While some of us were still able to carefully work in our normal office setting, we all will probably remember how countless businesses were forced to shut down their physical offices and transition their employees to work from home during the pandemic. In this time, many found their work successfully managed from home, and some even found themselves more productive, given that they were able to manage their time more efficiently in their self created workspaces.
With flexibility, commute, and cost savings being high factors why many employees aren’t as willing to return to the traditional office setting, comfortable and healthy spaces for everyone is not just a perk anymore, but is rapidly becoming an expectation.
As people head back into the workplace – and not only for office spaces, but healthcare offices, restaurants, schools, universities, senior living homes, or other commercial businesses – they’re considering options more beneficial to their well-being and personal health, and whether their companies are paying attention to that too. By investing in your office, a shared space that significantly impacts your employees’ everyday life, you can actually cultivate productivity, efficiency, and engagement within your business.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at how these factors make a difference in the workplace, and how you can stay ahead of the game.
Considerations in Designing Workspaces
There are a few factors in envisioning a successful workplace that encourages engagement, provide privacy, comfort, and inclusivity to accommodate different work needs.
In considering the impact of the pandemic and the changing workplace of the past two years, many people take much more into consideration about their space, cleanliness, and engagement with others.
Stress, anxiety, and depression are much higher with new restrictions in place, and so creating a workplace that helps lower their stress by providing a safe and comfortable place to do their work is crucial. Mental health as well as physical well-being are more important than ever when it comes to office design and layout, both for individual- and shared spaces.
Before we talk about mental health, though, let’s look at our physical health.
Providing office furniture that has been designed to help support function and provide comfort for your employees will only help in the long run and avoid musculoskeletal problems, joint pain, back or neck issues, and help lessen muscle fatigue.
- Standing desks that allow to alternate sitting and standing positions
- Ergonomic office chairs with proper support and flow with the human body and posture
- Temperature regulating fabrics
- Keyboard and mouse supports
- Pivoting screen monitors
- Office furniture layouts that encourage more physical movement throughout the day
Studies have shown that optimizing natural light for workers has significantly improved their health and wellness, such as lessening symptoms of eyestrain, headaches, or blurred vision which is commonly a result of prolonged computer use. Not only does this help in terms of productivity, but provides a better indoor experience for allowing eyes to relax and recover from fatigue. Moving bulky furniture that blocks sunlight, replacing poor lighting with more energy efficient and less harsh options, installing skylights or windows, and layering different types of lighting such as ambient and task lighting are also ways to help create a better ambiance for your employees and guests alike. Other than benefitting your employee’s health, natural light also reduces reliance on artificial light, which can lower your energy costs.
Designing new functional areas to work in and accommodate the work styles of your diverse body of employees helps boost engagement and overall quality of life in the office. Having different office furniture and area options help your employees explore their ideal work environment. Individual work stations mixed with some comfortable break areas allow for focus or collaboration between people, and can be tailored to offer physically distanced possibilities.
Anxieties running higher about returning to the office call for an attention towards having spaces for employees to take time to decompress. Quiet spaces are amazingly beneficial towards individual well-being for your staff, and provide benefits like lowering blood pressure or decreasing stress. With setting clear guidelines and having low-density floorplans as well, measures taken to alleviate worry about physical distancing are thoughtful and create safer feeling environments for everyone.
When designing a healthier and more functional workplace, maintaining community between your workers can help with the post-lockdown feelings of isolation linked to working from home long-term. Prioritizing communal activities for your employees with small meetings in physically distanced areas that you create can say a lot about your values as a company and show your commitment to making a better workplace by using design and functionality. By helping accommodate many different workflows with a well-designed physical space, and creating flexible environments to thrive in, it builds towards a positive culture for your business and better employee retention.
Creating a Better Workplace
T2B Commercial Interiors’ designers listen carefully to understand your organization’s workplace objectives, brand personality and unique culture. Clients value their ability to create exceptional workplaces that help businesses achieve their goals through quality design, furniture, flooring, window treatments, while staying on budget, and on brand.
With a broad range of knowledge and experience, our designers can help maximize the efficiency of your space, boost employee engagement, inspire creativity, cultivate a healthy environment, improve safety and more. Our designers work with state-of-the art software and provide you with CET design and renderings to help you understand the design vision and give opportunity for your valuable input early in the process. Big budget or small, new space or renovated space, office, school, hospital or retail, we have designers with the right experience to meet your needs.
Whether you’re looking for new flooring, adding natural light, creating a variety of spaces for your employees to thrive in, diverse choices of furniture, or just a much needed change in your physical space’s layout, contact us today to learn how our designers can meet your needs.