The need to focus on protecting the employees' physical and mental health has never been a key priority until today, as more companies are growing to be more socially conscious. While some efforts that companies make involve improving work-life balance, increasing company-sponsored lifestyle benefits, and providing access to fitness subscriptions and professional counselling services, there are an increasing number of corporations that plans their office renovation design with the intention to focus on their employees' wellbeing.
With employees' wellbeing as the main focus, here are some practical enhancements to your commercial office space that you can make.
1. Creating Exterior Spaces
There has been an increased interest in implementing natural elements in workspaces. Such elements may come in the form of living walls, aquariums, or other biophilic elements such as natural textures and materials. The COVID-19 pandemic not only carried on this trend but also sped up the trend by encouraging business owners to create a functional workspace in nature.
Using architectural shading, one can choose durable furniture that transmits easily from interior to exterior spaces. With the addition of reinforced IT infrastructure, you can be assured that your employees can enjoy maximum connectivity anywhere in the building. Companies that have the opportunity to create such an inclusive working environment can allow their employees to enjoy proper social distancing and the fresh air without affecting productivity.
2. Upgrading Flooring
The floor is often overlooked and may not be the top priority when talking about improving wellbeing. However, the material of the flooring plays a significant role in indoor air quality. For example, many commercial offices like using carpets as it is both stylish and affordable. However, it is highly absorbent, making it a breeding ground for mould, dust mites, and bacteria. It also traps dust. Hence, it is advisable for companies to consider non-porous flooring materials such as luxury vinyl tile, epoxy terrazzo, or polished concrete. Not only are they highly durable, but they are also easy to maintain.
3. Glass Wall Partitions
Open floor plans were the rage in 2021. While this commercial space design encourages intake of natural light, better customizability of space, and fosters better working relationships among employees, the need for sequestered areas is necessary for this post-pandemic era. Not only are sequestered areas necessary for private functions such as meetings, but the pandemic has also made it such that we need to protect one another. Hence, glass wall partitions are a great way to still maintain the open floor concept, but yet creates an effective space planning.
4. Decorative Ceiling Insulation
It can be challenging to manage noise when working in a busy commercial setting. Noise is a leading contributing factor to the poor performance rate. In addition to that, studies have shown that it also leads to unwanted health effects such as headaches, anxiety, and hypertension. With many companies tearing down walls and doors to have an open office concept, many commercial complexes or buildings have turned to install ceiling insulation to dampen noise transfer. While it by no means is an effective tool, most of the ceiling insulations commonly used in these buildings are utilitarian by appearance, in other words, boring. Decorative drop ceiling panels, on the other hand, come in various designs that not only immediately enhances the atmosphere in the office but also is effective at dampening noise transfer. Win-win situation.
5. Durable Fixtures and Handrails
While society still is handling the aftermath of the pandemic, many of the applied practices, such as the focus on sanitation and cleaning efforts, still will stay. With handrails and fixtures such as drawer pulls and doorknobs being frequently touched surfaces, it also means that they have to withstand vigorous disinfections. One way to go about it is to consider switching various fixtures and handrails in the office to less porous metal or stainless steel options.
Improving the physical and mental health of your employees should be the key focus of your company this year. While there are ways like implementing better work-life balance and offering a flexible work schedule, looking at your current office design and making simple but effective changes do significantly help to boost your employees' wellbeing. With that being said, if you are looking to make any of the aforementioned enhancements to your commercial office space, let OSCA Asia help you with that. Do contact us at https://www.osca.asia/contact to find out how you can get started on improving your employees' wellbeing today!