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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.