Why are games and wellness areas on the rise post-Covid?
There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed our working lives – probably forever in fact – and as we imagine what our offices of the future will look like, it seems inevitable that the landscape will change significantly. The focus has shifted, most of us have been working productively from home and employers are now looking at what services the office needs to provide to support an agile workforce. Companies are keen to encourage an emerging cultural change and offer spaces that support collaboration as well as concentration and more interestingly ensure that employees health and wellbeing are properly looked after.
Games and wellness areas offer relaxation spaces that support mental health, often by providing environments for socialising – something sadly lacking in our lives over recent times. Games areas that include table tennis tables, table football, pool and – where space permits – mini golf are all making an appearance as employers endeavour to help their employees to de-stress and enjoy being at work. In addition, quiet spaces where staff can settle down to work independently but less formally, escape to read a book or listen to music, or even just relax and chat over a coffee, are now viewed as essential.
Plato once stated that ‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation’, so games areas have a number of benefits, which include:
Coming together to play is a great way of building relationships and encouraging collaboration. Friendly competition between team members or departments can bring people out of their shells and engender a feeling of togetherness by breaking down barriers and removing inhibitions.
Having a games area can also stimulate creative thinking and problem solving, allowing staff to return to their desks ready to collaborate and innovate.
Attraction and retention
Providing entertainment in the form of games is also an effective method for attracting and retaining the demographic of staff that really fits your business. Moreover, the ethos and philosophy of your company can be communicated effectively in the layout and design of your office space, and a games area can make a real statement as to your approach to work and staff welfare.
Energy and productivity
Now, more than ever, your people need to take regular breaks, especially as the bulk of most working days in the office is spent sitting at a desk in front of a monitor. Escaping to a games area for a game or two can raise energy levels and increase productivity when work re-commences. Research has shown that staff are at their most productive when they achieve a healthy balance between work and play.
UK job review website, Glassdoor, reports that around six in ten employees now place a greater emphasis on perks that relate to physical and mental wellbeing, while almost 90% would be more likely to apply for a job with a company that genuinely takes care of its staff. Such perks might include things such as apps, private healthcare and access to online therapy, as well as dedicated games and wellness areas.
For Carol Chinn, design partner at The Workspace Consultants, this appetite for feeling looked after is likely to stimulate demand for games and wellness areas in the future. ‘There’s no doubt that office design has changed during the pandemic, with clients looking to set aside space for games and wellness areas for those members of staff who are coming in to the office,’ comments Carol. ‘Our perception is that it’s the companies who abandon conventional approaches to a traditional office layout and embrace this development that will attract and retain the best candidates. Not only that, a thoughtfully-designed games area can have a significant effect not just on the overall wellbeing of your employees but also, in return, on their productivity and creative thinking, so it’s a win:win scenario.’
Get in touch
The Workspace Consultants specialise in office design and project management in Cambridge and London, so if you’d like to incorporate a games and wellness area into your office space, contact us today for an initial discussion.