Workspace

Wellness at work – how are flexible offices supporting wellbeing in the workplace?

Share

3/6/2019

By Andrew Thompson, office space consultant

The notion of wellness and wellbeing has firmly integrated itself into every part of our lives from what we do and what we eat to how we travel, where we live and where we work. The latter has seen particular progression in terms of wellbeing and wellness over recent years with landlords and employers alike realising the substantial benefits of having an office that encourages productivity, motivation and mindfulness. This incorporates everything from the actual fit out of the office to events and campaigns. For the serviced and flexible office market, promoting wellness is now essential to the overall success and popularity of a provider, partly due to the fact that many of its customers will be small teams or individuals who don’t have support from a larger business.

Modern and collaborative interiors are generally a standard feature across serviced / flexible space and many also now incorporate or have direct access to fitness amenities, bars and restaurants. However, one of the biggest differentiating factors between serviced / flexible space and conventional offices is the social interaction with many providers having a big focus on community engagement that has an overall emphasis on wellbeing. These include film evenings, charity events, networking events, games evenings and fitness classes. The social integration that these experiences promote is vital to establishing and maintaining a strong social ecosystem within the building.

Other wellness-boosting initiatives adopted by the flexible office sector include biophilic design, which is the practice of incorporating nature and natural elements into the built environment, a trend that is increasingly seen as key to providing a more enjoyable office space.  A prime example of this is Work.life’s partnership with Patch Plants, who provide free plants to all of the businesses within their offices. Other examples include Uncommon who offer an abundance of plant life and a botanically inclined interior pallet and LEO who include a ‘living wall’ in its Nova buildings.

London Fields by Work.life

 

Uncommon has also joined forces with Music Concierge to create a sound for its fixed-desk co-working spaces, which include extensive playlists that can be refreshed and contribute to a “fun-but-focussed atmosphere that energises and inspires those who work within it”.

Another trend that has long been associated with promoting well-being in the office, is allowing pets in the workplace. In fact, research conducted by Workthere of over 2,000 UK office workers showed that almost half (44 per cent) think having a dog in the office would be beneficial to productivity, with a third (34 per cent) confirming that having a dog in the workplace would increase their happiness. Serviced office providers that allow pets include WeWork, The Ministry, Runway East, The Boutique Workplace Company, Labs, Workpad and Work.life.

The wellness factor in the workplace has recently reached new levels with the introduction of the WELL Building Standard, which provides a framework for building design, construction and operation to incorporate human health features into the built environment. Similar to the BREAAM rating for offices, the WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system aimed to improve the quality of the built office environment and its subsequent impact on employees. This Standard is rapidly establishing itself in the traditional UK office market and it is only a matter of time before we see it within the serviced and flexible office sector too.

 

Feeling inspired to find a flexible office space that supports wellbeing at work? Our website makes office hunting straightforward, simply browse through our catalogue of spaces, or contact our team of experts to discuss your requirements.