The mindful workplace is here! In the future, the requirements and needs of the individual employee will be in focus. This is one of the most prominent trends that we can read about in Kinnarps' renowned Trend Report 2015.
When Kinnarps launched the height-adjustable desk Decade 25 years ago, it was nothing more than a revolutionary interior design approach. Before this, most workplaces looked the same. People were crammed into tiny cubicles all day without hardly ever leaving them... Thank God this has all changed.
Today we are more aware in an entirely different way of the different needs, conditions and expectations people have - a middle-aged man is no longer the norm. At the same time, technology is evolving at a ferocious pace which has turned the working situation upside down for most people. So how do we tackle this development? Companies will invest in personal interiors that encourage movement and creativity, all the time in line with employee needs. Some like a noisy and disorderly space with flamboyant colours while others like to close out the world in a minimalistic and airy space without any disturbing sounds. Both needs must be met.
"The more options we offer people, the easier it is for them to perform," says Louis Lhoest at Veldhoen + Company. Sustainable environments make for sustainable people. It is that simple. Research unanimously shows that boring offices that do not work are a downright health hazard and result in more days off work sick. Our surroundings have the greatest impact on our brains. In a mindful workplace where people are in focus, there is an understanding that soft values play a vital role when it comes to well-being and that design and psychology are interlinked. It is therefore important to be attentive to signals from employees, how they feel and how happy they are.
A global issue is that more and more people are afflicted by technology fatigue and feel stressed all the time and cannot relax. This has for instance led to a decision by Google to introduce technology-free meetings where both laptops and mobiles are not allowed. We have simply got to be better at creating human environments for both the body and soul. It is therefore not wrong for workplaces to imitate environments we like being in such as cafés and lounges. Team affiliation and identity are reinforced as a result. Or as it has been so accurately stated in the report: "Would you want to have this at home?"
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