The 21st century workplace is changing, as it becomes clearer that a happy and healthy office is also a productive one. Layout, design, lighting and colors can all affect creativity and the ability to focus, and employers and office managers are making efforts to use these insights in their office design. Wellness is another major consideration, and a healthy workspace also boosts productivity. Recognizing employee participation and inputs are now seen as important tools for improving efficiency and creativity.
One of the most important factors changing office design as, well as styles of work, is of course the new technology, which opens up many new possibilities and challenges. The use of cloud computing and mobile devices makes rapid communication and information sharing possible. It also increases the time spent by employees working on computers, with the attendant health concerns. Sitting in one position for a long stretch of time, and the eyestrain from staring at a lighted screen can lead to problems like chronic back, neck and wrist pain as well as headaches, dizziness and irritated and reddened eyes.
Office design and management can address many of these issues. Office decor that emphasizes natural lighting, indoor plants, and comfortable lounge areas recognizes that people do their best work when they are comfortable and able to focus. Many offices also offer employees standing desks and short ten-minute breaks to help prevent the health problems caused by sitting and looking at computer screens for long periods of time.
Office management too can help workers to be engaged and focused. Cutting down on unproductive meetings saves time, and improving communications helps to ensure that everyone stays in the loop. Recognizing employee efforts and input through public appreciation and incorporating their ideas and feedback in current and future projects is a morale booster.
Find more tips on how to make your office more healthy and happy in the infographics by FaxBurner.