It’s no secret that today’s employees are seeking workplaces that are open, collaborative and flexible. Happiness in the workplace is strongly affected by the office environment. Creating a positive, safe and healthy office space increases morale, improves work-life balance, enhances talent attraction and retention, and has an overall positive impact on your business.
Employees are starting to have input into how workplaces are designed, and the trends are very clear. People are craving more meaningful interactions, inspirational collaborations, and enhanced physical environments at work. Here are four ways to respond to these new trends, and bring human touch into the workplace:
1. Embrace the Mobile Workforce
It’s predicted that the global mobile workforce will increase to 1.87 billion people in 2022, accounting for 42.5% of the total global workforce. The ability to use technology to work from virtually anywhere in the world and the desire for a flexible work environment both continue to gain traction among employees.
2. Create Opportunities for Creative Collaboration
Physical environment plays a huge role in the health and happiness of your employees. A human-centered workplace creates designated spaces for collaboration that support ideation and fosters community between employees from different departments within the company. You could also consider designing a mix of quiet rooms, coffee lounges, outdoor community spaces and alternatives to traditional desks.
3. Focus on Stress Reduction
Human-centered workplaces encourage healthier environments, focused on reducing stress. Inspiring employees to move throughout the day and mix up their work environment can be one way to reduce stress. Embracing mobility allows employees to choose the most effective place to do the work they need to get done at any given time, resulting in more productive employees and increased opportunities for new ideas. Consider also creating a meditation room, outdoor walking areas without wifi, and coffee lounges.
4. Encourage Touching (Without Crossing Boundaries)
Our sense of touch is deeply linked to our emotions. Human touch has the ability to detect pain, and convey senses of safety and love. It also can lead to trust and productivity between employees. Fostering a community that embraces human touch in the workplace has the ability to build community, increase cooperation and generate team spirit and empathy. Knowing when and whom not to touch in the workplace is crucial to not crossing boundaries and remaining friendly. Encouraging touch such as more handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, back pats and hugs can all be part of a healthy and happy workplace.
By re-thinking the way you approach workplace design, you have the potential to create a happier workplace environment where employees feel less stressed, more engaged and ultimately empowered and productive.
How do you create a more human-centered workplace? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.