Healthy Headquarters: The Office Design That Makes You More Active

A spacious office interiorIt’s already a known and accepted fact that the office environment affects productivity. But did you know that it could also be a predictor for physical activity and stress levels of your employees?

The “Healthy” Office

Researchers from the University of Arizona and Baylor College of Medicine gathered over 200 employees and asked them to wear sensors that would measure levels of activity and stress wherever they are, even outside the office. The people who conducted the study were looking at the amount of physical activity prompted by three types of workstations: private rooms, cubicles, and open bench seating set-up.

After three workdays and two nights, they found that those in the open bench seating did a lot more of physical activities than the ones in the private rooms (32% more) and cubicles (20% more). What’s more, employees who had more physical activity showed to be the less stressful among the group.

While the researchers haven’t yet established the actual link between increased physical activity with open office design, they speculate that employees are more likely to leave collaborative environments to get some privacy. Thus, allowing them to move more.

This points to the importance of balancing the open-plan concept and private spaces to maximize the benefits of each and, at the same time, reduce disadvantages. A dynamic office is the way to go. If you’re considering revamping your space, consider getting furniture that offers the best of both worlds. There are different styles of office tables online that will accommodate your employees’ need for collaboration and privacy.

Best of Both Worlds

Two principles to keep in mind when creating a dynamic office are flexibility and comfort. Flexibility means allowing employees to quickly shift from a collaborative space to a private space whenever they need to. You can do this by having a dedicated space for different tasks — a conference room or a meeting pod as collaborative spaces and individual workstations for privacy — or by allowing easy reconfiguration of the space, like drawing curtains, moving walls, or rearranging furniture.

In either of these scenarios, make sure to have high-quality furniture. This is where the principle of comfort comes in. See if your existing furniture still offers a pleasant environment for employees. Consider buying office tables online to spruce up your space.

An office that encourages physical activity among employees is a space your team needs. Create a dynamic workplace by having both collaborative and privacy areas.