No wonder that design can affect us and when it comes to workplace design, it is no exception. Just to think of the time we spend at offices, as many regards as a second home, the effect on emotional and physical well-being gets clearer.

While a lot has been written and discussed how workplace design affects employees, there’s not much done or changed, and if so only in terms of design as its direct understanding.
Having offices well designed, with spaces to cooperate and relax is one approach, but at the same time what is not seen, but really influences our employees should not be underestimated.

Air Quality

Various studies have been conducted and reflect the influence of polluted air on our health and general well-being. A recent study by teams from Harvard and Syracuse Universities found that when ventilation was improved, and levels of carbon dioxide and emissions were reduced, employees performed 61% better on cognitive tasks.

Another study conducted on so-called “green” buildings found employees had 30% fewer headaches and respiratory complaints and performed about 27% better on cognitive tasks. They even slept better at night.

It’s noteworthy that air in the building is from 10 to 30 more polluted than the air outside, add the lack of oxygen especially in coworking spaces where there is no proper ventilation.
At Spectrum in line with the proper ventilation systems that filter air we use portable air purifiers to ensure the best air quality throughout the day. Also, the air is systematically monitored and checked for oxygen percentage and pollutants in the air. 

Light

There are various studies that link proper lighting to productivity. Besides the effect insufficient or bad quality light has on our eyesight it might be the reason for headaches, irritation, or decreased motivation.   Having designed offices with the availability of daylight is of great importance. There are studies that link natural light to employees’ positive attitude, increased energy levels and decreased stress. In addition consider having modern, good quality LED lighting to prevent eyes from straining.


Greenery

Greenery is also a good source of oxygen, some spaces are especially good for air filtration and also balancing humidity. It works positively on employees’ moods and decreases stress and improves the ability of concentration according to various studies.
At spectrum, both, employees and visitors love to see the green wall from plants that just adds joy and freshness to design, but also cleans the air and supports employees’ positive mood.
Besides, every employee once joining Spectrum’s team is gifted a plant that he/she takes care of on a daily bases that bring more commitment and positivity into the office.

Break Areas-Open spaces

Having the areas to take a break from the working environment is a good option, but also consider,  using open/outdoor spaces purposefully.


Material Selection

When planning a repair for the office being tempted to save on quality materials is easy. But keep in mind, that in a long run employee health will be affected with hazardous materials and VOCs from them in the air.

Ergonomic Furniture

Having ergonomic furniture should be one of the prior considerations for the workplace appliance list. Ergonomic seating reduces stress, supports posture, is more comfortable, reduces the risk of neck problems and neck pain, and in total makes working easier.

Energy-efficiency and Environment

Finally, taking care of the environment, bringing positive impact, should be one of the priorities of businesses, as in the long run we are all affected.  Using materials that save energy, are not pollutants and are recyclable should be part of CSR. This can start from the design process to choose proper materials, to select LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances and continue to the corporate culture where recycling, saving energy and positive blueprint is part of everyday life. 

Originally Published: 05.05.2020