Healing Offices

The New Ways Of Working seemed to be the answer on how to generate cost savings by cutting back on square meters, but does this design principle also contributes to better work environments? Interior design studio D/DOCK took this design principle into another direction and introduced the Healing Offices® concept: a design approach that focuses on the individual health and happiness of employees by creating an environment that boosts positive emotions and facilitates behavioral changes, beneficial to a long-lasting healthy lifestyle.

Investing in the employee

In 2012 healthcare costs in the Netherlands alone exceeded 90 billion Euros, an increase of 3.7% compared to 2011. Estimates of how much further costs will increase in the future, makes international health one of the most pressing social and economic issues of this time, with lifestyle and work stress being related to diseases, mortality, and corporate costs. Moreover employees are unable to balance their work- and private life. The New Ways of Working made it possible for employees to work anywhere and anytime, while always being accessible by phone, email or other innovations, causing even more additional work stress.

Triggered by these findings, D/DOCK successfully launched the Healing Offices® Concept in 2013. By focusing on the health and wellbeing of the individual, this design approach offers a solution for the changing needs of employees and their disturbed work-life balance. Moreover, it shows new possibilities of how to improve organizational performance by design. Organized in human centered lifestyle typologies, this concept allows employees to take back the ownership of a very important part of their daily life. The design elements of a Healing Office® do not only facilitate movement and healthy nutrition; it also touches the soft factors, which are strongly related to happiness such as connectedness, engagement, autonomy and control. By applying theories of environmental psychology and research data into the design, also referred to as evidence based design, the work environment can facilitate positive behavioral changes, beneficial to the mood, motivation and lifestyle of the employees.

We are able to make informed tailor-made design decisions and gain insight into the effects of the environment and specific design elements. A before-after research study, conducted by our Design Researcher, will yield data about the effects of the different design qualities. This results in output-driven buildings with matching design quality and materialization rather than buildings driven by efficiency. The employees will not be the only ones that will benefit from such a work environment. It will also contribute to a higher level of productivity and it will have a positive effect on the organizational cost structure: a win-win situation for all parties. D/DOCK expects a lower sick-leave (till 30%), a higher productivity level (till 20%) and a longer life expectancy (till 10 years) stemming from this concept. Respected organizations such as Google, Motion10, Sonos, Bosch & Siemens, and Plantronics have already chosen a Healing Office®. Are you next?

Healing Offices

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