In today’s competitive business landscape, employees are logging more hours at the office than ever before. Since so much time is devoted to office work, office design should place a strong emphasis on what makes for a healthy workday. After all, design which takes health and wellness into account not only affects the personal wellbeing of the employees, but also the effectiveness of the business and consequently its productivity. Here are some design solutions you to keep in mind to optimize workplace health and safety:
Ergonomics and usability. The purpose of work place ergonomics is to increase the comfort, safety and efficiency of employees by fitting the environment to be compatible with their needs, abilities and limitations instead of the other way around.
Air quality. Indoor air quality may be one of the most important element in ensuring your office is a healthy and pleasant place to work. When considering design elements, bear in mind physical factors such as air temperature, humidity, and air circulation.
Lighting. Appropriate lighting can reduce eye fatigue and headaches, providing for greater comfort and increased productivity. A combination of natural light and well-planned task lighting can prevent eye strain.
Inclusive design. Every design decision has the potential to either include or exclude employees. Inclusive design emphasizes the value of diversity, covering a wide variation of capabilities, needs and aspirations. Organizations should integrate design structure that reduces the need for employees to ask for individual accommodation, and empowers them to feel and work their best in the workplace.
Regulations, legislation and code of practice. Designers and project managers alike, should align themselves with the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act, supported by model WHS regulations, model Codes of Practice and a National Compliance and Enforcement Policy governed through Safe Work Australia.