University interiors are starting to become the inspiration for new office design. This is due to the open and flexible layout that universities provide. College graduates entering the workforce are noticing that the traditional office design doesn't work for them. Businesses are implementing changes. Let’s take a look at what they're doing.
Offer a Flexible Space
KI, a major furniture manufacturer, did a study on new hires and found that 82% of recent alumni hires don’t feel comfortable with the traditional corporate office.
Other KI observations concluded that 25% of employees noticed that new hires like to work “everywhere.” Universities offer libraries, studios, cafes, classrooms, and bedrooms, so recent alumni are accustomed to “working everywhere.”
KI also noted that new hires like to work in groups. The answer could be providing large rooms for collaboration.
The Active Workplace: What does it Look Like?
Active Design: The practice of designing a workplace that inherently encourages mobility. The benefit of implementing active design is to ensure employees are neither standing nor sitting for long periods of time.
Companies are starting to incorporate flexible furniture and wellness programs. Wellness programs offer employees gym memberships, doctor check-ups, and nutrition guides.
Businesses who have started these programs have found that 59% of their workers see actual reductions in health care costs.
In addition wellness programs, employers are adding:
o Access to natural light- skylights, more windows, outdoor areas.
o Quiet rooms- for private conversations
o Greenery- to soften the atmosphere
o Treadmills- for mild exercise
o Sit/stand desks- to balance sitting and standing
New office design also encourages movement by:
o Making the stairs more convenient and attractive by using graphics, color, and nice lighting.
o Designing paths for walking outside
The Well Building Standard
The International Well Building Institute was founded in 2013 by Delos in New York, New York. Delos is a huge wellness real estate and tech company. Their focus is the health of a building’s occupants. A building certified by the WELL Standard provides good quality air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and peace of mind.
“The move towards a healthier workplace should be everyone’s responsibility.” -CEO of Delos.
Case Study on Office Wellness
CBRE, a real estate and investment firm, was one of the first companies to be certified in the WELL Building Standard.
After surveying their employees, they found that 92% were positively affected by their new Los Angeles building design. They also found that 94% of the employees surveyed reported a positive impact on their business performance, and 83% stated they felt more productive.
Importance of Creating an Employee Experience
To better improve your workplace experience, you don’t necessarily have to become WELL certified. Gearing your workplace towards bettering the employee experience is a great start. Implementing a couple of these techniques to your office design promises positive results.