Get Zen: Effective workspace design fosters well being

Rethink Wellness

Workplace well-being is becoming critical for attracting top talent, so employers are investing in creating more relaxing and healthier environments for workers. Creating spaces that reduce stress and support health for all our senses is top of mind.  Access to daylight and nature, relaxarium rooms spots for yoga or meditation, and aromatherapy experiences are keeping our spaces – and ourselves – more Zen.

Soothing spaces put people at ease. Furnishings that contribute to a calming environment and in turn reduce anxiety may include organic wood-framed shapes, seating that supports the human body for comfort, and an array of warm materials.


Promote employee well-being with effective design.

Effective workspace design not only fosters well-being, but can increase organizational success. Addressing workplace well-being can help organizations:

  • Attract and retain employees
  • Reduce the costs of absenteeism
  • Reduce the effects of stress
  • Reduce health costs
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Improve morale by creating a socially engaging, supportive environment

Simply stated, work environments matter. We know they matter for people’s engagement, satisfaction, turnover intentions, and performance…Work environments matter also for people’s physical and mental health, and well-being.

Jeffrey Pfeffer
Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance

The role of workplace design is evolving to a people-centric approach.

A focus on well-being represents a shift from a “space-centric” to a “people-centric” approach in office design. Traditional space-centric design offers workspaces based on work process and functional requirements that are designed directly for the best interests of the organization—by driving employee performance.

People-centric design puts people at the center of the design process, with outcomes related to quality of life (such as reduced stress). Of course, the assumption is that as quality of life improves, traditional business issues, such as engagement and performance, are also positively affected.


The connection between workspace design and employee well-being is very real.

Today, there is an emerging opportunity to use workplace design to promote a holistic state of well-being for people at work. When organizations provide work environments that support user control, natural elements and daylight, and changing postures, they address the physical and psychological health of people—enhancing engagement, creativity, innovation, and retention.