As more and more companies embrace worker wellness, many are turning to the architectural and design communities for workspace solutions in support of a healthier workforce. Turning those sedentary office environments into spaces that can encourage healthier lifestyles is the central idea behind Active Design.
Hear From Experts
Watch and listen as industry trailblazers as well as KI leaders share their thoughts on what active design is, why it’s so important, and how we are incorporating it in our everyday lives.
9 Principles of Active Design
Click on each image to view solutions in support of these principles.
1. Implement daylight
Daylighting consists of removing tall barriers, bringing in natural light and reducing the need for artificial light. Natural light has inherent health benefits.
2. Create a variety of work spaces
Provide a variety of workplace settings that people can get up and go to. Individuals no longer need to be tied to traditional desks.
3. Encourage face-to-face communications
Establish work spaces that promote personal interaction over electronic communication, inciting movement and collaboration.
4. Offer healthy foods
Provide healthy options in centrally located café spaces. Both encourage employees to make better choices.
5. Encourage movement at work
Provide alternative meeting locations which have been shown to increase creativity.
6. Design flexible, open multi-use spaces
Meetings no longer have to take place in traditional conference rooms. Communal spaces can be designed with a variety of uses in mind.
7. Subconsciously incite people to take stairs
Centrally located and visually appealing, staircases encourage the use of stairs over elevators and escalators.
8. Incorporate height-adjustable worksurfaces
Offer sit-stand worksurfaces that allow employees to alternate between sitting and standing during the workday, promoting overall health and wellness.
9. Allocate outdoor workspace
Outdoor spaces can be used for impromptu meetings or for times when individuals want a change of setting to facilitate creativity.
Active Design in Numbers
Why should you care about active design? One third of United States adults are obese. Worker production nosedives because of sick days and absenteeism. Check out this infographic illustrating active design in number form.
Ninety percent of design firms say that designing with wellness in mind is standard practice these days. However, KI research showed discrepancies between how quickly Active Design is actually being implemented versus employees’ perceptions about its adoption.
A decade ago it was possible to estimate the breakdown of space to be on average 80/20, with 80% of space dedicated to individual work, and 20% allocated to conference and meeting rooms. That balance has shifted dramatically for many companies in recent years. Today, a 50/50 division of space or even 60/40 is common, with the greater portion of square footage now dedicated to group space.
The Hay group recently offered a study on engagement and the link to ROI by showing the bottom line benefit to a higher level of engagement. Its studies showed that high levels of employee engagement can boost revenue growth by between two and a half and four times. There was also a 54% increase in employee retention and an increase in customer satisfaction.