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How Healthcare will Change the Future of Corporate Office Design

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2019

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2019

The world around us is quickly changing – people, technology, and medicine. The future of healthcare will focus more on maintaining overall well-being rather than masking illnesses. So how will this affect the corporate work environment? We can expect companies to begin integrating these health technologies in the future of office design.

 

Wearable devices

Advancing technologies will play a major role in the future of consumers health such as artificial intelligence and inter-operable data. Wearable devices like Fit Bits and Apple watches already have the capacity to track and monitor our steps, sleeping patterns, and heart rates. We can expect in the next 20 years to watch this trend grow according to Deloitte. Many medtech companies are already beginning to incorporate always-on biosensors and software into devices that can generate, gather, and share data (Deloitte). This will provide consumers with customized health plans and give them complete control over their well-being.

 

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon Chicago 2019

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon Chicago 2019

Supporting spaces

Today’s work culture is all about employee well-being and it goes beyond fancy amenities like a pool table or kegerator. It is important to promote movement and creative flow within the office. This includes creating both physical and mental supporting spaces. The wearable devices can provide active information to manage user’s health and wellness (WorkDesign Mag).

Physical supporting spaces can include sit-to-stand desks or defined walkways for “walk and talk” meetings. There is a serious lack of physical activity within an office environment which can lead to several health issues. It is important for workplace designers to find design solutions that promote health and wellness for employees.

It is also vital to create mental supporting spaces that goes beyond collaboration. Although the Open Plan concept promotes more collaboration between employees, it can be a distraction. Mental supportive spaces can include “quiet zones” which are separate rooms/areas filled with comfortable furniture and calming aesthetics to unwind and regroup.

 

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2018

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2018

The future of Office Design

We can expect to see a lot more changes in the office environment. As employee health and wellness becomes the center of a company’s focus, workplace designers will begin to incorporate technology into

into every aspect of the office from our chairs, monitors, and even computer mouse which will monitor vitals and let employees know when they should take a break or walk around (WorkDesign Mag). Office design will also begin to focus more on stress-management and promote more physical activity within the workplace.



https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/industry/health-care/forces-of-change-health-care.html

https://workdesign.com/2019/07/healthcare-advancements-that-will-redefine-office-design-in-2020-and-beyond/



Can natural light affect productivity?

photo source: Kimball Brand 

photo source: Kimball Brand 

Believe it or not, windows play a big role in an employee's satisfaction with a work space. That's because lighting doesn't just affect how well we are able to see, it also affects our mood + behavior. 

But while it's true that natural light can result in happier workers, less absenteeism, reduced stress, + fewer illnesses, there's also a compelling economic reason to bring more light into the workplace - A greater dose of daylight can also increase employee productivity + alertness. And the best part is, it doesn't matter if the natural light is coming through windows or filtered through translucent materials, you + your employees will experience the same benefits. 

But what about the employees who aren't lucky enough to work near a window? Don't worry, you don't have to leave them sitting in the dark. Glass panels, glazed movable walls, lower panel heights, + translucent or mesh partitions/walls can improve their access to daylight, too. Plus, some of these solutions even provide the added benefit of acoustic privacy. 

 

Why does daylight matter? 

- reduces stress, increases productivity, + alertness 

- workers overwhelmingly prefer working near windows 

- natural light provides variety + stimulation during the day 

- tapping natural light resource reduces energy use 

 

 

 

1. https://www.kimball.com/