Creating a Healthier Office

18/12/23< Back to news index

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all more aware of the dangers of infections and how they are spread. The Immune Building Standard was created by building accreditor Healthy by Design Building Institute (HDBI) and aims to act as a "blueprint for the healthy buildings of the future, leading to healthier people, businesses and economies".

HBDI created a scoring system for offices, which has 130 suggested measures to counteract infection. Many of these are suitable only for the largest organisations, but the concept also relates to the current reappraisal of the purpose of offices.

How can an office building be designed to improve immunity to disease? Many people have already added this criterion to their requirements when looking for a new job, so creating a work environment with optimum conditions for avoiding the threat of infection is an important decision. It will help you and your company to gain and keep healthy and productive workers.

A shared working space suits many tasks and many workers and is especially helpful for training new staff. Ideally, this should be offered along with remote and hybrid working models. A space where employees can meet is always useful for team building, creativity and socialising. The emphasis now is on making the office an inclusive and welcoming place, which facilitates easy, enjoyable collaboration.

Subtle, intelligent design which reflects the organisation and its role can help workers identify with their company and peers and feel like they belong in their office. Integrating this design in an aesthetically pleasing way prompts interest and discussion.

Hybrid and remote workers can also be accommodated by harnessing collaborative technology which enables them to participate fully in meetings and other activities. This does not have to be expensive; high-definition cameras, skilled positioning of speakers and clever use of suitably shaped tables can all enhance the feeling of "presence" in the office for remote workers.

The needs of individual workers vary considerably and can be catered for with adaptable office furniture and fittings. "Bespoke" design can make workers feel comfortable in the office, but you need to be able to handle rapid changes in an agile and seamless fashion, as we saw during and since the pandemic.

The best way to innovate includes asking your staff their opinions and having open discussions about planned changes. Get in touch with us if you'd like some inspiration on how to incorporate design into your flexible working spaces to create the best environment for your team.