Designing for wellness

Boosting staff wellbeing should be a key focus for every employer. There are a variety of ways in which to do this and adding art to a working environment can be a great place to start. Lilli Hender from Office Genie discusses the benefits of art in the office and other measures you can put in place to enhance wellness.

A little art goes a long way

As a product of innovation, dedication and creativity, art can help to inspire similar feelings in employees able to look upon it. When the definition of art tends to involve its ability to evoke a response, it isn’t surprising it can make a difference to how employees feel in their workplace.

The introduction of art has recently been found to improve productivity and reduce stress levels. Dr Craig Knight, who conducted the study, is keen to stress that motivational posters don’t necessarily do their job: that time and effort are required to source inspiring artwork.

Yaheya Pasha

Game for greenery

Offices sometimes lend themselves to feelings of claustrophobia, especially when they’re cramped and in the middle of a city. Plants can be a welcome solution to this problem; they open up a space by adding a sense of the outdoors.

They also improve air quality which not only helps with clarity of thought, it’s healthier to inhale. The best plants for removing air pollutants are rubber plants, dracaena, and peace lilies. To heighten aesthetic value, why not add a ‘living wall’ of plants!

Sit down, stand up

It’s important to counteract the health problems associated with sitting for eight hours a day, five days a week in as many ways as you can. Businesses have begun to implement banks of standing desks to cut down on the length of time employees remain seated.

Ergonomic office equipment is also a must: adjustable screens, supportive chairs, and wrist rests are just a few of the items companies can invest in prevent discomfort and long-standing health issues.

David Dehaineault

Breaking free

The open-plan office comes under a lot of fire for a variety of reasons but the main point of concern when it comes to wellness is the fact the layout doesn’t cater for the needs of introverts. For people who appreciate privacy and work best when they’re alone, an open-plan office can be prove to be a stressful environment.

One way in which to tackle this issue is to create break-out areas: alternative spaces to the main section of the office that have a more intimate vibe. These spaces can have booths or hubs, a sofa and coffee table set up, or something more quirky.

If you’re wondering how to make your workplace wellbeing-friendly, the best thing to do is to ask staff members their opinion on the matter. Finding out what employees want and need will help to inform correct decisions for you. The above tips filter into a wider conversation about the significant impact a working environment has, and the sooner this is taken on board, the more you can achieve.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Lilli Hender writes for OfficeGenie.co.uk: a desk and office space marketplace for freelancers, startups, and SMEs. She has a particular interest in workplace wellbeing, productivity and design.