The healthy office

The importance of creating healthy spaces that support the physical and emotional well-being of workers is growing.

The health crisis has led to an increase in awareness of the importance of creating healthy workspaces, boosting all of the office users’ physical and emotional well-being through products and spaces that help improve their lifestyle and productivity.

Drivers of change

83% believe that physical health in the workplace is either very or extremely important (Source: Nelson, 2020 Return to work survey). Researchers at Harvard University have revealed that even a slight increase in long-term exposure to atmospheric pollution, whether particle matter (PM) or fine dust, can increase the risk of death by Covid-19. 

A survey carried out of 1,601 North American workers reveals that air quality, light and the capacity to personalise the workspace are all factors which impact employees’ performance, happiness and well-being, while fitness facilities and technology-based health care tools are the most trivial (Source: Harvard Business Review). 

For the new generations of workers, health is a serious topic that must be cared for across several levels, both physical and mental. And with progress being made on smashing the taboos surrounding mental illnesses, this need will only continue to grow in the near future. 34% of Generation Z feel that their anxiety is a barrier to their future success in work (Source: The Workplace Institute).

“The office can become a space containing different areas for a wide range of things, not just work. So it can also be a place for socialising or for well-being”.
Francesco Messori, Founder D/Dock Architects.

The result

Offices will be placing a greater emphasis on their workers’ health, since this is clearly one of their biggest concerns in terms of work quality indicators. Hygienic solutions which care for both employees’ physical (filtering and managing air quality, automatic doors and access control, and hand-washing stations throughout the office) and emotional health will help create environments that boost their users’ concentration. 

Concentration ability in the workplace will also be fundamental, as during the pandemic, workers have proved to be more productive at home, especially in tasks that require greater concentration. This has become a point of contention that has yet to be resolved by offices, which will only increase with more open-plan offices.

Design keys

Natural light

Access to a natural light source is an essential aspect which can be achieved by opening the space onto an atrium or patio, or even by using new lighting technologies based on circadian cycles or artificially reproducing the properties of natural light.

Connection to nature

This has become a fundamental element of offices by filling them with greenery and plants.

Meditation and concentration

This more holistic approach to wellness is obtained through the use of tools such as meditation which offer solutions not just to health-related problems, but also help boost concentration.

Healthy materials

With antibacterial and fungicidal properties, or simple products that improve and facilitate cleanliness. Practicality is key when designing workspaces.


After spending several months working from home using regular furniture, many workers have come to understand the importance of ergonomic solutions.

Case studies

The Rainbow Arches office building in Shanghai, designed by BEHIVE Architects, is also called the Oval Salon, and boasts a meditation room and a psychological consultancy office.

Ankara Aerospace Organized Industry Zone Office. Through the use of a series of green patios, the Yazgan Design Architecture studio introduces nature into this office found in Ankara, Turkey, ensuring that all corners of the office are well ventilated and receive good amounts of natural light.
This office building in Hangzhou, China, designed by GOA architecture studio, features an atrium.
Caveday is a subscription platform which hosts virtual coworking sessions, led by a host who divides the session up into bursts of concentration and meditation to maximise productivity.
Actiu products which are formaldehyde-free.