The Big Question

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What is the single most important aspect of Wellbeing in the workplace?


Angela Jeng
Project Director, John Robertson Architects

‘Choice. Diverse workspaces empower people by giving workers the ability to decide how they interact with the space. Offering maximum choice creates environments in which to thrive by breaking away from the rigidity of traditional workspace design, workers can choose from fixed workstations, booths and tea points, lounge sofas for meetings or breakout hubs. Despite space being in high demand, providing choice directly enhances productivity, creativity and wellbeing for all.’

DavidOakey1David Oakey
Interface collaborator and world leader in sustainable design practices

‘The closer we can make our interiors look and feel like the natural world the better. Scientific evidence shows that being in nature can heal us and make us feel good. The elements of biophilia (bio=nature, philia=feel) have proven to contribute to wellbeing. From a design aspect, bringing nature indoors to make us feel good, and hence increase productivity, is an easy step in the right direction.’

Levent-Caglar-1Levent Çaglar
FIRA Senior Ergonomist & Head of Ergonomics Unit

‘Stress is the key inhibitor to wellbeing. Stress is exacerbated by the expectation of long working hours and constant availability through mobile technology. While a degree of stress is good for efficiency, excessive stress is not readily detected by organisations or admitted by workers, because they deem it to be a sign of weakness. When undetected, excessive stress leads to absenteeism, a drop in morale and a decrease in productivity.’

nic-marks-tedNic Marks
Health & Wellbeing expert, TED speaker and Founder of Happiness Works

‘Miserable people do miserable work and – the opposite is also true – happy, passionate people deliver great results. Increasing happiness in the workplace is crucial to employee wellbeing and, following extensive research, we’ve identified the five most important ways that businesses can increase the happiness of their workforce: Be fair, Empower, Connect, Challenge and Inspire.’

Oliver-H2Oliver Heath
Biophilic Design Ambassador for Interface

‘With 85% of offices workers now located in urban environments and the WHO stating that stress related disease is likely to be a prime contributor to illness by 2020, the calming influence of biophilic design can be of great value to businesses. There are a variety of routes to strengthen this connection to nature, be it in access to natural light, the use of circadian lighting systems, digital images or high definition screens displaying images of nature. Technology and materials are now offering ever increasing opportunities to improve environments for people.’

Gill_JBP_9104Gill Parker
Managing Director, BDGworkfutures

‘It’s a tough question as it’s not one thing that creates wellbeing. You have to consider mental and physical aspects. But, assuming that managerial styles are good or neutral, then the biggest impact is created by choice. Allowing the user to choose which environment is best suited for them, according to the activity to be undertaken as well as their personality trait. Empowering people with a choice of settings and the right technology to access them removes unnecessary levels of stress and frustration.’

130805_095527_FKA_0026-2Simon Jackson
Director, Aedas

‘Wellbeing should be all encompassing and an inherent part of the working day, facilitated by office facilities and company attitude. The use of sit/stand desks, treadmills with laptop surfaces, minimising the number of MSD locations and coffee points all have their place, but it is also, in my view, the understanding of behavioural and anthropology issues that will allow a holistic embracing of Wellbeing issues. The move to a more agile or activity based working, introducing mindfulness practices and more flexible working hours will realise the desired impact.’

DSC_0326Tim Jennings
Managing Director, TTSP

‘Personal happiness – achieved through being stimulated, having choice, avoiding stress and working in a collaborative and mutually supportive environment with like-minded people, and consider these characteristics: Connect with people and invest in relationships. Seek physical and psychological enrichment. Be curious and appreciative of your environment. Have a passion outside of work. Say thanks and give feedback.’