Finally, a workplace that is all about you.
WALK around many offices and workplaces, and you would have to assume such spaces were not designed for people to do serious work or business. Workplaces these days are typically crowded, resulting in employees' inability to fully concentrate, or frustration in finding space for collaborative work among colleagues. Being the boss may not even be enough to get you an office.
Meanwhile, smartphones and intuitive mobile apps are bringing the world to our fingertips with a click or a tap. So why can't our workplaces be as delightful and easy to use as our smartphones?
You could certainly wonder why many workplaces today lack relevant features that can aid in boosting work productivity, while also taking care of our mental health and overall wellbeing. After all, the workplace is where we spend the vast majority of our waking hours.
The good news is that evolution at the workplace is happening. Here are four areas in which the workplace is going to be all about us.
Technology enables us to work from more than one place, freeing us from a rigid routine of desks and cubicles. As remote work gains wider acceptance in company culture, it opens up the possibility of looking beyond uninspired, one-size-fits-all offices.
The best workplaces today are tailored to employees' individual needs, offering a wide diversity of team, collaborative and quiet places to work. Whether you want to use a standing desk, work in a private room or choose with whom to sit - these options should be made easily available so you can maximise productivity.
In Singapore, high-performance workplaces that empower employees to choose how and where they work have been around for more than 10 years, and are well on their way to becoming the new "standard workplace". These workplaces are particularly prevalent in the technology, banking, fast-moving consumer goods and pharmaceutical sectors, but are increasingly on the radar of any company that is interested in helping their people perform better.
The link between employee wellness and productivity has never been clearer. In fact, it has been reported that companies in Singapore could suffer a loss in productivity worth S$3.3 billion a year by 2030 due to staff on sick leave.
Companies are now increasingly aware of the importance of a happy, healthy and productive workforce - and the International WELL Building Standard is the blueprint for a holistic approach to creating healthier places to work. WELL buildings are designed to optimise the health of their residents, by providing good air quality, natural light, and abundant greenery.
Wellness is also a key tenet of these buildings, the idea being that they should promote physical activity, healthy food and a sense of community and social belonging. Today's most forward-thinking workplaces help you look after yourself; enabling you to manage stress, sleep better and build healthy working relationships with colleagues.
The benefits of a healthy work environment cannot be understated. According to a CBRE study in conjunction with the University of Twente in the Netherlands, wellness strategies significantly increase productivity and focus. For instance, work performance reportedly improved by 45 per cent when employees were provided with healthy alternatives to sugar and caffeine, and by 10 per cent when there were more plants in the office.
Healthy buildings are high on the agenda for Singapore corporations as well as the government, and many WELL-certified buildings are on the drawing board. For instance, Paya Lebar Quarter, a new mixed-use development, is the first in Singapore to register for the International WELL Building Institute's (IWBI) WELL Core and Shell Certification.
Adapted from The Business Times 21 March 2019