Top Tips for a Healthier Workplace

We recently caught up with Mel Meale, Design Director at Bristol based Steer Design to have a chat about some of the current thinking around workplace design. In particular, we wanted to understand how more how employers can provide healthier spaces for their staff to collaborate and be productive in.

Incorporate Biophilia as much as possible.

The human need for connection to nature is an instinctive one. This is why crackling fires and smashing waves please us. Any office place can incorporate a form of biophilia whether it is imagery, planting or even a fish tank! Planting is a huge trend at the moment but will biophilia in the workplace remain part of essential design going forward? We hope so and in fact biophilia doesn't just mean planting, it's any connection to nature. A view over the countryside, an office dog or just a little Aloe on your desk, these all make an impact towards a healthier workplace. Just two hours of connection a week is proven to improve your health so why not have a little replan or a huge move and get back to nature. At CTD Architectural Tiles we have seen this trend come through to tile with ranges like Amazonia and Loft providing a porcelain option to endorse biophilia heavy design schemes.

Images: Amazonia | Loft

Place desks perpendicular to windows.

In doing so you avoid glare and have a view of the sky. This influx of UV can help with mood and mental wellbeing, especially as we move into the darker months. This has multiple benefits though as it also helps with grid systems such as HVAC, circulation spaces, collaborative and connecting areas of work and so on.

Replace the old office corner desks for straight ones - singles or even benches for the bold.

This will provide a lot more space across the office allowing you to increase m2 per user or add in collaboration settings whilst maintaining distance. Did you know that the corner desk was designed for the use of huge CRT monitors in the 1970’s? No one has these anymore but the desks remain. Straight desks decrease clutter, are much better for in terms of space utilisation and encourage collaboration. Add in Sit Stand desks for even more adjustability and your space is fit for 2021 and beyond.

Conduct a storage audit.

Conduct a storage audit to reduce clutter, storage and open up more useable space. Archiving and digitising your paperwork also allows you to process secure documents and reinforce electronic storage for documents. Actively reducing storage space drives the change to digital/cloud based data storage systems with the benefit that it can open up whole areas to increase the space per person. Add in agile work spaces or create shorter storage units for a more open solution and add planting to the top.

Landscape your office.

This idea was first coined in the 1950s and is now not only becoming a standard way of practice but covid-19 has pushed this way of design much quicker than the industry itself could ever promote. The movement was originally brought about by two brothers, creating a design on the individuals in any office being the focus, this was called Bürolandschaft, a German term that translates to "office landscape". More open spaces allow for better air circulation, better communication and collaboration plus provides a higher rate of wellbeing where the staff are given a feeling of more balance and respect. In this regard, floor tiles can be a powerful ally to the design allowing a subtle but clear demarcation of zones within a workspace. For example wood effect porcelain planks such as our Aspen range in coffee and breakout areas and a more neutral stone or concrete effect such as Realstone Rain or Nassau in corridors and lobby areas.

Images: Realstone Rain | Aspen | Nassau

Steer Design are experts in workplace design, have a chat with them today to understand how they can help you develop a healthier workplace. You can find out more and contact them via www.steerdesign.co.uk