Alternative Office Spaces May Lead to Healthier and More Inspired Employees

It’s no secret that many office workers dread an eight-hour day in the cubicle – these stark, gray enclosures don’t exactly foster creativity. Luckily, over the last several years, more and more employers have been switching up their office environments to include some innovative designs and ideas.

According to Samantha Zupan, a spokesperson for the Glassdoor company, which helps connect companies and employees: “Creating a cool office space can and should reflect a company’s culture. It can be a sense of pride for employees and an attractive selling point to recruits. Depending on how you design the workplace, it can offer a host of benefits.”

One of our favorite office space ideas is the new trend of “treadmill desks.” Some companies, heeding the swarm of information as to how a sedentary lifestyle is destroying this country’s health, are installing full workstations, including a computer, phone and other office equipment, at eye level with a treadmill, so that workers can walk at their desired pace as they work.

These treadmill workstations may also be set up in conference rooms and other company gathering places. There are so many benefits to this idea: not only does it prevent the restlessness and backaches that come from sitting in an office chair all day, employees also get their daily exercise while they are at work.

Another option that some businesses across the country are taking advantage of is working in the great outdoors. Some employers hold meetings in parks, or even host walking meetings and conferences.

There are also companies taking advantage of the increased desire to work outdoors, and renting out poolside spaces for workers to gather or work individually when telecommuting.

Some employers have really incorporated the element of play and downtime into their office routine. Google employees can shoot down a slide when descending floors, and the Infosys office includes a bowling alley.

Box, a company based in California, has large swings in their meeting room where workers can meet with clients or gather to discuss day to day strategies. Other employers choose to rent out meeting rooms or office spaces on ships, or even submarines, to take the work environment to a whole new level.

The options for freelancers and other self-employed or telecommuting individuals have also gotten sweeter. In many larger cities, WiFi is available in public parks so that these workers are not stuck at home or in a crowded cafe.

Coworking establishments, which are shared office environments for people from different organizations to share a space, are growing in popularity. Some of these spaces are even established on the beach.

Outdoor conferenceEnjoying one of these alternative office spaces brings some of the humanity back to work, as people are able to move around, enjoy the fresh air, or even play for a while at the office.

If you don’t work at one of these places, don’t fear. The trend is catching on and spreading quickly. We may see a lot of corporations adopting these or similar ideas in the next few years.

-The Alternative Daily


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