How does movement in the workplace promote wellbeing? Companies that encourage employees to move away from the desk to interact with the office community positively impact the overall work experience. In this month’s design news aggregate, we explore why movement matters and ways to implement it in the workplace.
LET’S GET MOVING
Workplace Insight noted findings from a study on desk workers indicating that physical activity in leisure time did not counteract the detrimental effects of sitting all day. For companies in which uninterrupted sitting is the norm, this finding has significant implications.
On Office Magazine spoke with Adobe Customer Care Manager, Carmel Martin, who explained: “It is very easy to spend the entire day at the desk, head down and working, completely engrossed in our own worlds.” To counteract this tendency, Adobe teamed up with Gensler to update its Dublin customer care center with spaces that infuse more fun and downtime into the workday, which encourage people to step away from their workspaces.
As companies acknowledge that physical activity outside of office hours may not counteract the effects of a sedentary occupation, organizations are increasingly considering spaces that allow employees to work freely, away from their traditional workstations.
DESIGNING FOR MOVEMENT
Today’s workplaces have more options for workers to retreat from their desks and move around – including community-oriented settings and lounge environments. Washington Business Journal features Capital One’s new headquarters in Tysons, Virginia, highlighting the facility’s touch-down areas, where people can get away from their workstations. Employees are motivated to move throughout the office thanks to a basketball court, outdoor terrace and market café that are designed to build community.
Facility Executive showcases Kostow Greenwood Architects’ design for the new Fir Tree Partners HQ in New York City, which offers an array of movement-encouraging elements – such as a fully-equipped gym and flexible, adjustable workstations. A café and multiple breakout areas also help cultivate an active workday. We share inspiration for lounge settings that help people break away from the desk in our favorite lounge settings blog.
Large, open spaces aren’t always necessary to bring movement into the work experience – incorporating versatile solutions can do the trick. The foldable, adjustable and lightweight Free Stand is one option for individuals on the go, while the movable Sebastopol tables invite interaction and spontaneous collaboration. Learn why flexible workspaces are key.
Workers want to get moving: Workplace Insight cited research by The Stress Management Society which observed that 75% of employees are in a sedentary occupation, and half of workers are seeking exercise facilities or yoga and meditation rooms at work.
Allwork.Space mentions organizations’ shifting focus toward improving health and wellness – programs including fitness classes, chair massages, and food or drink bars are more prevalent options that allow people to depart, at least temporarily, from the classic desk and task chair and get moving – while also building a sense of community.
We’ve discussed workplace happiness and wellbeing on our blog before. Beyond simply offering fitness programs in the office, designing workplaces for movement can impact the physical health of employees, and it also signifies that people are valued and appreciated – which is essential to attract and retain top talent.