Reading time: 3 Minutes
How a properly designed office can boost creativity, productivity and wellbeing
These days, a lot more attention is being paid to creating attractive offices with plenty of natural light, oxygenating foliage, coffee bars and communal tables. But a well-designed workspace also takes in the silent ‘ergonomics’ of the environment – how furniture, for example, actually functions in relation to human beings. With neck pain being one of the most common work-related injuries occurring today, getting this right can make a huge difference to wellbeing, as well as creativity and productivity.
Regus flexible workspaces place great importance on ergonomics, which presents a real advantage for those managing small- and medium-sized businesses out of them. Switzerland-based Filippo Sarti, Global Head of Property Services and New Centre Openings, says: “Great office design is a balance of art and science. The art is in designing the space to be attractive and deliver a wow factor for the user. The science is in making sure the space works for the businesses renting it and the employees using it.”
In the US, Regus offices such as New York’s 747 Third Avenue are fitted out with modern, human-friendly furnishings from Steelcase, BluDot, West Elm, Viccarbe and Bolia. Ben Berger, Vice President, Head of Property Services – Americas, says: “Ergonomic chairs are standard and come with a complete range of adjustments. There are also height-adjustable tables that encourage movement and changes of posture throughout the day.” This is vital when people are in and out of the building and don’t necessarily have their own desk that’s set up the way they like it.
To prevent muscle aches, the Mayo Clinic says workers should be positioned in such a way that their knees are in line with their hips with feet flat on the floor. Arms should be bent at 90 degrees and wrists straight when typing. There should be no slouching or hunching. Too much noise and not enough light will also put a strain on people’s ears and eyes, and are frequently occurring issues in poorly designed, open-plan offices. According to Staples, last year 40% of employees in Europe were working in poor lighting, which can cause headaches and impair concentration.
Regus recognises this. According to Berger, “Regus prioritises the health and wellbeing of clients. Flagship centres all have clean, bright and efficient spaces with carefully engineered acoustic treatments to create an optimal environment for conducting business.” With so many of us now working remotely or on a freelance basis, turning a café or lounger by the pool into a makeshift office sound like great options. But our bodies are likely to suffer, which is why a well-designed flexible workspace is the better choice.
According to research from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, “effective office ergonomics interventions” reduce the average numbers of musculoskeletal problems by 61% and lost workdays by 88%. Francis Cleary, New Centre Openings Project Director, Asia Pacific at Regus, says: “People tend to think of office design as just about where you position the desks, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about responding to when, where and how people work. Workers of all generations – not just Millennials – are discovering the benefits of coworking and becoming more mobile. Offices need to be spaces that foster productivity, creativity and collaboration.”
Boost your team’s productivity and find an ergonomically designed Regus office in your area