What does it mean to have a happy workplace? Fun, positive company cultures don’t require a game room or generous perks – designing a supportive, welcoming environment can do the trick. In this month’s design news aggregate, we explore the role of fun & happiness in the office – and how design makes an impact.
An article in Forbes recommends team-bonding activities to promote fun in the office – and emphasizes the importance of camaraderie and strong relationships in building positive work experiences.
Gathering spaces offer the perfect opportunity for these kinds of activities. Inc. notes: “people need real places to hang out other than a conference room when they are working.” Gensler echoes this mindset, observing that the newest offices are providing places for connection and emphasizing casual, social areas.
In an interview with Forbes, workplace designer Kelly Robinson, whose portfolio includes companies like Airbnb and Soundcloud, explains: “I think the most important design element is a space dedicated to gathering, particularly around food… This fosters strong teams.”
Explore ideas for settings that inspire social connection in our inspiration gallery.
Entrepreneur proposes that companies should “aim for happiness anchored in reality,” suggesting that simple upgrades – like natural light and adjustable work settings – can make a huge difference.
Architectural Digest features the NYC offices of Elysium Health, designed by Float Studios. Complete with abundant natural light and lush greenery, it’s an indoor oasis that promotes energy and creativity for employees. Expanding upon this discussion, Work Design Magazine explores a technology-driven approach to integrating nature, referencing an 8-story digital installation with a floor-to-ceiling waterfall and other natural elements.
Designing spaces for health and wellbeing – which often includes incorporating nature – shows that the organization takes people’s happiness seriously. We discuss more on biophilic design and wellness in our blog post.
Worker happiness impacts the bottom line: a Gallup study mentioned in Forbes found an actively disengaged employee costs their organization $3,400 for every $10,000 of salary. With research accumulating on the advantages of an engaged workforce, the benefits of investing in a happy workplace are becoming increasingly evident.
Retaining today’s workers, according to Entrepreneur, involves “listening to employees, giving them something to care about and providing them with the opportunities and quality of life that makes them want to come back year after year.” Investing in meaningful gathering spots and promoting wellbeing are just a few key ways to create this kind of positive experience.
To learn more about the role of fun, social connection and wellbeing in the office, check out our blogs on how to design fun into the workplace, the role of social connection in workplace design and the shift toward healthier workplace environments.
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