Office Design and Employee wellbeing: A Vital Connection

Last modified on : 08 September , 2023

The traditional work model and workplace are evolving as modern work culture places more emphasis on employee happiness and well-being. Companies are recognising the impact of a positive work environment on work quality and efficiency. To support this, organisations are seeking to improve workplace well-being with office design to create thriving communities and promote freedom and stimulation. This requires a supportive company culture and physical spaces that align with organisational goals.

The traditional view was that productivity equates to happiness, but this often meant long hours, tight deadlines, and an imbalance between work and personal life. However, recent research shows that happiness drives productivity, not just the other way around. The new approach focuses on promoting employee well-being by enhancing emotional intelligence (EQ). This can be achieved through a positive work environment with flexible work options, personal and professional growth opportunities, and a culture that prioritises work-life balance.

How does office design affect employee happiness and well-being?

The design of the workplace is a key factor in promoting employee happiness and well-being. One way in which design can foster happiness in the workplace is through the use of open spaces. Open spaces in the office interior give a sense of freedom and can make employees feel more comfortable and relaxed. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and better overall results for the company.

Giving employees control over their workspace through the provision of various zones, such as quiet areas for focus, collaborative spaces for teamwork, and relaxation zones, can enhance employee happiness and well-being. By allowing them to personalise their work environment to suit their needs, they can experience greater comfort and satisfaction.

Fostering conversations between coworkers can also improve employee happiness and well-being through workplace design. This is accomplished by designing spaces that encourage casual collaborations, such as open spaces, shared tables, and break-out areas. This kind of environment stimulates teamwork, idea exchange, and innovation, resulting in a more productive and engaged workforce.


Nestle office design to promote employee happiness and well-being

Space Matrix re-imagined Nestle's workplace to merge work and play, incorporating activity-based and community-focused spaces for employee well-being. Features like a recreation room with a simulated cricket pitch, step seating for cheerleading, and physical gaming options are provided to enhance well-being. Convenient hydration stations are located near entrances and exits. The business garden acts as a town hall for collaboration and includes biophilic, nature-inspired elements for a relaxing atmosphere and versatile furniture for comfort and flexibility.

Stimulating different experiences within the workplace can improve the quality of work

Combining workplace design and employee well-being to create different experiences in the workspace will ultimately enhance the quality of work. This can be achieved through the creation of recreational areas within the office, offering a break from the norm and promoting relaxation and rejuvenation. These zones can feature spaces for games, leisure, or outdoor activities.

An open-concept cafe can also provide varied experiences in the workplace. This environment promotes breaks from work and socialising with coworkers over coffee or a meal. It helps foster a sense of community and connection among employees, positively impacting their happiness and well-being.

Other collaborative spaces can also benefit employee well-being and happiness. These spaces can be designed to encourage teamwork and exchange of ideas among employees, leading to higher engagement and motivation, and ultimately improving productivity and company outcomes.


ServiceNow's office design focus on wellness to promote employee wellbeing

ServiceNow's workplace, designed by Space Matrix, is based on the belief that a comfortable and motivated workforce leads to business success. The design prioritises comfort, featuring ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks for all employees and placing workstations around the office perimeter for natural light and city views. The central hub of the workplace is the communal kitchen, designed to feel like home with a variety of seating options to cater to different preferences. By creating a comfortable and inviting work environment, ServiceNow aims to boost employee motivation and productivity.

The Importance and Correlation between Workplace Design and Workplace Culture

The relationship between workplace design and culture plays a crucial role in promoting employee happiness and well-being. An ergonomic and functional office design creates a positive work environment that encourages collaboration, creativity, and productivity. A crucial aspect of this is accommodating an agile workflow, which requires employee mobility. This can be achieved through flexible workspaces that cater to the dynamic needs of employees, allowing them to work and move freely in the office.

Providing employees with mobility and choice in their workspace, such as the option to work from various locations and configurations, can boost productivity and job satisfaction. Designing spaces that promote collaboration and socialisation, like open spaces, communal tables, and break-out areas, can also contribute to an innovative work environment and a sense of community among employees

Fostering an agile workflow in the workplace through design can enhance employee well-being and happiness. By allowing mobility and offering different spaces for various activities, a positive work environment can be created that encourages collaboration, creativity, and productivity. This can lead to a more engaged and innovative workforce and promote a sense of community and connection among employees. Designing workspaces to facilitate incidental collaborations and offering areas for concentration, team meetings, or socialising all contribute to a comfortable and productive workplace

Anglo American workplace: Correlation between office design and culture

With companies focusing on employee happiness now more than ever, Anglo American isn’t any different. The global mining company recognized the significance of creating a revitalised and dynamic workplace when it expanded its operations in Singapore. To enhance engagement among their employees, they chose to expand their pantry and construct a versatile breakout and town hall space. The new floor, designed by Space Matrix, features a modern and sophisticated look and feel, offering employees a range of private areas, phone booths, and meeting rooms.

With these design elements in place, Anglo American is not only providing their employees with a visually appealing and practical workspace but also fostering a collaborative, flexible, and productive company culture. The expanded pantry and flexible breakout town hall space encourage employees to take breaks, socialise with colleagues, and collaborate, leading to improved engagement and motivation. The private areas, phone booths, and meeting rooms also support work-life balance and enhance overall employee well-being.

At Space Matrix, we understand the importance of creating a workplace that values employee happiness and well-being. If your organisation shares this belief, a redesign of your office interior can demonstrate your commitment to your workforce and show that their comfort and satisfaction are just as important as their productivity. Let our experts help you create a harmonious and supportive work environment. Contact us today!