Sustainability and an emphasis on a healthy work environment is changing office design. Thinking about good hygiene and plants is a good start. But a workplace for which your mind and body will thank you looks different.

Healthy office design is more than just a trendy term. It is primarily about a comprehensive approach to office design. Don’t just think about cleanliness, health and sustainability, but also about the employees’ satisfaction and productivity. Take a look at how to proceed if you want to have a truly healthy workplace.

1. Define what a healthy office means to you

Whether you want to renovate your office, build it from scratch or you decide to lease, one thing is clear: vague requirements bring vague results. Try to define your wishes more precisely than just with phrases like “I want a green and healthy office”. It can be based, for example, on the various green building certifications, such as America’s LEED or the British BREEAM certification. They look, in part, at how the buildings use rain water and how they handle utilities.

WELL certification, which originated in the United States in 2014, is also popular. It focuses on the internal environment and its influence on employees, from the amount of light and air to quality materials without harmful substances. The first buildings in the Czech Republic are also already receiving the first WELL certification, such as the Visionary office complex in Prague - Holešovice and Karlín’s Praga Studios, both buildings from the Swedish company Skanska. And WELL will continue to grow in popularity on the real estate market, according to experts.

Thanks to the individual points that the certification evaluates, you can get a better picture about what all a healthy building entails. “Then you can define your expectations more clearly, thanks to which you can create or find a space that fits your conception more easily,” explained Ondřej Víša, CBRE Sustainability Consultant.

2. Think about ergonomics and acoustics

Hygiene is the key and cleanliness can help employees avoid catching and spreading diseases. A healthy office design, however, sees health in a far wider context.

"We also focus on acoustic comfort, the ergonomics of the furniture and the quality of the environment itself, meaning how you work and how productive you are,"
Filip Muška, Workplace Strategies Lead in CBRE.

When designing or selecting an office, you should therefore think about the positionability of the tables and chairs, for example, or sufficient soundproofing tailored to the individual functions of the space or zones, where the employees will be able to concentrate well. That’s because if the office organism functions well, then the human organism rejoices, as well.

3. Offer a balance between the personal and working life

The problem of dividing the personal and professional life has currently taken on a whole new meaning. Due to the pandemic, most office workers have moved at least partially to home office, which blurs the healthy limits for even assertive masters of personal time management.

What is the remedy? In addition to thorough training, the patient support of management and the adoption of rituals demarcating the time for work, the use of coworking spaces beyond the framework of the company’s offices could help. Unlike your company’s branches, these coworking spaces are often located in various parts of the city, which could significantly shorten commutes. The spaces are usually fully equipped from the perspective of furniture and refreshments, which is a welcome improvement over home office. They are wonderful places for networking or just for a change of scenery, which is so important for recharging your mental energy or drawing on inspiration. Coworking and serviced offices represent a great complement to company offices!

Healthy offices are one of our favourite themes. We would be glad to tell you more about it.