Workplace wellbeing has become a deep-rooted business strategy for organizations of all sizes throughout numerous sectors. Human resources (HR) departments even treat workplace wellness as an important aspect of workplace safety, taking a holistic approach to managing employees’ mental and physical wellness. They’re finding that it not only improves engagement but it also promotes productivity and fosters a winning environment. This is why in today’s workplace environment full of challenges, HR and organizational psychology are closely related.
What Is Workplace Wellbeing and Why You Should Care?
Workplace wellbeing is known as corporate wellbeing in the United Kingdom, Europe, and some places in Asia. Workplace wellbeing is any organizational policy or activity developed to improve physical and mental health in the workplace. Workplace wellbeing programs comprise one or more workplace health promotions. Workplace health promotions might include on-site fitness programs or facilities, weight management programs, medical screenings, health education, mental health programs, among other things.
Dr. Pragya Agarwal, a contributor for Forbes, wrote that five elements make up a healthy working environment:
- Work-life balance
- Health and safety
- Employee growth and development
- Employee recognition
- Employee Involvement
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work published a report showing evidence that organizations utilizing workplace health promotion programs experience significant cost savings. Furthermore, over 90 percent of workplaces in the United States with more than 50 employees have implemented health promotion programs. In a post-COVID-19 era, it’s likely that organizations of all sizes will have health promotion programs.
Promoting the Well-Being of New Mothers in the Workplace With Maternity Rooms
A growing number of organizations lend more support for employees with children. For example, Patagonia Incorporated, an American clothing company, offers new mothers a child-care center at the company’s headquarters in California. Mothers can either employ a family member to watch their child or use one of the company’s childcare workers—all paid for by Patagonia. Parents.com reveals that other companies like Google, the SAS Institute, Rachel Zoe Incorporated, Goldman Sachs, and a long list of others have on-site daycare areas or lactation rooms.
Designing and Renovating Office Spaces to Promote Wellness
In an article published by Interiors and Sources, architects today go beyond designing workplaces that encourage activity; they’re consciously designing and renovating physical workspaces that promote and nurture wellness. For example, a popular design approach includes maximizing the amount of natural light illuminating workspaces. Architects accomplish this by increasing the number and size of windows.
Not only does this improve natural lighting and nurture wellness in the workplace but it helps organizations decrease their ecological footprint. On top of that, research has long shown that natural light helps the human body regulate circadian rhythms—a 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes. Circadian rhythms affect an individual’s daily cycles of waking and sleeping, something which is extremely important to our mental health.
These sorts of architectural ideas perfectly define workspaces designed for wellness.
Integrating Wellness and Work-Life Into an Office Design
As we’ve written about in previous articles, the whole idea of a one-size-fits-all interior design for the workplace has been debunked. In the mid-20th century, cubicles became one of the hottest and longest lasting office design trends for decades. While some employers choose alternative workplace designs, the open floor design remained predominant for decades. Additionally, many advantageous advances in culture, interior office design, and technology exist today due to the evolution of the open office floor plan.
For employers, the idea behind the open office may have been good, but the lack of privacy contributed a lot to workplace stress. However, others felt that closed office designs hampered collaboration and creativity. This uncertainty led to organizations flip-flopping from one extreme to another as leaders searched for the proverbial Holy Grail. Eventually, experts in several fields began advocating a new, up and coming trend: flexible office designs that provide the power of choice. Another term for flexible office design is employee-centric or user-centric workspaces—or transformational spaces.
Employee-centric floor plans provide employees with environments of various choices; they complete their work on their terms, so to speak. Among other things, this sense of freedom allows people to feel more in control of their lives. If staff members require privacy now and then, privacy booths afford them that privacy; height-adjustable desks are now replacing both sitting and standing desks. Fancy ergonomic chairs with wheels no longer provide workers with the flexibility they need to move about. Thus, not only can their workstations be moved from one area to another but are highly customizable to fit their needs.
Biophilic Office Designs: Bring Nature Into the Workplace
Humans are inexplicably drawn to nature. For this reason, biophilic office designs—a concept that advocates bringing the outdoors into the workplace—have exploded as of recent. This is where workplace wellbeing and office design overlap. Many organizations are introducing plant life and other natural elements to their workspaces.
Biophilic office designs tend to be some of the most comfortable and productive work environments. In addition to that, biophilic offices are quite cost-effective as compared to other models.
If you’re interested in learning more about revolutionary workplace designs, the knowledgeable staff at FreeAxez can assist you.
Contact us today to learn more!