In a world where the dynamics of workspaces are constantly evolving, the significance of mental and physical wellness at the workplace has emerged as a vital consideration. Vipul Tapke – CEO and Chief Architect – JTCPL Designs and Sibani Sarma engage in a captivating conversation, delving into the intricate relationship between workplace design and the well-being of employees. The video of this conversation, as Vipul and Sibani walk through a captivating space that Vipul’s studio designed, is coming soon. Watch this space.
This is from a series of conversations titled ‘Reframe’, presented by Bristol Furniture, that explores various facets of a shift in organisations thinking towards becoming employee centric from decades of being employer centricity. There are various facets of being employee centric and Reframe, through each episode, captures some of these. Reframe is about looking at employees as the fulcrum of an organisation’s growth.
Fostering Psychological Safety Through Design: Vipul and Sibani highlight the growing buzz around psychological safety at the workplace. They emphasize that beyond just aesthetic appeal, a workplace needs to ensure that employees feel comfortable and psychologically secure. This notion has prompted designers to rethink their approach and consider design elements that nurture emotional and mental well-being.
Design Considerations for Psychological Safety: When questioned about the design considerations that contribute to psychological safety, Vipul provides insights into several key factors. He underscores the importance of harnessing natural light, as it not only enhances the visual appeal but also positively affects employees’ moods. Incorporating biophilic elements, such as natural plants and materials, further strengthens the connection to nature and boosts well-being. Acoustics also play a pivotal role in maintaining a peaceful and focused environment, which indirectly contributes to psychological safety.
The Magic of Transparency and Inclusivity: Sibani brings up the concept of transparency in workplace design, suggesting that it goes beyond just a behavioral aspect. Transparent spaces, with ample use of glass, enable employees to connect with leadership in an informal manner. This approach not only creates a collaborative environment but also enhances inclusivity and diversity by making everyone feel valued and engaged.
Physical Activity and Wellness: Addressing the challenge of promoting physical activity in smaller office spaces, Vipul suggests the use of height-adjustable workstations. This approach encourages employees to switch between sitting and standing while working, promoting a healthier lifestyle. Collaborative spaces with comfortable lounges and entertainment options, like large screens for sports events, also make the office an attractive place to be, even on weekends.
Balancing Work and Self-Development: Vipul and Sibani discuss how some offices encourage self-development through reading sessions and knowledge sharing. Such initiatives not only enhance personal growth but also foster a sense of teamwork and camaraderie among employees.
Conclusion: In their engaging conversation, Vipul and Sibani shed light on the profound impact that workplace design can have on the mental and physical well-being of employees. Their discussion underscores the importance of considering various aspects, such as natural light, biophilia, acoustics, transparency, and inclusivity, while designing workspaces. By incorporating these elements, designers can contribute to creating environments that not only enhance productivity but also promote a sense of belonging, psychological safety, and overall well-being among employees.
Watch other videos from the Reframe series here.