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Wellbeing Across Work Settings

On September 16, 2020, Pophouse was honored to present at a webinar in partnership with the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan. Our team participated in a dialogue that was titled “Wellbeing Across Work Settings” in which we were able to share recent strategy and design work that had been completed along with concepts of wellbeing and how to make considerations for these no matter where you find yourself completing work. While the future is uncertain and timelines in constant flux, one of the things that have become apparent is that the ability to work effectively in a spectrum of work environments will be important. Whether your team is onsite or in a remote setup, giving thought to aligning functional and healthy circumstances despite the physical presence will go a long way in promoting successful outcomes for your organization. 

During the presentation, we shared 5 components of wellbeing that serve as important facets of an individual’s experience and how to give thought to supporting these across all modes of work to cultivate a thriving platform for all. The 5 components we shared were: Inspiration, Empowerment, Connection, Awareness, and Innovation. Our premise is that positively maximizing these would cultivate effective practices and investment in the team.

  • Date October 2020
  • Written by Sarah Davis, BI Account Director
  • Topic Partnerships, Strategy
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Inspiration

No matter what work setting an individual is in, feeling inspired and positively stimulated creates a space for an individual to be their best cognitively. Dynamic environments with subtle changes are conducive to creativity. Fresh, bold thinking can lead to new concepts which in today’s changing business world are so critical while also keeping individuals dialed in and engaged with the content they are building. 

Some interior design tips to consider in work environments to maximize inspiration are to flex the physical components in a space and make the landscape more energetic. The inclusion of artwork and small touches such as fresh flowers will expose you to novel stimuli or a combination of elements you haven’t seen before. The ability to engage in soft fascination allows a person to tap into restorative thinking cycles and is often experienced through exposure to biophilia. Additionally, according to research studies, a cluttered space can cause stress and anxiety, inhibiting the ability to focus and process information so tidying up can also go a long way.

Empowerment

One of the positive outcomes from this pandemic has revolved around the increased ability to be flexible and control your own schedule and work-style setting. This idea of empowerment enables happier and more proficient team members. Remaining adaptable and empathetic during this time by allowing individuals the ability to manage schedules and life differently is crucial. With all of us dealing with the traumatic stress of this time, organizations and leaders that are mindful of team member challenges can help offer support and creative solutions to be as adaptable as possible.

Connection

When we think about connecting onsite we see those casual interactions happening organically as natural collisions throughout the office. The reflection is to be able to consider how these are incorporated into the routine when peers may not be physically present with each other. The ability to extend to the organization a sense of belonging and inclusion and maintain that throughout the shift between work settings is challenging but will be a critical element to cultivating a thriving team. One of the types of interactions most noticeably impacted due to remote work is those casual encounters around the office. These lead to not only strengthening professional relationships but can also lead to tying threads with work leading to efficiencies and stronger business outcomes. Encouraging your team to find time to catch up about non-work topics can create synergies that maintain these established bonds, leading individuals to feel a part of the group while emphasizing the culture at the same time.

Awareness

Communication has always been important and right now, it’s a priority. Take the time to consider how your organization is keeping individuals in the know on all topics. Overcommunicate and be transparent that the company is working to figure things out and may try a few things and work together as a team to get it right. Don’t assume that the message is well-known amongst the team as people are not overhearing conversations around the office as they may have before. Bringing clarity and being open to dialogue will create positive feelings and gratitude. This can be a highly emotional time, so just as important to communicate is being thoughtful of the message delivery and rethinking how we show up for each other. 

Innovation

Innovation is the true heartbeat of a growing organization. The influx of new ideas is ever more important in a place where there are many uncertainties. Allowing time for free-flowing, ideation sessions builds group think, cohesion, teamwork and brings big ideas to the table. Named as one of the most in-demand skills in recent years, creativity, the ability to think differently, pivot quickly, and adapt will be more in demand than ever as our world shifts unpredictably into the future. As the writer Natalie Nixon describes, creativity is the engine of innovation. Creativity and innovation are inextricably linked. Innovation will be the vehicle to take your team forward, create opportunities, and promote your organization as a thought leaders in the industry.

Creativity and innovation are inextricably linked. Innovation will be the vehicle to take your team forward, create opportunities, and promote your organization as thought leaders in the industry.

In physical space, think about how your physical space brings people together and how that can emphasize innovation. Do teams have the space to break out and brainstorm together in a way that is inclusive to all?  Does the variety of spaces you have built consider different learning and work styles for all individuals? Do your spaces have a mixture of analog and digital solutions to support all modes of dialogue? Can you include remote individuals easily into the onsite conversations? These are a few questions for your organization to consider with your workspace experience. In the virtual space, think about the interactions that take place: do you have the right collaboration solutions in place for people to come together? What office design components are needed for teams to be able to facilitate these rituals in a virtual forum?  

By thinking through these critical elements of wellbeing no matter where your team may physically be, you can amplify advantageous work environments that are inclusive for all. No matter where you start the conversation with your team, the important thing is to have it. Opening up lines of communication and having an authentic dialogue about what is working for your team will surely be a worthy investment.

If you have questions about anything you have read here or would like to speak further about your company’s future workspace, please reach out to bizdev@pophouse.design

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