Many different ingredients make up the modern workplace, differing greatly from old perceptions of how an office should function. Today, a softer approach, where psychological and cultural aspects are taken more seriously, is showing to have a positive impact on production, innovation and the bottom line for not only the companies themselves, but society’s well.

In our motivation to create, innovate and change our way of working – and living – we have to be careful that we are not too fast in regards to our ability to adapt these varieties of change

Sandra Gauer, Change Management Consultant, Founder, Perspectives Gmbh

Sustainability within corporate culture has evolved to have a greater meaning and expanded to include, and be intertwined with, both the physical and psychological health of employees. Simply put, wellness is the new green, and making sure we last longer at work – and thus also throughout our lives – is a strategy challenge across company silos, not the least those in charge of design decisions. For instance, focusing on the well-being of employees could mean investing in height-adjustable desks, since research shows that health improves from varying posture and not remaining stationary during those long hours. The same kind of design decisions are now being made from a psychological point of view – by for instance creating different ambiences in selected areas through lighting and sound.

One of the drivers behind this push for wellness in the workplace is the fact that demographics are changing and different needs and expectations have arisen. New demographics, combined with factors like out-of-office hours, global collaborators and more project-based work, brings many challenges for creating employee wellness, especially in the design department. Interior designers must understand the diverse mindsets of the population they are catering for to create a variety of spaces. Realising that great minds do not think alike – and do not work alike – is the basis for the future workplace.

This article has been taken from the Kinnarps Trend Report 2015. Click here to download the full research paper.