When it comes to creating an atmosphere that is conducive to productivity and employee well-being, office interior design and office space planning can play a crucial role. A well-designed office can not only enhance productivity but can also improve the overall health and well-being of employees. Set against a backdrop of "silent quitting" and a "war for talent", progressive employers in Singapore are paying close attention to employee wellbeing within their HRM strategy mix. If you’re looking to do the same, here are six tips that will help promote well-being in your workplace with the help of good office interior design and office space planning.
One of the most important things you can do for employee well-being is to invest in ergonomic furniture such as 'sit-stand' desks which enable people to regularly change position and move between sitting and standing. Height-adjustable sit-stand desks are an effective intervention for well-being at work.
Behavioural research carried out at University College London (UCL) in 2018 suggests that sit-stand desks make employees feel happier and can sharpen traits such as decision-making and problem-solving. According to Professor Walsh of UCL workers using sit-stand desks were "twice as competent in their decision-making, and their problem skills improved by 64%. They also completed tasks measuring concentration and vigilance 10% faster and made 45% fewer mistakes. Their creativity also improved by 28%.
Natural light is an excellent way to promote well-being in the workplace. Not only does it help regulate the body’s circadian rhythms, but it can also boost serotonin levels and reduce stress. Office space planning in Singapore should seek to prioritise employees’ access to natural daylight wherever possible.
Moreover, the presence of natural light in an office can save energy and lower utility costs. Therefore, integrating natural light into office design not only promotes well-being and productivity but is also a sustainable choice.
Biophilic design is a design approach that seeks to connect humans with nature. Incorporating elements of nature in your office design can help reduce stress and improve well-being. This can include simple things like plants which improve air quality and artwork inspired by nature or more elaborate designs like living moss walls. It may also encompass natural analogues, which are patterns and design styles that imitate nature such as honeycomb patterns and the incorporation of natural elements like wood. Research studies conducted by Exeter University concluded that employees were 15% more productive when they had exposure to workplace planting in comparison to spaces devoid of biophilic elements and colour which increases anxiety and stress levels.
Different work tasks require different environments. Activity Based Working (ABW) is an innovative approach to office space planning that prioritizes flexibility and adaptability. Instead of assigning each employee a designated workstation, ABW provides a variety of different spaces optimized for specific tasks, whether that be focused individual work, collaborative teamwork, or relaxation and recovery. Office space planning is integral to the successful implementation of ABW. It involves strategically organizing the physical layout of the office to optimize usage and promote productivity. Furthermore, good office space planning can significantly enhance employee well-being by promoting a sense of autonomy, diversity, and adaptability in the workspace.
As has already been noted sitting for long periods of time can have a detrimental effect on health and wellbeing. Integrating elements that encourage movement in the office's interior design is an investment in employee health and productivity. A design layout that includes centrally located common areas, remote printers, or scattered water points can subtly prompt employees to stand and move during the day. Moreover, breakout areas with spaces for quick games, or even a small gym within the office can encourage exercise and stress relief. For the employer, this leads to healthier employees with fewer health-related absences and sparks creativity and collaboration. When employees move about, they interact more with their colleagues, often leading to spontaneous idea-sharing and team bonding: team bonding is a vital component of workplace well-being. It fosters open communication, nurtures a sense of belonging, and reduces stress by creating a more relaxed and enjoyable work atmosphere. Strong bonds among team members can also lead to increased collaboration and creativity, as employees feel more comfortable sharing ideas and taking risks. Additionally, team bonding activities can boost morale and job satisfaction, which can in turn improve productivity and employee retention.
Noise distractions in the office can significantly impact productivity and employee well-being. Constant noise interruptions can cause stress, decrease concentration, and lower work efficiency. Effective office interior design can manage noise distractions by incorporating sound-absorbing materials such as acoustic panels, carpets, and ceiling tiles to minimize sound reflection. Additionally, strategic space planning can segregate high-noise areas from quiet zones, creating a balanced environment that supports productive work without compromise. This is the foundation of ABW.
