Employee wellbeing has become an integral consideration for workplace design. Creating dedicated working zones, choosing the correct lighting, colours, and textures, and of course, deciding on the most functional yet comfortable furniture, accessories, and storage systems are key when supporting and enhancing the office.
According to WGSN, UK research recently showed that 48% of employees who returned to the office throughout the pandemic and beyond, experienced improved mental health, with 46% saying that they depend on the office to aid and improve their work/life balance.
The priority now for employers is to ensure that workplace design is at the forefront to encourage employees to keep returning to the office. We’re already seeing signs that the modern workplace is making strides when it comes to blending everything, from community and hospitality to wellbeing and mental health, as it shifts and evolves to serve a wide range of both personal and professional needs.
Our showroom has been designed with employee wellbeing at its forefront, with each zone dedicated to different types of working – from quiet and focussed areas to more creative and collaborative spaces where employees are encouraged to brainstorm and share ideas. But when it comes to creating a peaceful area where individual, head down tasks can be completed, how can you ensure that there’s a designated space for this? What are the key considerations, and what are the benefits of including these into the design of the office?
Pods, booths, and cocoons can offer a sheltered yet stylish working solution, enabling employees to truly take themselves away from the hubbub of the office to a peaceful and tranquil space. Available in a range of shapes and sizes, they’re great alternatives for smaller, more intimate meetings or a quick 5-minute catch up. Some are available in a selection of muted, neutral tones, soft fabrics, and finishes, meaning they can fit right in with your chosen aesthetic, while also delivering on their purpose.
They can also come with a range of accessories, such as height adjustable tables, lights that can be dimmed or brightened as needed, and a range of discreet stowage options, meaning if you have a busy day where you need to complete a range of tasks, you can settle in and create a comfortable and secure setting for the day. Some can even incorporate technology, where monitors and plug sockets can be installed to ensure that your laptop and phone can be charged without needing to change location.
If you have a smaller workspace, multifunctional dividers or flexible partitions may be a more suitable alternative – productive and not too obtrusive, these can be folded away and stored when they’re not needed.
When designing and furnishing your working environment, it’s vital to consider all employees and their needs. If space is at a premium, investing in agile furniture that can be pieced together or easily detached as modules will be key to creating a diverse workspace where everybody can thrive.
The benefits of offering a quiet working area are endless. Not only do they add variation to your workspace, but they also offer solitude to complete tasks, without needing to extend or separate the office. Some pods or booths offer soundproofing, meaning office chatter can be blocked out, and you can take or make private calls in confidence. Some even go the extra mile and offer filtration systems which cleans and increases airflow, bringing with them health benefits too!
Jeanine Goddard, Creative Director said; “When planning quiet spaces make sure they are away or at least oriented away from potentially noisy collaboration areas, allow for good lighting, ideally natural lighting as well as artificial and choose less saturated, calming and/or cool colours to support concentration.”
As more businesses start to understand the advantages of creating quiet working areas, it’s likely that we’ll see more of them being naturally incorporated into the office landscape. We may even see them become even more versatile, with more smart features being integrated to allow productivity and focussed working to flourish.