"The Future Office", published in The Times, featured an article by Clare Dowdy on ergonomics 'Taking Comfort in Functional Design'.
Wellbeing in the workplace is moving up the agenda for occupiers, supported by academic research, office design has been found to improve productivity and health and wellbeing in the workplace. Well designed workplaces help staff to take real pride in their environment but can also encourage movement and collaboration between team members.
Colin Macgadie, Creative Director at BDG, discussed how designing an environment with choice and diversity also has to facilitate ease of movement within a workplace. Having installed 12 new sets of stairs between floors at Sea Containers, this gives greater interconnectivity between floors, encourages staff to be active without having to use 'back of house' stairs and swipe a security card at every floor. But, it also goes further than that, the steps are wider and shallower than normal - shallower to encourage people to move slowly, and wider so that they can stop to chat.
Macgadie predicts that alternative settings in the future will borrow increasingly from the hospitality and leisure sectors, with alternative work settings being less about work and more about wellbeing.