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How to Design an Office Space That Inspires Healthy Work Habits

How to Design an Office Space That Inspires Healthy Work Habits
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PSFK speaks to Flavorpill Founder Sascha Lewis about creating a space that keeps people happy, energized and focused

Simone Spilka
  • 6 july 2015

What’s on your desk in front of you: water bottles, tsotchkes, legos, magazines? Are you neatly-organized, or are papers and post-it note reminders scattered everywhere? A desktop can say a lot about a person and their work habits, and the items we keep at arms’ reach have the ability to encourage or inspire productivity.

The Desktop Debrief, a new report from PSFK Labs, illustrates how variables such as object placement and conscientious design play a role in shaping our work habits. When it comes to paying attention to the level of wellness and balance in the workplace, subtle reminders of health in the workplace are increasingly important for companies and individuals.

PSFK spoke to Cultural Curator and CEO of Flavorpill, Sascha Lewis, about integrating healthy initiatives into company culture in a way that allows people to choose their own level of participation.

Sascha-Lewis

“We have a ‘chillarium’ in the office where people have the opportunity to take a break in a more mindful way. It’s not just a little couch that’s still in the middle of an office, but a designed space where people can be given permission to completely chill out, unwind, meditate, take a break or nap, and it’s truly effective. It can give you a refuel to attack the day.”

Such de-stress tools and mechanisms can be easily integrated into an everyday work routine, from frequent movement and breaks to regular nourishment. In a potentially stressful or busy office environment, encouraging moments of relaxation to pause and recharge are integral to the general well-being of workers.

“[At Flavorpill], we encourage people to get up, move and change their environment. We have a stadium area for people to lay down and use their laptops so they spend less time tethered to their desk and workspace.”

The Desktop Debrief research also found that many people bring nature into the office space with miniature plants. A piece of the outdoors, or basic natural elements (clean air, natural light), in an otherwise tech-centric work setting provides a mental escape for stress relief.

“People have so many random things on their desk: tsctchoskies, little dolls or prizes won at the fair. People like items that have a playful, emotional connection to lighten things up.”

While some startups entice employees with a gym stipend, while other companies encourage meditation in the workplace, it still requires a great deal of autonomy to maintain a healthy working lifestyle. As employers are looking to novel ways to equip their teams with tools for productivity, it’s also important to offer flexible working conditions.

Desktop Debrief Greenery

“We’ve gotten to a point where we understand that you’re going to have a certain amount of people that will be more willing and inspired by things you’re going to do in a workplace like this. Other people will prefer to work their own way and have that own methodology and approach and we’re completely comfortable with that. In whatever shape, form or frequency that they’re comfortable with, more and more people are receptive to it,” Lewis said.

Learn about how considerate desktops and office space are important in paying attention to our physical and mental needs in The Desktop Debrief. The report from PSFK Labs gathers insights into how office layout, personal style, placement of devices and desktop design positively impacts productivity and the overall well-being of workers.

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