Wellbeing in Work Place

Steelcase anthropologist Donna Flynn talks about the changing dynamics of office design in our highly distributed work environment. Having discussed dimensions of we versus I, privacy and collaborative environments, she put well-being to the core of the designing future office spaces. Good and easy read:


Another quest, another question: “People are the most important asset of a company,” Flynn says, “so how can we think holistically about creating sustainable work environments and work practices for our people?”

Steelcase considers well-being in the three spheres of the physical/ergonomic, psychological, and social.

The ergonomic is the most ostensible: Sitting at a desk all day is making us unhealthy. So WorkSpace Futures is doing a lot of thinking about how to encourage more movement at work, whether through sitting/standing options, creating environments that encourage more active postures, as well as walking meetings through common areas or the outdoors.

Innovative thinking around emotional needs can also bolster worker well-being. “Many of us are constantly toggling between work and life across a day,” Flynn says, “fielding calls from our bosses as well as our childcare providers.” To create a more emotionally supportive work environment, managers can help foster informal social interactions (which build supportive networks), and provide flexible schedules and environments so that workers can decide on their own integration of work and life.

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