Well-being is the new sustainability

Ten years ago, the word ‘sustainability’ featured in pretty much every brief we took with organisations keen to demonstrate their green credentials. Today, it is more of a given and ingrained into almost every project we do, with around half of our customers making it a key priority. It is expected that we, as a design studio, operate in a sustainable way and that our solutions follow suit, ensuring that they have a longevity and are, to some extent, future-proofed.

However, we are now seeing companies extending this focus on sustainability to include the well-being of their staff and visitors. This has coincided with a steady increased awareness around mental health issues and the effect that the built environment can have on mood and productivity. Employers are also being encouraged to look beyond the workspaces to include other elements such as a gym, café and creche – all designed to promote well-being and take the stresses of life away.

Increasingly our brief is to create an environment that is happy, safe and engaging where employees feel supported to achieve their very best, ultimately improving engagement, performance and productivity for every employee. There is a definite influence from the hospitality sector here too where service and experience are as important as the environment itself. This might mean creating notional “residencies” across an open-plan office, each supporting a variety of work settings which transcends the typical open plan office layout consisting of endless rows of desks and encourages the full spectrum of work styles.

To compliment this it is important that we look at all the other component parts. Layers of light can be used to create a harmonious environment for people to work in, meet in and even for live plants to thrive in. For example, contrast and brightness ratios can be controlled for a zone to be used as a working space, but it can then be simply switched to an event setting for an evening team meeting or social event.

It is important that the furniture selection accurately reflects the ethos of the workspace and meets the differing needs and requirements of a modern workplace, whilst acoustic quality is vital in ensuring that the space doesn’t just look good, but that it feels and sounds good when in use.

At SpaceInvader, we believe that well-being is a key part of any sustainability programme and can result in improved productivity, increased morale, less sick days and higher staff retention. Our solutions are designed to support this and to enhance built environments, transform cultures, drive productivity, and empower employees.

Later this month we will be sharing our top tips for creating office space that improves employee well-being and moral, reduces absenteeism and maximises productivity.

Featured project image: Radius Payment Solutions