It is a known fact that office workers spend more than 75% of their time sitting at their desk, thereby leading to a relatively sedentary lifestyle. What is also a fact is that there are multiple studies out there that have shown that sitting for too long can cause serious health issues, including a higher risk of early mortality.
With this as the background, companies today have started to focus on the well-being of their employees and promote a healthy, stress-free environment. In recent times, studies have been initiated to track a building’s design as to how it is facilitating and promoting an active lifestyle. Terms such as activity-based working and agile workplace have gained immense popularity and there is a focus on the implementation of the same at work. Agile workplaces are all about creating a flexible and productive environment. They are characterized by flexible workspaces and minimal constraints. People working in an agile setup have complete freedom to work in different areas of an office. Advancements in mobile and wireless technology, internet bandwidth, server capacity, cloud computing and improved channels of communication all contribute to the makings of an agile environment. It also comprises of comfortable spaces to work, collaborative spaces such as a lounge or a coffee room. Activity-based workspaces (ABW) are also much talked about. ABW allows people to choose the most suitable place in office to complete their tasks. Predetermined work areas are present all over the campus making it convenient to work. Individual workspaces, as well as areas that facilitate collaborative working and socializing, are a part of activity-based workspaces.
Not restricted to the size of the organisation, aspects such as ergonomic furniture, designated break and collaborative areas as well as assigned Wi-Fi zones can be incorporated in any sized office. To promote active work habits, elements such as height adjustable desks, cycling desks can also be utilised. Creation of recreational areas with indoor games such as table tennis, pool tables can be used to promote activity and some healthy competition among employees.
The key is to strike a balance between open spaces, collaborative work areas and individual focused workspaces that require privacy and dedicated space allocation. Designing office space is just the physical infrastructure that goes into creating a healthy workplace. It needs to be coupled with a positive, nurturing work environment which will not only create a healthy workspace but a vibrant one as well.