Workspaces that prioritize and accommodate the diverse needs of today’s knowledge workers are becoming increasingly prominent as employers look to make the office more meaningful, personalized and enjoyable. Work Design Magazine proposes thinking of the workplace as a “people place” and discusses the importance of environments that focus on the human experience. In this month’s news aggregate, we explore this movement toward employee-centric design and how this shift is impacting modern organizations.

Biophilic Design & Worker Wellbeing Gain Momentum

As research demonstrates the myriad health benefits of bringing nature into the workplace, innovative organizations are incorporating biophilic design principles to promote wellbeing as one aspect of an employee-focused workplace.

On Office Magazine notes the demand for living walls and settings that blend the indoors and outdoors, while Facility Executive explores the powerful effect of “daylighting” on wellbeing, which involves designing buildings to bring in as much as natural light as possible. Steelcase also comments on the connection between biophilic design and wellness and suggests integrating colors, patterns and materials inspired by nature.

Interior Design highlights ASID as one organization especially committed to health and wellness. The Washington DC headquarters includes natural materials and patterns and recently became the first space to earn LEED and WELL platinum certifications.

Designing for the Human Experience

Work Design Magazine observes that the physical space is just one tool for workplace design, emphasizing that the environment should align with the organization’s culture and values. Forbes echoes this sentiment, featuring Desigual’s bright headquarters in Barcelona to illustrate how offices that correspond with a company ethos boost morale and further establish a clear brand vision.

As a result of the shift toward employee-focused design, social connection, creativity and worker happiness are rising to the forefront. Workplace Insight discusses the need for businesses to cultivate social relationships and explores the correlation between friendships at work and better productivity. Workplace Insight also delves into why creativity is the new productivity for many organizations, while Inc considers the importance of establishing creative outlets and bringing diverse perspectives together. Meanwhile, BBC examines one organization that introduced staff happiness as a key performance indicator, and Forbes presents ways to make the office joyful.

The focus on human-centric design becomes particularly significant given some companies’ movements toward remote work reversal. Work Design Magazine mentions IBM as one prominent organization calling remote individuals back to the office, emphasizing the importance of settings that foster innovation and improve the quality of working on site.

By making human needs the primary focus of the workplace, innovative organizations are leading the way toward a rich, inspiring and engaging experience for today’s employees.