Work Less and Achieve More
Burnout is becoming an epidemic, and “burnout syndrome” is acknowledged as an occupational disease. Increasingly, companies are taking the concept of work-life balance to heart by equipping their offices with the furniture, appliances and décor typically found at home. This trend has inspired yet another buzzword, resimercial, which architects and designers say already shows early signs of picking up in Southern Africa.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term, it refers to one of the hottest design trends in the design fraternity now. Commercial spaces are being created to have a more residential appearance, which takes public environments feel less corporate or sterile. Those who’ve spent any time in these trendy co-working spaces might have noticed something interesting: the sound-proof booths, cubby holes and themed meeting rooms are almost full of your colleagues. In light, sociable, open-plan workspaces, people are starting to actively seek out cosy, quiet, distraction-free corners.
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As older executives retire, we’re starting to see this trend move upward and become more desirable for recruitment, especially with millennials. Variety is, in fact, one of the most important trends in office design today, with communal tables, quiet pods, brainstorm islands, formal and informal meeting rooms replacing dedicated desks and dour workstations. In order to achieve and promote a work-life balance activity-based office spaces should offer employees the freedom and flexibility to choose between different areas, each designed for a specific activity. Research continues to show that younger people feel most productive when they have control over their own environment. The goal is to give every type of worker and every possible work activity a different space. Adjustability and variety go a long way towards keeping employees happy and productive. Consider this: Do you have a space that is quiet where employees can focus on detail-oriented tasks? A lounge environment where staff can feel more intimate and casual?
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Does your office have stand-up meeting locations where you can quickly spread out plans or designs and collaborate with your colleagues or clients? Huddle rooms where more sensitive discussions can be held in relative privacy? An area dedicated to innovation that allows for tracking the progress of ideas and concepts? Do you offer wi-fi everywhere, both indoors and out, so that people can get work done no matter what type of space they’re in? Each area caters to a different type of in-office behaviour that is based on human interaction.
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An example, communal areas should strive for casual canteen vibrancy with a variety of seating areas and music to make it dynamic and lively.Individual areas, on the other hand, are places to relax and unwind – an oasis on a busy workday. Plants and natural light should be heavily incorporated in these areas as they produce a sense of calm in people and so encourage them to accomplish their deliverables and contribute to the overall company goals.
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