For most of us, the workplace is not synonymous with health, rejuvenation, or relaxation. On the contrary, it has been linked to as many (and serious) health risks as there are side effects to a prescription drug like Paxil.
But things are changing. As the sustainable design industry moves its focus from the natural environment on a macro scale to human health on a micro scale, architects and designers who plan and construct office environments are more aware than ever of the physical and psychological affects that interiors can have on their occupants.
In fact, according to recent research from Steelcase, designing an office that supports well-being is both necessary and achievable, as illustrated in the video below. The furniture manufacturing giant is challenging the notion that in order to feel relaxed or well, you have to escape from your everyday life.
Steelcase has found that there are six dimensions to consider when planning for well-being within the workplace:
- Optimism (allowing choice, personalization and control)
- Mindfulness (offering calming places that encourage interaction)
- Authenticity (creating informal, non-restrictive environments)
- Belonging (welcoming and well-equipped spaces)
- Meaning (aligning workers with a vision through space)
- Vitality (supporting active, healthy lifestyles with movement and visibility)
Our offices may never feel like a weekend at the Ritz, but they don’t have to feel like this either.
Image: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, courtesy Perkins Eastman.