Studies show that in today’s fast paced world, professionals spent three-fourths of their lives indoor. And not surprisingly, most of that time is spent glued to some screen, tending to not so invigorating jobs. Once in the office/workplace, your day will most likely begin with a series of meetings with little or no time in between to prepare or even think about the next one.You proceed from one task to another, gearing up and waiting for the day to end. Only to get back to the grind and do the same thing the next day. A constant and long-lasting loop making you feel like your brain can’t keep up with your body as you move between tasks and locations throughout the day.
On days like this, employees thrive for change and support from their employers and hope that they understand that healthy and happy employees are key to creating sustainable, profitable organisations. Helping the world run better and improving lives around them must be the consistent mission of organisations across the globe. Hence, the role of well- being plays a far larger role in organisations today than we could imagine.
Apart from healthier and conscious decisions by individuals, there are a lot more an organisation can do to make the professional journey of their employees and colleagues fruitful. Creating an agile and flexible workforce must be an important pillar of an organisations people strategy.
� Building a body-mind environment: A thoughtfully designed ecosystem of spaces created with the needs of people in mind and with a holistic view of technology and space can help them achieve more and have a better, less stressful, experience at work. These spaces can inspire new ways of thinking and fuel creativity.
� Wellness architecture: Indoor air quality and ventilation systems as factors in the ‘wellness architecture’ of a building, along with thermal comfort, lighting levels, noise, and access to amenities. This architecture will help activate and sustain human experience, with mental and physical health supported at work as a result of aligning workplace and HR strategy.
� Invigorating spaces: The sea of sameness has led to many performers turn into disengaged employees. Today, employees want more and more of breakout spaces, collaborative tools and areas to lounge and socialise. Including such elements of engagement help in bringing harmony between fun and function.
� Infusing sensorial aspects: Workplaces that focus on the intangibles like sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch are better equipped to boost employee wellbeing. Eg – whether it is creating thematic rooms that are designed based on countries or simply curating a space with wooden tables, food on the shelves, bookcases made of fragrant cedar, these elements help in creating a more attentive, focused calm and evocative state of mind
� Follow ergonomic principles: A healthy posture is one of the most crucial factors to take care of for today’s multitasking, tech-wielding knowledge worker. By developing your “ergo eyes” and adhering to fundamental ergonomic principles, such as a chair providing ergonomic benefits to people of various sizes and working in different postures adds to physical wellbeing.
The world can be a difficult place. Employees juggle family obligations, school debt, work stress, deadlines and more. Creating a healthy balance and strategic health strategies, enabling better control by employees over their work and workspace, can help build healthier, happier employees while reducing absenteeism and lowered productivity.
(The writer is design manager, Steelcase Asia Pacific)