Top 10 Office Design Ideas to Improve Your Employees' Mental Health
May 14, 2023
Flexday Team

Mental Health Awareness month is May, and we shine a spotlight on how our work life can be made better by being more deliberate about our space, our activities, and especially our approach (where it starts).

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we work, and many people have had to adjust to working from home. However, as the world starts to return to normal, many workers are heading back to the office on hybrid occasions and planned "office days". For a lot of employees, the office can be a place of stress, anxiety, and burnout (the recent tech updates aren't helping), but it doesn't have to be that way.

By implementing some simple office space and furniture design ideas, you can help maintain or improve your mental health while working in the office. We explore ten office space and furniture design ideas that can make a big difference.

Flexday Suite - Richmond & Spadina brings the bright day in and allows employees to take mental breathers by simply looking outside.

1. Natural light: Natural light is essential for our mental health, and it's especially important for knowledge workers who spend most of their time indoors. If possible, position your desk near a window, and make sure to open the blinds or curtains to let in as much natural light as possible.

iQ Office - King West private offices have large windows that soak in daylight all day.

2. Plants: Plants can help to purify the air, reduce stress, and improve our overall mood. Consider adding a few plants to your office space to create a more calming and peaceful environment.

Lokaal Space infuses plants with contemporary furnishings and clean sight-lines to create a contemplative environment.

3. Ergonomic furniture: Sitting at a desk all day can be hard on your body, so it's important to have ergonomic furniture that supports your posture and reduces the risk of injury. Invest in a good quality chair, desk, and keyboard to ensure you're comfortable and healthy.

Ergonomic chairs in The Rostie Group's conference rooms make full-day meetings and seminars more tolerable.

4. Standing desk: Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. They allow you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, which can reduce the risk of back pain and improve your overall health.

Launch Coworking Exchange in Winnipeg utilizes tall desks for their coworking area.

5. Quiet zones: Knowledge workers often need quiet time to concentrate and focus on their work. Consider creating a quiet zone in your office where employees can go to work without distractions.

Muskoka Collective in Bracebridge, ON has a large lounge area that doubles as a quiet spot to relax.

6. Relaxation areas: Taking breaks and stepping away from your desk can help reduce stress and increase productivity. Consider creating a relaxation area in your office where employees can go to take a break, meditate, or do some light exercise.

The meditation room at TCC Canada Collaboration Centre in Ottawa is a perfect in-office retreat to unwind.

7. Mood lighting: Lighting can have a big impact on our mood, so consider investing in mood lighting for your office space. You can choose from a variety of colours and settings to create a calming and relaxing environment.

Workplace One - King West takes mood lighting to another level with decorative ceiling and chandeliers in this conference room.

8. Colour scheme: The colours in your office can also have an impact on your mental health. Consider choosing colours that promote calmness and productivity, such as blue, green, and yellow.

Loco Space's inspiring communal area wows with bright furniture and an actual wall art mural.

9. Personalization: Allowing employees to personalize their workspaces can help create a sense of ownership and boost morale. Encourage employees to bring in photos, plants, and other items that make them feel happy and comfortable.

The Collective Workspace has an inspiring, customizable aesthetic to their private offices to suit their clients in the design and arts space.

10. Access to nature: Access to nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, so consider incorporating natural elements into your office design. This can include things like indoor water features, natural wood furniture, and artwork that features nature scenes.

County Coworking integrates nature in the most ingenious way with floor-to-ceiling coworking booths made out of natural wood.

There are many office space and furniture design ideas that can help maintain or improve the mental health of knowledge workers. By incorporating natural light, plants, ergonomic furniture, standing desks, quiet zones, relaxation areas, mood lighting, a calming color scheme, personalization, and access to nature, you can create an environment that promotes productivity, creativity, and wellbeing.