Over half of UK employees find their office space ‘uninspiring’, while 84% want their workplace to offer them an ‘experience’ alongside their daily workload.

With relevance to mental health awareness week, research has shown that a badly designed office can lead to physical discomfort, stress and decreased productivity, affecting employee wellbeing.

With that in mind, the experts at Savoy Stewart examined some of Europe’s most popular offices to pinpoint what makes them so inspiring, and reveal how to incorporate these features into other workspaces to boost employee productivity.

  1. Designate an area for entertainment and relaxation

Google’s office in Amsterdam and Zurich are a great example of the importance of having an area entirely focused on entertainment or relaxation. Employees have access to mediation rooms, relaxation areas and even a room with different games to play. This ensures that should they need a break from work, a designated area is on hand for them to use.

Incorporating such spaces can help boost productivity. Recent research has proven that taking short breaks can boost performance and a person’s wellbeing. Areas focused on entertainment breaks can be created by adding comfortable furniture or games like ping-pong, table football or pool.

  1. Add a unique office design

The most popular offices around the world all have one main thing in common and that is their unique design. Some have creative graffiti on their walls, others have slides connecting two floors (Ticketmaster’s London office) or even a firefighter’s pole (Google’s Zurich office) to help employees get quickly from one floor to another. Ensuring there’s a creative atmosphere in the workspace will in turn boost employee’s creativity.

A starting point to creating your own office’s design, can be painting one of the rooms in bold colours or adding painted patterns. Incorporate your company’s branding/logo within a design on the wall of one of your meeting rooms.

  1. Value employees’ physical health in your office design

LEGO and Google offices have done a great job of taking care of their employee’s physical health by incorporating gyms or even desk bikes into some of their offices. People exercising regularly is beneficial for clearing their minds and making sure they’re sharp when they’re working.

Turning a space into a gym with some basic equipment can make a big difference and show employees that their wellbeing is valued. Another idea is to put standing or walking desks for anyone who wants to get some movement in while completing tasks.

  1. Create a clearly designed space for people to sit and eat

Another important feature well known offices have in common is that they provide a designated area to sit and eat or drink. Having an area in the office where people can do that is a great way to save them some time from having to go out, searching for a place to eat. It also encourages discussion amongst employees.

  1. Incorporate nature

Maintaining a connection to nature can help liven up the office space. Many popular offices have a lot of plants, or outdoor areas where people can get some fresh air. The green plants can actually help people’s eyes relax, especially if they work on computers, while the fresh air can provide a nice break from the closed working space.

If you have room for an outdoor space, it can be turned into a beautiful garden for people to sit and take a break, alternatively, plants can be placed throughout the office to ensure there’s a connection to nature.

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.