Office design and employee wellbeing

Over the last few years, there’s been growing awareness of the impact employee wellbeing has on businesses. 

Whilst we understand that the look and feel of an office design are important, we also recognise that the office has an impact on our emotional wellbeing and even our physical health.

Research proves that businesses with effective wellbeing programmes do better than those without. These programmes include anything that helps to improve the physical or mental health of an employee. This can include free gym memberships or other healthy lifestyle initiatives.

However, this doesn’t always mean spending lots of money; it can be something as simple as recognition and showing appreciation for the work your employees put in. The overall culture of your business is hugely important when it comes to employee wellbeing. 

PWC SWITZERLAND - DESIGNED FOR EMPLOYEE WELLBEING

When PwC Switzerland asked Swiss architecture and design studio Evolution Design to create a new office interior for their Basel office, employee wellbeing was a key priority.

From its workstations and social spaces to team areas and relaxation rooms, the space was built on four key pillars of health: activity, attitude, rest and nutrition.

Keeping active

After research and consultation with PwC employees, three key work typologies were established.

The Focus Space is a desk area where employees can work on their own projects while still being part of a team environment.

In the Quiet Zone, a place without phones and with private spaces ranging from booths to desks, it’s possible to concentrate without interruption or noise.

For group tasks, the Team Space features large shared desks, whiteboards and walls where staff can pin project work.

Since PwC Switzerland already offered its employees Pilates and Yoga classes, Evolution Design wanted the workplace design to support more movement. The challenge was to create spaces that encouraged people to get up and move to different areas when they were doing different tasks.

Along with ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable desks, each area also makes use of a variety of chair and table types, ranging from low sofas and coffee tables to taller stools against bar height desks.

This allowed people to sit and move in different ways. This allowed people to become more active without being prescriptive in how they did it.

Positive attitude

In busy, high-intensity offices, workspace design can also have an important role to play in creating a positive mindset, improving mental health and potentially reducing staff absence.

The PwC office focused on empowering employees as a way to help manage stress levels and increase energy levels.

The office space offers a wide choice of working areas and employees are free to choose the kind of work environment that best suits their mood and task at any given time.

Whether that’s meeting in a think tank, working at the bar in the sociable coffee zones or using a phone booth for greater privacy when making phone calls.

They even included a relaxation area with a power nap lounge!

If you want to create a space that encourages employee wellbeing, talk to us about your office design today.

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