The importance of creating a flexible and relaxed work environment has become increasingly prominent in today’s world. No longer are the days when work meant being confined to a cubicle all day, leaving little to no room for the balance of one’s mental and physical health. Offices today are implementing the amenities their employees need during the work day to help them better their lives daily and in return offer a higher quality of work. When employees feel better, the work they are able to produce becomes better due to a decrease in stress and an increase in endorphins. Whether you are engaging in a friendly competition of foosball in the game room or simply getting in some quiet time to help clear your head, many types of amenity spaces are beneficial to employees’ quality of life.
Burlington Summit, Burlington, MA – Game Room
All employees are different and that is why it’s important to offer a variety of spaces. Things like yoga rooms, genius bar lounges and open kitchens are all examples of a variety of “lifestyle” spaces that can contribute to the betterment of mental and physical health.
Globoforce, Framingham, MA – Refresh Lounge
Common, or social spaces, are another amenity space that is both multi-functional and engaging to employees. Here you can take a step away the desk and chat with a co-worker, scroll through social media on your phone or read some of that book you’ve been meaning to catch up on. Research says that moving around throughout the day is healthy and it is encouraged to get up and move around, even if it means relocating to another open space. Many building owners are introducing these types of a multi-purpose common spaces where co-workers can decompress and interact. These spaces also serve to help activate the entire building.
1601 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA – Atrium
Nourishment areas are one of the most highly utilized community spaces as they are often seen as the hub of the office space. Walking to the kitchen or pantry to get a glass of water or re-charge on a healthy snack is an essential part of a wholesome day. Open concept kitchens, specifically, have become increasingly popular as they are meant to pose as an easily accessible gathering area. They often create a central focal point as well as a point of intersection for impromptu meetings. The open kitchen design featured below at Corderman & Company is an example of this concept:
Cordeman & Company, Boston, MA – Open Kitchen
Fitness centers are proven to improve employee morale and health which is why they are becoming a staple of today’s workplace environment. Many people find it hard to find time to work out during the day which makes this type of amenity space both convenient and beneficial. Employees feel less of a need to scurry to an early morning gym session or work out class when they have access to a fitness center within their workplace. A half hour of exercise in the afternoon can help to improve performance for the rest of the day by refreshing the body and mind. The fitness center amenity at Mercury Systems, Inc. is easily accessible and a great way to energize employees:
Mercury Systems, Inc. Andover, MA – Fitness Center
Companies are strategizing on how to provide “more with less” – more community with less square footage. As companies across all industry platforms continue to drive their employees to increase efficiency and productivity, the importance of a building offering amenity spaces has become significant. There is less of a focus on how much time someone is at their desk, and more of a focus on how much work someone can get done at their desk – and get it done well! Performance = ability x motivation x opportunity. Employees need a balanced blend of the ability to perform through motivation and the opportunity to succeed to their fullest, all of which can be accomplished through the ability to take breaks, build community and collaborate casually throughout the work day.