How your office space affects the well-being of your employees

In the last 20 years,the modern office has undergone various developments.

The early 2000s saw the elimination of “box” offices and the rise of open-air offices, while in 2015 it brought ping pong tables and other games everywhere. As office trends come and go, one thing that does not change is the impact that the office environment has on the health and well-being of employees.

A quality workplace design leads to a less stressful and more productive atmosphere. It is important for employers to take into account the physical work environment of their employees. Employees need to feel comfortable and calm in their physical work settings to produce their best work.

According to the Fellowes Workplace Wellness Trend Report, employees also want to work in a healthy environment. Here are some findings from the research:

The vast majority (87%) of employees would like the current employer to offer healthier benefits in the workplace, with choices ranging from wellness rooms, benefits to the company gym, seats, healthy meals and ergonomic seats.
Interestingly, employees of newer companies are less likely (34%) to be rejected when seeking office benefits, such as seat offices, than employees of established companies (42%).
93% of tech industry workers said they would stay longer in a company that offers healthier workplace benefits, with options that include wellness, fitness benefits, seating, healthy eating and ergonomic seating.

One company, ROOM, responds to the growing need for privacy in the workplace with their telephone booth, a soundproofed, ventilated, mobile booth that can enable employees to make a video call or spend uninterrupted time concentrating on work. . “We spend almost a third of our lives in the office and to find and retain top talent it is essential for businesses to cultivate an environment that enables people to work, think and collaborate naturally. Seventy percent of offices today are open plan, and the layout of the open plan can be fantastic. But it really needs to be implemented properly based on employee productivity and their happiness. From offering private rooms to getting a call and quiet places to meditate on fun, comfortable areas that encourage collaboration, it is imperative to think about building office spaces with different environments to maximize employee well-being. At ROOM, we set a new standard for the workplace and believe that the telephone booth provides the ideal starting point for groups of all sizes to create a happier, healthier and more productive work environment, ”says Morten Meisner-Jensen , co-founder of ROOM.

Office design is such a valuable investment for businesses. There is another international organization that has established requirements for the creation of productive and comfortable interiors. The WELL Building Standard ™ (WELL) is the leading standard for buildings, interiors and communities that seek to implement, validate and measure features that support and promote human health and well-being. The WELL Building Standard is the first standard focusing on human health and wellness in the design, construction and operation of buildings, organized by the WELL International Building Institute (IWBITM) and certified by Green Business Certification Inc. According to IWBITM, workplace design that takes into account air quality, lighting, nature views and the overall layout of the interior can significantly affect staff health, satisfaction, well-being and productivity.

The WELL Building Standard focuses on seven building performance concepts: air, water, food, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Even if you do not have the immediate plans (or budget!) To become WELL Certified, companies can use the principles to help create a healthier environment. Let’s take a deeper look and see how you can bring these concepts to your company:


Air quality in an office can have a significant impact on the health of your employees and then on productivity. Surveys conducted by the World Council on Green Buildings recorded an 11% increase in productivity as a result of increased fresh air in the workstation and a reduction in pollutants. Here are some ways you can influence air quality:

Implement a smoking policy
Develop green cleaning protocols and keep the desk free of clutter
Install air filtration systems
Maintain a healthy level of humidity
Place indoor plants
Open the windows


Our mind is 73% water, so drinking water helps improve sleep quality and energy levels, as well as our ability to focus, our mind clarity and our awareness and alertness. This, in turn, helps us become more productive at work. Here are some ways you can help your employees increase their water intake:

Provide safe drinking water
Install a refrigerator / water cooler
Educate employees about the benefits of drinking water


We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat” and this saying can be especially true in the workplace. The food that employees consume gives you impetus and strength in their working days. If you want your employees to feel energized and productive, you will want to eat a nutritious, balanced diet that provides them with the nourishment their bodies need to succeed. Encourage the best eating habits and food culture with these tips:

Improving the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables
Restrict access to processed foods
Clearly label foods for food allergies
Improving access to good hand washing facilities
Provide nutritional information
Promoting healthy eating choices over unhealthy advertising
Encourage healthy eating – create dedicated eating areas



A study conducted by the Department of Planning and Environmental Analysis at Cornell found that employees sitting 10 feet away from a window reported an 84% reduction in eye discomfort, headaches and blurred vision symptoms. Here are some ways to rethink your office lighting design:

Consider adding skylights
Check the glow
Maximize natural light
Move large, bulky furniture that blocks out sunlight
Replace the flashing lights
Design different layers of lighting in the workplace, such as ambient and work lighting


Our bodies were made to move, not to sit all day. Employees who have an active lifestyle are likely to be more productive. Because exercise increases blood flow to the brain, employees will get a boost of energy and alertness. This can also sharpen your concentration and decision-making ability. Some ways to encourage traffic at work include:

Open and accessible stairwells
Bicycle storage
Adjustable workstations
Space for physical activity


The office should be a place of comfort. Using the right ergonomics can reduce muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce the severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are the most commonly reported causes of lost work time. Some ways to create comfortable, distracting environments include:

Ergonomically created work areas with the possibility of switching from sitting to standing
Provide employees with different areas to work during their day
Limit sound from building systems and create quiet zones
Creation of unblocking spaces, warm space and informal meeting places and creative spaces for ideological recreation


The overall impact of biophilic design on the workplace study showed that people working in areas with physical characteristics reported 15% higher levels of general well-being. In addition, respondents expressed the feeling that they are 6% more productive and 15% more creative at work. If the interior design of an office considers that employees create both a relaxation space and a social space, there are improvements in concentration, collaboration, confidentiality and creativity. Optimize employees’ emotional health through these strategies:

Create collaborative spaces, as well as spaces to relax and avoid stress
Add greenery: potted plants, walls or flower gardens
Outdoor design (rooftop terrace or outdoor garden)
Flexibility in supply – give choices about where and how employees want to work


Research shows how workplace design positively affects health, well-being, employee satisfaction and performance. There is tremendous potential for improvement and a positive impact on employee well-being through human-based design. By simply offering work spaces to recharge and taking into account their comfort, you can easily make gentle changes to improve the natural environment in your office.

Reach one of our experts.