Creating a workplace that promotes employee well-being is essential to maintaining a happy and productive workforce as well as combatting staff attrition. By following the tips outlined above, you can create a workspace that supports employee health and well-being and enhances productivity and creativity. Remember to consult with your employees when designing your new office space, as they can provide valuable insight into what works best for them. By investing time and effort into good office interior design and office space planning, you can help promote workplace well-being and achieve better business results.
Promote workplace wellbeing with effective office interior design and space planning. Discover top 6 tips to create a productive and healthy work environment.
We have over a decade of experience in working with Client’s to successfully deliver office renovation projects in Singapore that transform and reinvigorate their existing workplace. Sometimes we work within the existing tenancy envelope to reconfigure the space or within a reduced footprint when downsizing however; in many instances Clients lease additional space and use the opportunity that this presents to re-appraise existing office space allocations and create a better office space planning to increase efficiency and to have a consistent corporate image across all tenancy areas.
A good design for commercial renovation in Singapore can have a direct positive impact on employee’s productivity. Design factors like acoustics, temperature, lighting, layout, air quality, furniture and temperature play’s a huge part. With a good office space planning in Singapore, companies would be able to provide a range of flexible working spaces for their employee and therefore improve employee’s collaboration.
As technology is growing at an exponential rate is it important for businesses to understand what needs to incorporate into the office design right from the start to avoid reverse engineering. A good office interior design would be able to incorporate all the technologies requirements to deliver a maximum performance.
To attract and retain talents, it is important for a company to have a positive work culture and image. The culture should be consistent across all medium, including office design. For example, an open workstation layout would promote a culture of transparency and collaboration while corner offices may reflect a hierarchical organization.
Office renovation often makes financial sense as this obviates the need to shoulder the renovation cost of re-instating their office space back to the base building condition which is a requirement when vacating office space at the end of the lease term. Commercial renovation in Singapore also saves on the relocation costs associated with an office move.
Understanding our Client’s concerns on business continuity during the construction phase of a project and the potential risks associated with renovation works allows us to develop a practical master-programme comprising of a detailed schedule of works for our projects.
Working with only proven and trusted suppliers and office contractors in Singapore combined with meticulous planning ensures that your office renovation project will be completed on time and on budget with minimal disruption.
The Sennex Team, which is a fully accredited and respected interior architecture, design and build firm in Singapore, has completed complex and large-scale office renovation projects for leading global companies such as Amazon, ABN Amro Bank, Philip Morris International, Boehringer Ingelheim, China Navigation and International SOS. We continue to provide post-occupation services to our Clients and our office design team can assist with layout and space planning reconfiguration should the need arise for expansion to accommodate additional headcount or re-stacks your office.
We have over a decade of experience in working with Client’s to successfully deliver office renovation projects in Singapore that transform and reinvigorate their existing workplace. Sometimes we work within the existing tenancy envelope to reconfigure the space or within a reduced footprint...
Activity based working is a catalyst for many companies to reconsider their working style and culture. This business and workplace strategy empowers employees with the autonomy to physically locate themselves in a best-fit location to complete their tasks instead of forcing them to undertake all their work at a fixed desk or designated cubicle. It provides freedom of choice for employees in where, when and how they work, thus helping them to become more effective and efficient in their work.
A dynamic workplace with a fresh, varied working environment would enhance creativity, interaction and well-being, and encourage freedom of movement for employees. It would also create a positive impression to visitors, as compared to the traditional ‘cubical’ and walled-up office. Good employers who desire an office space where talents are most likely retained and attracted would want to provide their staff a workplace that meets both their personal and professional needs. And that’s our forte. Sennex’s creative designers have the experience and capability of creating work spaces that fit all occasions and purposes – ranging from intense and focused work, to formal and opulent receptions and boardrooms, as well as to cater for informal & impromptu discussions.
Selecting office desks is often a cost driven solution with little regard for the work typology to be undertaken. The one desk fits all approach is common in Singapore office design ideas and solutions. A single office desk size certainly aids space planning but may not necessarily deliver the most efficient results in terms of space usage nor, yield the most productive or creative work.
Companies readily accept that status dictates workspace size allocation but, are seemingly reluctant to allocate work space and office desks based on activity. Activity based allocation of office desks & types of work space based on functional needs may result in different types of work space and office desks being provided.
Research suggests that this is particularly appropriate for knowledge workers who work both independently and collaboratively – by providing a range of work settings to transit through during the course of a day that is designed to support the specific work task at hand that this increases individual effectiveness, workplace productivity, creativity and collaboration but also enhances employee well-being. With a modern and efficient office design environment not every person may need a permanent desk which may mean a reduced real estate footprint which is another potential benefit.
One common Misconception about Activity Based Working, which is a subset of Agile Working, is that it is all about Hot desking. A good understanding of your company is integral to understanding what model and degree of Activity Based Working is best for you.
As a Workplace Design Consultant, with competencies in both Workplace Strategy Consulting and full Design Capabilities, Sennex will be able to advise your company on how to properly evaluate the potential for introducing an activity based working model. Sennex uses cutting edge Space Utilisation Technologies to gather and analyse occupancy data thereby promoting informed decision making that ultimately could provide your Company with a competitive edge.
Activity based working is a catalyst for many companies to reconsider their working style and culture. This business strategy empowers employees with the autonomy to physically locate themselves in a best-fit location to complete their tasks instead of forcing them to undertake all their work at a fixed desk or designated cubicle.
Sennex believes that office space, office design and of course, office designers all need to be environmentally design focused. However, sustainability does not always just mean merely an eco-friendly green building or office. A new concept is emerging which extends this focus to include the social sustainability and the wellbeing of staff. It also requires the ability of the office to sustain your needs not just now, but in the future.
Design is not only about symmetry, beauty and color instead it is the opportunity to improve the well-being and health of people through impactful interior space design. This includes placing water points in strategic areas to encourage hydration, selecting and positioning light fixtures with the appropriate lux level, ensuring adequate table size that would best fit your employees’ work needs and office furniture that would allow employees to be more active instead of the usual prolonged sitting.
In this regard, Sennex’s hybrid office interior designers who are already familiar with the BCA’s Green Mark for Office Interiors scheme are also now learning about the WELL standards and the key drivers that impact office design and the wellbeing of staff. New modern office design trends and standards are emerging hence it is important that corporate office designers in Singapore are conversant with these trends so that they can advise their Clients.
Flexibility Work Space – With constant and unpredictable changes in technology and working culture, it would be difficult for companies to predict the future job positions as many essential positions today did not exist in the past. With adaptable furniture and flexible workspace, new technologies and headcount can be integrated with ease and minimal disruption.
Activity Based Design (ABD) – the need to promote collaboration and increase privacy. ABD allows people to work in different areas depending on the nature of work style and task. For example, pods are introduced into the workspace to provide private conversation without distractions and can double up as a comfortable area for quiet focus. However, these pods need to be strategically placed to minimize interruption and background noise.
Appealing to Millennials – we understand that majority favor non-conventional space. With some thoughtful interior space planning and design, your company can promote a fun, healthy and loving corporate culture without compromising on your employee focus and productivity. Millennials spend a majority of their time in office hence they want the workspace to reflect the company culture. By blending productivity, autonomy and fun into the workplace, it sends a powerful message to your employees that your company is current, receptive to new ideas and most importantly, one that cares!
Sennex is constantly working to build its knowledge platform for the benefit of our Clients. Introducing new hybrid office interior design ideas in Singapore often meets with stakeholder resistance and therefore change management initiatives go hand in hand with the introduction of new office design ideas. We pride ourselves on being meticulous in helping you determining those needs and figuring out what would still serve you well 5, 10, 15 years into the future.
Sennex believes that office space, office design and of course, office designers all need to be environmentally design focused. However, sustainability does not always just mean merely an eco-friendly green building or office.