Burnout is on the rise, and it’s now officially been labelled an ‘occupational phenomenon’. On the upside, mental health is becoming a less taboo topic and employers are recognizing the need for change in the workplace. How can spatial design contribute to the cause? We explore six specific strategies.

01 UTILIZE PLANT POWER

Plant-filled workspaces can help to counter the lack of nature resulting from today’s indoor-oriented lifestyles. Work with a green specialist who can prescribe the right plants for the right purpose.

02 DIVERSIFY SPACES AND SERVICES

Acknowledging the need for on and off time – and that those things mean different things to different people – employ a variety of spaces and services for non-work-related activities.

03 GO NEUTRAL TO NEUTRALIZE

Companies should not only encourage rest – it can actually increase productivity – but also realize relaxation comes in many forms. Rooms for taking time out should remain neutral and flexible to best accommodate every user.

04 GATHER THE MASSES

Corporate campuses can feel sprawling and disconnected, issues that can be remedied with a central hospitality-oriented environment that feels like a town square or market..

05 BE MINDFUL WITH TECH

Consider both the positive and negative aspects of technology in relation to mental health, and ensure that its inclusion serves the desired purpose – and is only part of a larger wellbeing offering.

06 OPEN TO THE OUTSIDE

While it’s easier to foster connection within a smaller organization, building relationships with the neighbourhood beyond its doors (through events or the universal language of food, for example) can further enhance – and extend – the community.

To read our full report on Workspace Wellness, grab a copy of Frame 132.


Hero image: James Russell of
JamesPlumb says ‘the feelgood aspect and beauty of plants is multifaceted and goes without saying’. For the studio’s design of PSLab in London, plants also help to soften the concrete – visually and acoustically. Photo: Rory Gardiner