How Office Space Impacts Employee Wellbeing

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 28, 2019 6:00 AM

If you've never been in prison, you can take Burt Lancaster at his word: it changes how you look at things.

In Birdman of Alcatraz, the prison actor is transferred to another facility after decades at Alcatraz. He says his new cell will be "a swell place to live."

Your office can be a swell place, too, or it could be more like a prison. Sometimes, it depends what it looks like.

Changing Spaces

Modern offices have evolved over the past few decades. Wooden desks gave way to synthetics; cubicles turned into open spaces.

While planners often focused on cost and design, today they also consider more human changes. Ergonomics, stress-release, and well-being are part of the environment.

"A quality workspace design leads to a less stressful and more productive atmosphere," says Forbes writer Alan Kholl.

Citing a Fellowes Workplace Trend Report, he says employees want:

  • Wellness rooms
  • Fitness benefits
  • Healthy lunch options
  • Ergonomic seating

In the tech industry, 93 percent said they would stay longer at a company that offers such workspace benefits.

Privacy Space

Open-office seating was not the trend it was cracked up to be. Now, workers want more privacy.

If not a private office, companies are providing get-away spaces. They are basically phone booths where people can make private calls or video chats.

After all, a private conversation in the middle of an open office can be uncomfortable for everybody.

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