The health, well-being, and success of a business is reliant on that of its employees. Each day spent at work is a new opportunity for employees to reap the personal, social and health benefits of an environment that fosters a culture of positivity, wellness and creativity. The work atmosphere that we are immersed in each day spills out into so many aspects of our lives, both during work hours and off the clock. With our office design and collective mindset playing a key role in employee satisfaction, we’ve custom-tailored our office to nurture creativity, encourage collaboration, promote health and wellness and cultivate a deep sense of community.
At Bowen, improving ourselves in the community begins with improving our workplace culture. For this reason, the importance of maintaining a healthy, creative, inspiring and productive workplace environment cannot be overlooked or underestimated. It is no secret that health-promoting initiatives, stress-relieving activities, and a connection-centered climate goes hand-in-hand with the successful outcomes of work produced. In a 2018 Workplace Happiness Report, 39% of workers stated that they work harder when they are happy in their current role or place of work.
Beyond simply boosting company morale, internal efforts and initiatives are vital for improving the creativity, collaboration, and quality of work produced. Strong, successful workplace design can increase engagement, drive productivity and encourage employees to go the extra mile in the workplace, feeling like a truly valued member of an uplifting movement.
The Bowen office is an open and positive one, uniquely and intentionally designed for creativity and inspiration. Our workspace has a cubicle-free layout, where collaboration flows naturally. The employees who make up our team are great alone, and better together. With this in mind, we’re encouraged to share input and feedback, jot down our tasks and ideas on the whiteboard and work together in one of our various creative spaces best suited to help improve workflow and productivity. For a change of pace, we have comfortable couches, beanbag chairs, and a communal table perfect for synergistic collaboration.
In promoting a workforce wellness initiative, we’ve recently replaced every single standard work desk in our office with Varidesk standing desks. A newly conducted year-long study revealed that adjustable standing desks lead to improved workplace concentration, increased productivity and improved health.
In response to the many benefits of the implementation of the standing desk in the workplace, Lynne Sulivan, director of Steelcase Wellbeing consulting said that “The health of any organization is dependent on the wellbeing of its most important asset - its employees. This study proves that adjustable workstations are an essential part of a workplace that considers the physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing of its people.”
Along with our extensive herbal tea, espresso, and coffee selection, each week a delicious assortment of healthy snacks are replenished for brain food. When the foliage is outstanding and the weather is warm, our team gets together for Bowen in the Park days, where everyone disconnects from their devices to reconnect with one another outside of the office and forge meaningful relationships in new surroundings.
Our team keeps the workplace exciting with seasonal activities, most recently pumpkin painting.
And we recognize and champion one another’s success each time a coworker does an outstanding job by gifting points on Bonusly.
The famed pool table is an office staple, surrounded by high-top chairs where everyone can blow off steam every now and then, take part in a little friendly competition and play pool during their breaks. On our coffee table, we have books on art, photography, delicious recipes and plenty of colored pencils and art supplies to get everyone’s creative juices flowing.
Everyone is encouraged to connect to Sonos, turn on their favorite playlists and contribute to the ongoing, multilingual office soundtrack each day, keeping a refreshing and energetic workflow. We also encourage one another to download Chrome extensions for daily inspiration and ease of accessibility. Some of our developers utilize extensions such as Eye Protector that places filters over certain colors for an easier viewing experience, while our designers insist on keeping Muzli as their home screen for daily design inspiration and others choose Momentum to experience a beautiful new part of the world and motivational quote each day of the week.
In a 2018 global study conducted by Aruba, employees reported that working in digital workplaces where new workplace technologies are in widespread use were 51% more likely to have strong job satisfaction, 43% more likely to be positive about their work-life balance, 60% more likely to say they are motivated at work, and 91% more likely to praise their company’s vision.
Internal workplace design contributes greatly to the motivation, engagement, and inspiration of those within it. In a Corporate Executive Board study cited in Scott Snell’s “Managing Human Resources” textbook, he noted that engaged workers create a 20 percent increase in productivity and are nearly 90 percent more likely to stay with their employer.
A positive, driven and high-performance mindset is contagious in the workplace. Aaron Shmookler, the co-founder of TheYesWorks, believes strongly in the impact and influence of hardworking employees on their team. “It’s easy to get up, put in the work, and push for greatness when you’re surrounded by others doing likewise.”
While we know that no one is immune to stress, creating a healthy work environment can help to significantly manage and reduce stress for employees on a daily basis. As scientists have researched and recognized the innate human desire to connect with nature, our office has been enhanced with natural plants throughout the space for this very reason. On a granular level, studies have shown that plants have stress-reducing and relieving benefits in addition to increased health benefits.
With that in mind, our workspace now includes an array of tall, thriving plants throughout the office. With studies proving that simply seeing plants each day could increase employee productivity, memory retention and attention span, we even purchased small ceramic planters for desktop succulents and ferns. In a study conducted by Dr. Craig Knight from the University of Exeter, he found that introducing a variety of plants into multiple offices had a profound impact on those within the office ecosystems. “We found that when people put plants or any other form of enrichment into a workspace, they felt better and performed better, like any other animal. When you said to these people, ‘Why don’t you develop the space as you see fit,’ they performed best of all there.”
Placing an emphasis on workplace culture is a movement that we are proud to be part of, as it is crucial not only to the success of our company but to our employees who comprise it. At Bowen, we live and breathe our core values every single day both and out of the workplace. Attention to detail, passion, courage, and care guides our team and pushes us to be better tomorrow than we were today. We use Slack messaging to communicate with one another, share our daily progress and spread design inspiration. On the importance of adopting an environment of care, Slack’s founder, Steward Butterfield once said -
“One of our values is that you should be looking out for each other. Everyone should try to make the lives of everyone who works here a little bit simpler.”