Applying the Journey Method to Workplace Design – Employee Choice and the Impact on Well-Being
You don’t have to spend much time in Colorado to realize that by-in-large, our state values health and well-being. Much of what draws people to the home of the Rocky Mountains is our active and outdoor-focused culture. Because culture is dictated by people, it exists in all aspects of our lives–including work. We know that our physical health comes from the inside out; I would argue that workplace health is no exception. As generations mix and workplace trends continue to evolve, we must keep our finger on the pulse of our own workplace–the vitality of our employees–if we hope to provide quality service and build relationships with our clients. With so much of our lives spent working, we can’t expect people to thrive in environments that aren’t conducive to well-being.
One of the most critical factors I’ve seen in design that supports well-being is allowing people to have choice. In other words, any way you want it, that’s the way you need it. No two employees are the same, so why should we expect them to have the same work preferences or thrive under the same conditions? A few years ago, we recognized this in our own firm, prompting a major, multistory renovation of our Milwaukee office in a historic 5-story building. The results tripled the number of options where employees could choose to work throughout the day. From sit-to-stand desks, to small enclaves, large conferences rooms, corner huddle spots and even a rooftop terrace, all with a variety of furniture options, it was important to give our employees ample opportunities for personalization.
Creating employee-focused environments not only fosters healthy culture but it is also strategic. Allocating funding towards employee well-being is not an expense –it’s an investment in your organization’s future. These investments will result in happier, more satisfied employees, which can easily parlay into happier, more satisfied customers and a strengthened company image. Money well spent if you ask me.
The better employees are cared for, the better employees they will be. And providing environments that function any way they want it, where they can (to quote Journey)… laugh, sing, do everything, move, groove, basically a lot of things is a step in the right direction.
For a deeper look, I’d like to invite you into our office through this video to see employee well-being in action.