Supporting Work-life Balance through Office Design

Work-life balance involves finding ways to prioritize work and lifestyle. It is important for people to strike the right balance between important parts of their life, including family and friends, and the demands of their career.  As work styles continue to change, modern employees want greater control over their lives and the structure of their jobs. By helping to improve the work-life balance for employees, you will increase motivation and employee engagement, reduce stress which will lead to overall increases in company productivity and efficiency. Additionally, supporting and encouraging work-life balance has become a major factor in attracting and retaining top talent.

Studies have shown that employees who have a positive work-life balance are more efficient and effective employees.  Promoting a healthy work-life is not only beneficial to employees but to the company as well. Is your workspace supporting a positive work-life balance? Here are a few design features to consider if you want to support work-life balance in your space.

Decompression Space

A common complaint made by employees is that their workplace is too noisy.  From time to time, people have bad days or just need a few minutes to decompress, so having a designated space for employees to step away for a moment is good for their well-being. When creating this space it should be a place that is calming and relaxing, uncluttered and free of company materials. It should be a place that your staff can escape for a moment from the stress and noise of the workplace. Incorporate soft music, comfortable seating and soft lighting for employees to unwind.

Quiet Area

Unlike the decompression space where employees can unwind and escape from work, by creating quiet areas it is a place where employees can really focus on their work.  Depending on work style, many employees may prefer a place where they can focus and concentrate.  These areas can also be used for private discussions or phone calls.

Lounge Areas

A great way to provide employees with a more casual and relaxed area for collaboration or social interaction is by including comfortable lounge seating areas in your workspace.  Recently, Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, announced to employees that “some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.”  A lounge is a perfect place for impromptu discussions, to socialize and meet.

Creating an environment that promotes work-balance will alleviate workplace stress that often leads to decreases in productivity and engagement and higher rates of employee absences. Additionally, when you a company supports work-life balance, its staff will feel connected, more committed and want to go above and beyond to get the job done.

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