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How to combine space planning and well-being in the age of hybrid work?

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

With the advent of hybrid and flexible working, more and more companies are looking to create workspaces that promote employee well-being. A well-designed work environment can have a significant impact on productivity, creativity and employee satisfaction. In this article, we explore how to combine space planning and well-being at work, offering ideas and strategies for creating balanced work environments conducive to everyone's professional fulfillment.

Modern office open-space
Office open-space

Flexibility, adaptability and privacy


One of the key benefits of hybrid working is that employees can choose where, when and how they work. Workspaces must therefore be designed to offer maximum flexibility and adaptability. This can include collaborative work zones, flexible meeting spaces or soundproof booths, better known as phone booths. Phone booths are small acoustic booths that provide a private space for making phone calls or concentrating away from the noise of the open-plan office. These confidential spaces enable employees to work without distractions and boost their productivity. They also allow great flexibility in office layout. Kosy Booth offers this type of layout, fully adapted to the modularity of today's office spaces.


Natural light and views


Access to natural light and views of the outdoors is essential for employee well-being. According to the Belgian Knowledge Centre on Wellbeing at Work (Beswic, 2017), natural light promotes employee concentration, productivity and mood. When designing workspaces, it is therefore important to maximize the use of natural light by placing desks close to windows and using transparent partitions to allow light to circulate throughout the workspace.


Hybrid work and well-being


To encourage well-being at work, it's essential to provide spaces for relaxation and well-being. This can include comfortable rest rooms, meditation or yoga spaces, games rooms and break areas with kitchen facilities. In addition, to offer the ultimate relaxation experience, workspaces can incorporate rest cocoons like those offered by WeNap. Rest cocoons are small, individual capsules that offer a private, secluded space where employees can rest, meditate or recharge their batteries. These cocoons promote relaxation and help reduce stress.


Ergonomics and mobility


Ergonomics is a crucial aspect of workspace design. Poorly designed workstations can lead to health problems such as back pain, musculoskeletal disorders and eyestrain. It's important to provide adjustable seating, height-adjustable desks and ergonomic equipment to prevent these problems. What's more, in a flexible working environment, it's necessary to encourage mobility by using lightweight, easily movable furniture and equipment with access designed for PRMs.


Nature and biophilic elements


Integrating nature into workspaces can have beneficial effects on employee well-being. According to a 1998 Norwegian study (Fjeld et al., 1998), biophilic elements such as plants, green walls and natural materials create a soothing atmosphere and reduce stress. Workspaces can also be designed to offer views of natural landscapes or outdoor spaces, fostering a connection to nature even inside buildings.

 

As hybrid and flexible working becomes the norm, it's essential to rethink workspace design to promote employee well-being. By creating flexible, adaptive and balanced work environments, companies can help improve productivity, creativity and employee satisfaction. By integrating elements such as flexibility, natural light, relaxation spaces, ergonomics and biophilic elements, companies can create workspaces that promote well-being and enable employees to thrive professionally in the modern age of work.

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