Design for wellbeing 

If we want to design a working space of happiness and wellbeing for the employees, then we have to create working spaces:

  1. That enhances collaboration

  2. Where employees can develop and be engaged in the work that they do

  3. That create a culture of wellbeing and happiness

As Wellbeing Officer for one of the largest mental health charities from Northern Ireland, I had the chance to have a good read on environmental psychology and wellbeing workspaces.

With this opportunity, I’d like to share with you some of the workplace strategies that are the most popular nowadays:

  1. Create work spaces that enable visibility, openness and greater employee mobility to foster engagement. When workers are more likely to see each other, they are more likely to connect and collaborate.

  2. Create collaborative spaces that incorporate the 4 “Cs”: coffee, circulation nearby, connectivity and comfortable seating. These characteristics are particularly successful for “hubs” or central pantry spaces on the floor.

  3. Use floor plate into team “neighbourhoods,” with a variety of spaces included in each, to foster team identity and sense of place.

  4. Create a Wellbeing logo, make the awards and recognitions displayed in a visible way to reinforce employee engagement. It also helps on building a climate of wellbeing. 

Some other tips about natural light, view, noise, choice, community:

  • Open spaces at the perimeter of the floor allow light to penetrate deeper into the floorplate, providing access to daylight for interior spaces.

  • The shared spaces are located along the window wall with access to light and views.

  • Phone rooms dispersed throughout the workplace support the open environment and provide opportunities for private phone conversations or heads-down work.

High traffic areas by large conference spaces, breakout space, and reception, can be located at the entrance to the floor, consolidating activity and noise to minimize disruption to individual workplaces.

Separating open workstations with enclosed spaces helps to maintain noise. Too many open workstations create a feeling of overcrowding and can be too noisy.

Hot desking, a variety of spaces can support different functional needs. Employees can choose from a variety of spaces, depending on the task at hand, as well as when and how to use them. Organizing space types into “neighbourhoods” has many benefits, including minimizing the feel of overcrowding, encouraging informal interaction and supporting a team environment.

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