How will all this impact the corporate office? The short answer is that it will demand a new iteration of workplace wellness and design, an approach that already is taking place in office environments today. Many workplaces today feature coworking spaces and open office environments to encourage collaboration. While these spaces foster teamwork and inspire creativity, research shows that employees in open office environments lose on average 86 minutes a day to distraction. In order to get the most out of their collaboration spaces, employers will also need to create designated places within the office that mitigate distraction and promote invigoration. Think indoor gardens that promote reflection; sensory deprivation tanks to rebalance and re-center; and meditation rooms equipped with virtual reality to promote relaxation by virtually transporting employees from an office to their chosen oasis. With stress and overstimulation costing U.S. employers up to $300 billion a year, healthcare advancements will enable people – and companies – to focus on health and wellness at the core of an office design. Technology integration can be costly, but the proof is in the pudding: for every dollar an employer invests in its employee’s health, it saves $6 in medical and absenteeism costs, making the office environment a strategic tool for business success.
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