flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

An evidenced-based approach to elevate the workplace experience

billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Architects

An evidenced-based approach to elevate the workplace experience


By Suzanne Carlson, Design Principal, NBBJ | NBBJ | September 1, 2020
An evidenced-based approach to elevate the workplace experience

Illustration: NBBJ

   

Editor’s Note: This post was co-authored by Edwin Beltran, Andy Snyder, and Suzanne Carlson.

 

Workplace stress has a significant impact on health and productivity in normal times — but it has become a larger challenge in the current climate as people grapple with high unemployment, social distancing and general uncertainty. 

As organizations evolve new models for remote and in-office work, the wellbeing and engagement of their employees remains critical to their sustained success. This moment presents a unique opportunity to reimagine a better workplace — not just safer, but also less stressful and more productive, supporting a more purposeful rhythm of the day.

Neuroscience research provides crucial insights into stress, engagement and productivity. Humans are social creatures that find safety in relationships and nature, and are impacted by their environments in ways both large and small. This has important implications for how to design workplaces in an era of stress and uncertainty, suggesting new approaches that better respond to fundamental human needs.

Grounded in neuroscience research from Dr. John Medina as part of the NBBJ Fellowship Program, this post explores ideas on how to elevate workplace experience. Three of these concepts —Paths, Hubs and Nooks— provide people with opportunities to recharge and engage, promoting a new, more uplifting workday experience.

 

Paths

Paths serve as spaces to escape from daily routines, providing opportunities to exercise, find respite and refuge or connect with nature. They can be created out of utilitarian indoor spaces like stairs or hallways, and incorporate several elements shown to reduce stress and improve productivity. Paths can also be created in outdoor settings, creating intentional journeys through curated landscapes with points of interest that encourage people to pause and slow down.

 

Nooks

Nooks are calming oases distributed throughout the workplace, particularly in underutilized spaces, that incorporate circadian lighting, natural sounds and moments of delight. Nooks promote mental and physical restoration through mindful slowdowns and positive distractions, which have been shown to reduce stress. They can be programmed to provide immersive experiences, or a supportive environment for a restorative nap, conversation or meditation.

 

Hubs

Hubs are larger-scale restorative amenities that promote social connection, connection to nature or restorative breaks. Intended for groups of people, hubs can be created within repurposed indoor spaces or outdoors, and can be programmed with engaging activities like exercise or meditation. Hubs can range from immersive audiovisual experiences, to lounges and chill-out rooms, to indoor gardens that could double as meeting and conference spaces.

These ideas are part of a comprehensive report by the NBBJ Fellowship Program which outlines how to create new work rhythms, ways to mitigate stress for frontline healthcare workers and how to remain human in a hybrid virtual-physical world.  

To learn more about these concepts and the supporting research, please email socialmedia@nbbj.com to receive a downloadable PDF of the full report.

Tags

More from Author

NBBJ | Aug 18, 2021

20 years after developing the first open core hospital design here is what the firm has learned

Hospitals have traditionally used a “racetrack” layout, which accommodates patient rooms around the exterior and situates work areas and offstage functions in a central block.

NBBJ | Jun 8, 2021

As many storefronts sit empty, 3 opportunities to rethink the ground floor of buildings

The vitality of ground level commercial space is about much more than the future of retail.

NBBJ | Apr 13, 2021

Rethinking well-being at work

The four levels of health that support long-term success.

NBBJ | Feb 25, 2021

A healthier planet starts with hospitals

Eleven strategies to reduce energy use and increase wellbeing.

NBBJ | Jan 22, 2021

Cities should be planned for people before cars. Here's how it can be done.

Five lessons from Asia and Europe to create more human-centric American cities.

NBBJ | Jun 22, 2020

7 choices for work environments that underscore the need to respond, not react

Below are predictions made from a reactionary mindset, coupled with realities that have been in front of businesses for some time.

NBBJ | Mar 26, 2020

How to convert college dorms to support the coronavirus crisis

While student dormitories are well-suited to certain alternate healthcare uses — from housing clinical staff to treating low-acuity patients — there are important elements to consider when exploring how to convert them for coronavirus treatment.

NBBJ | May 23, 2019

How can we make our cities more vibrant?

While an appropriate balance of mixed-use offerings is key, providing retail that is the right scale for an urban neighborhood can dramatically affect its character. 

NBBJ | Jan 16, 2019

Micro-units: Good for the city? Good for citizens?

Thinking more holistically about housing typologies and zoning will improve our public realm.

NBBJ | Dec 5, 2017

A call for urban intensification

Rather than focus on urban “densification" perhaps we should consider urban “intensification.”

boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 


Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: