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Healthier Office Spaces

Commercial Office, Interior Design

Creating a Healthier Office Space

Fortunately, trends in office space design have moved beyond fields of cubicles and row after row of fluorescent lighting. Skylights and lush green walls are popular, but even if you can’t incorporate holistic design options like these to support a healthier space, there are plenty of smaller moves you can make to create a healthy office.

October 17, 2019

Our firm recently expanded our office space to include a second level. While we all have our horror stories of enduring months of construction, we love our new office setup!

Offices have come a long way since the days of cubicles and fluorescent lighting, two things which did not breed healthy work environments. While more new office buildings are being built holistically to incorporate many features that support healthier spaces — such as lots of natural lighting, better HVAC, and even green walls — not every company can move into a brand new, or heavily-renovated, building. Most of the time, office build-outs are tenant improvement projects and you often can't drastically alter the exterior shell of the building. But, that doesn't at all mean you are stuck with cubicles and terrible lighting. Just because your office building isn’t LEED-certified, doesn’t mean you can’t design for a healthier space.

Here are some easy ways to build a healthier workspace for you and your colleagues.

Standing Desks

Many people worry about what sitting all day at work is doing to their health. The good news is, it's not complicated to solve. Sit-to-stand desks are a great way to add flexibility to a workspace.

Healthier Office Spaces
Sit-to-Stand Desks

Rather than either sitting or standing height options, desks that go up and down allow everyone to move about as they please.

Whether you retrofit existing desks to lift up, or if you choose to invest in an off-the-shelf solution, there are tons of options on the market that can help make desks more adaptable to each person's varying needs and comfort. We have them at our office, and we all love having the option to either sit or stand while working.

Live Plants

If you haven’t read our post on the reasons to add plants to any space, you should!

Healthier Office Spaces
Living Plants

It’s not just aesthetics: living plants help clean the air inside your office space.

Adding plants to your office can help boost mood, improving your team's overall wellbeing and boosting morale. Plants also help to remove toxins and purify the air.

Breakout/Flex Spaces

As companies keep shifting towards office cultures of flexible start times, working from home, and plentiful collaboration, it’s important that office spaces aren’t composed of just private offices and personal desks.

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Shared Flexible Spaces

With shared communal spaces, everyone can find a spot to work that suits their needs when they'd like to stray away from their desk or private office.

Creating flexible areas — from phone rooms to laptop bars to lounge areas — creates freedom for employees to break away from that ball and chain of a desk. I personally love to find a flex space if I need some extra focus and privacy while I work.

Opportunities for Being Active

Whether it is designing in a whole gym, yoga space, or walking track, working in elements into the offices that help increase activity is a great way to promote a healthier environment.

Healthier Office Spaces
Bike Storage

Simply providing convenient bike storage can encourage people to commute by bike.

If you have a smaller office, like ours, even simply having space for a bike rack can help to encourage staff to bike to work if there is a secure, convenient space to store their equipment.

Biophilic Materials

Biophilic design is a hot green trend in architecture and design. Its focus is to incorporate aspects of nature into a design, as it relates to human health and wellbeing. While some aspects of biophilic design can cost some serious bucks (skylights, curtain walls, and rainwater storage solutions), an easy solution is to use materials that are eco-friendly and biomorphic. You wouldn’t think it, but there are tons of reasons why biophilic design can be of great benefit to spaces.

Would you like to read more from the team?

If you enjoy reading our blog as much as we enjoy writing it, that just makes our day! You might also enjoy a few of the related posts below. And, if there is a topic that you wish we would cover, let us know!

Creating a Healthier Office Space

Fortunately, trends in office space design have moved beyond fields of cubicles and row after row of fluorescent lighting. Skylights and lush green walls are popular, but even if you can’t incorporate holistic design options like these to support a healthier space, there are plenty of smaller moves you can make to create a healthy office.

Private Offices vs. “Open Office” Concepts for Workspaces

Over the years, the popular (and researched) opinions about what makes for an ideal workspace have shifted from recommending private offices, to semi-private, to the so-called “open office” concepts, and back. But, different types of workspaces are ideal for different types of companies, based on budget, type of work, company culture, and more.

What Is a Tenant Improvement Allowance?

As a business owner, understanding what a tenant improvement (or TI) allowance is, is essential to inform the choices you’ll make when selecting a new commercial space and negotiating your commercial lease. The TI allowance will also define how much of the cost of your commercial build-out will come out of your pocket.

Considering a project? Or, just curious about something?

Send us your questions about design, architecture, interiors, landscape, third places, LEGO rooms… Anything, really. We’re always eager to meet new people, and we’d love to get to know you, your project, and your goals.

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