5 Ways to Design an Office to Support Wellness (Without Creating a Fitness Room)

Posted on April 23, 2024

Farmington Hills, MI – (April 23, 2024)

The idea of supporting wellness in the workplace has been a major workplace trend for a long time now. It was a big priority for many companies before the pandemic and it remains a priority now that companies have either returned to the office or switched to hybrid work. Supporting wellness at work makes employees feel valued and respected while companies benefit from reduced absenteeism and improved productivity.

Rows of workstations in an office next to windows.

Office design can do a lot to help people be healthier at work. But if you start to do some research into office design and wellness, one idea you’ll see mentioned a lot is to create a fitness center for employees, which isn’t going to be a practical option for every company. But the good news is that there are lots of other ways you can help employees be healthier at work without creating your own gym. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about office perks, but you might be surprised by just how in-demand it is. According to the Harvard Business Review, one study found that natural lighting was cited as being the most desirable office perk, outranking things like fitness rooms and cafeterias.

Not only is natural lighting something that can help make offices attractive to new talent, it can do a lot to support mental and physical health. A lack of exposure to natural light can disrupt circadian rhythms, making it harder for people to sleep well at night. In turn, poor sleep negatively impacts productivity in the office. Inadequate natural light in offices can also generally make people feel down and can lead to issues like headaches and eye strain.

Rows of workstations in an office with computer monitors attached to monitor arms.

Ergonomic Workstations

Over time, working at a desk that doesn’t provide adequate ergonomic support can lead to a multitude of health issues, ranging from general neck and back pain to musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome. Since everybody’s ergonomic needs will be a little bit different, it’s important to provide things like adjustable desk chairs and monitor arms so that everybody can easily tailor their workstation to suit their unique needs.

Collaborative tables in an office with acoustic panels on the ceiling.

Acoustic Controls

Noise levels are a common workplace complaint and it’s an issue that isn’t just distracting, it can increase frustration and stress. Including acoustic control measures around the office, such as acoustic panels, sound masking systems, and privacy pods, can help people better concentrate on their work with less stress.

Lounge area in an office with sofas.

Designing to Encourage Movement

Very often, people want to be more active in their day-to-day lives, but have a hard time reaching their activity goals when they get wrapped up with their work. One thing you can do to help is plan an office layout that gives people reasons to get up and move around during the day. This could mean providing different types of settings to work in so that people can feel encouraged to move around to the environments that best suit their needs. Or some communal features, such as break rooms or printers, could be placed a bit away from the main work area so that people have reasons to get up and walk around. If this is something you’d like to do in your office, working with an office design firm can help with planning an effective layout.

Teal colored bike leaning against a brick wall.

Image: Pexels / Leandro Boogalu

Bike Storage

When people are committed to leading healthier lifestyles, they might want to ride a bike to work instead of driving. However, if they don’t feel like their bike will be safe while they work, they can feel discouraged from doing so. If a lot of your employees are interested in riding their bikes to work, you might want to consider adding some indoor bike storage to your office so that they can have the peace of mind of knowing their bike will be secured and protected from the elements during the day.

Is it time to update your office? Premier Construction & Design can help. Take a look at our portfolio and case studies to see examples of some projects we’ve worked on. When you’re ready to take the next step with your office renovation, contact us so that our team can learn more about your project.