.
Featured photo by : Austing Distel, unspalsh.com