Relaxation areas, nap rooms, colourful offices and coffee machines worthy of a bistro testify to the fact that companies are attaching more and more importance to employees’ well-being.
After the Week for quality of life at work, an event that was held throughout France between 13 and 17 June, let’s revisit the inspiring solutions that prove that it is possible to be happy and fulfilled while you work!
“Companies take employees’ well-being increasingly into account,” says Alain D’Iribarne, an industrial sociologist at the CNRS, the national centre for scientific research. Contrary to the sometimes gloomy scenarios concocted in certain science fiction films, the fulfilled employee who is happy in his or her company is an increasingly common species that is rapidly spreading.
No one can be nostalgic for the drab offices of the past when new offices are painted red, green or orange. From meeting rooms to open-plan offices, every space is bursting with colour so as to stimulate the staff’s creativity and well-being. It’s more than just a question of appearance – colours at the workplace have a real impact in terms of productivity and creativity.
To combine work and fun, companies are increasingly providing relaxation areas that lend themselves to recreational activities. A game of foosball and a ping-pong table are practically inevitable in every startup. On the premises of Facebook an d Deezer, as well at GA Paris, colourful, playful open spaces are proliferating.
To take relaxation even further, nap rooms are starting to appear in companies. Taking a quick nap after the lunch break is no longer considered a practice to be ashamed of — on the contrary, naps are recognized as having many benefits. In a bamboo space with subdued lighting or in a futuristic cocoon, napping reduces stress and improves employees’ health and creativity. And as Emmanuelle Duez says, “My bed can also be a working space!”
The coffee machine too has had a makeover. Gone are yesterday’s tasteless beverages in plastic cups – more and more companies now provide employees and well as customers with high-quality espresso, mocha and, macchiato! The coffee break is a time to relax and socialize which creates closely-knit teams and facilitates the flow of information. Companies that care about the quality of their coffee are on a roll, and some, like DDB, have gone so far as to turn their reception lobby into real cafés.
For people who are fed up with big cities and commutes, the latest trend is to go green. What if we worked more efficiently in the countryside surrounded by nature? The presence of plants in the workplace has a positive impact on employees’ moods, and some companies decide to immerse themselves in nature for the duration of a seminar or to organize certain projects during company retreats. From a fully equipped caravan in the middle of the woods to a mobile office on a catamaran in the Caribbean, nomadic, connected workers are spoilt for choice when it comes to breaking with everyday routine and innovating in the great outdoors.
Why miss out?