Wellness and the agile workspace

Before we go much further it would be good to define the true meaning of Wellness. Oxford dictionary defines wellness as the stay of being in good health. Health encompasses many areas of life, including physical as well as emotional, and many employees are also seeking good financial health.

We spend a huge proportion of our lives at work so it’s clear that the workplace is a massive contributor to individual’s health and wellness. Creating an environment that enhances employee wellness is crucial for both individual and organisational success.

Every individual and organisation has their own unique needs. Meeting these unique needs will pay dividends in enhanced business performance and employee wellbeing. Many of these needs can be met with an intelligent office design, and it’s important to realise just how much the office environment affects individual performance. An agile workplace has been proven to enhance employee performance.

What is an Agile Workplace?

An agile office environment is one that accommodates the employee’s daily activities with a variety of spaces or environments. There are many different tasks and activities carried out on a daily basis in every organisation, anything from private phone calls, to low focus working, informal collaboration or full team meetings. When the office space is designed to accommodate these activities, you will prove enhanced productivity and better employee performance. This increase in productivity has a direct impact on employee job satisfaction and general wellbeing.

The flexibility of an agile workforce (best summed up by the Martini advert of the seventies anytime, anyplace, anywhere) is heavily reliant on trust and employee accountability. Workers no longer need to be sat at a desk from 9-5, but can work in different areas within the office, or remotely if the company allows. This less rigid way of working has been proved to increase employee motivation and job satisfaction, and 82% of managers in a recent survey reported that employees were happier, and a separate study proved happy employees to be 300% more creative, 31% more productive, and able to increase sales by up to 37%.

How will this affect your workspace?

It’s clear that this more flexible way of working is beneficial to the individual, as well as the organisation. The shift from a traditional desk-heavy office space, to this more creative environment can be intimidating for organisations. However many years of creating agile workspaces means we can help you understand the minefield of agile office space design, and assist you to understand how you can achieve enhanced wellness among your people through the office design, as well as increasing business performance and potential saving valuable office space.

The daily activities in an office can largely be separated into 6 categories; low focussed individual working, high focussed individual working, informal collaboration, socialising or relaxing, formal collaboration and digital collaboration. Creating a workspace that accommodates these activities will help your people achieve a greater sense of wellness and help them to perform better in their job roles.

What else should you consider?

Aside from the basic design of your workspace, there are other elements to consider to ensure your people are working at peak performance:

Lighting: daylight is beneficial to health and wellbeing, as well as enhancing creativity. You should also consider lighting for specific tasks, such as desk lamps or dimmable lights in certain spaces.

Storage: clutter builds anxiety and stress. An adequate storage solution will ensure your office space can be kept tidy and clean. Visual clarity in the space leads to a sense of calm.

Ergonomic furniture: well designed furniture will help keep your people comfortable and functioning healthily. Consider Sit-Stand desks to enhance posture and wellness.

Acoustics: controlling sound in your workspace is also important for employee wellness and productivity. By helping your people to concentrate better, and achieve acoustic privacy where needed you’ll positively impact productivity.

When a workspace is promoting wellness and productive working, you’ll find a highly functioning team. A healthy work environment will foster great relationships, successful work-life balance and a culture to be proud of. The effect of these on your profit margins will without a doubt be positive, not to mention the increased employee retention rate and overall organisational productivity.

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