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3 Design Trends for Workplace Wellness

In a world transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, employee health and workplace wellness are getting more attention than ever. According to a 2021 study by McKinsey & Company, one in three workers said returning to in-office work negatively impacted their mental health. With such a high number of employees preferring to work from home, companies are challenged to design spaces with their employees’ health and wellness needs in mind. In order for workers to return to the office, companies need spaces that boost productivity and aid in well-being. 

The trend of designing for workplace wellness is a popular one. It can also feel overwhelming. We’ve done the research for you, though, and have additional resources if you want to dig deeper. 

Pattern Message on window film

Top Three Trends in Workplace Wellness

Ergonomic Design 

Ergonomic design focuses on creating a workplace environment that is both comfortable and promotes productivity. This principle puts the user at the center of the design. Designers are achieving this in a variety of ways, such as height-adjustable desks, better desk chairs, and computer stations raised to eye level. But ergonomic design can exist beyond product choices as well. It can include a workplace layout that allows for more community connection, including lower cubicle walls or communal workspaces that encourage employees to socialize and work collaboratively. 

Biophilic Design

We’ve talked a lot about biophilic design at Design Pool recently (check out our article, Biophilic Design and Nature’s Health Benefits, for more information on this topic). Biophilic design puts nature at the forefront of design choices. Some common ways to achieve biophilic design include incorporating indoor plants, access to natural light, water features, access to fresh air, and designing with natural colors and materials. Engaging with nature is proven to have positive effects on both our physical and mental health. Tapping into nature’s potential in your office design can be a great way to boost employee well-being. 

Pattern Walk in the Woods as wallcovering

Incorporating Art and Audio

Last on our list is incorporating art and audio. These are two design areas often put on the back burner yet have a tremendous effect on workplace wellness. By intentionally using art in the workspace, designers can create a sense of community and culture that is reflective of the workplace. The type of art you choose can vary, from decorative to functional, but no matter the choice, art can help bring meaning to the workplace. Immersive audio is a trend on the rise as well. Noise in the workplace can be distracting for workers. Creating a three-dimensional sound experience through the use of music, ambient sound, or even quiet space reduces stress and boosts productivity. It’s an especially helpful design tool in collaborative work environments. 

Get started incorporating these trends into your projects today by searching our licensable library for the perfect pattern for your project. Whether you’re looking to use them on acoustic materials, wallcovering, or upholstery, it’s easy to use any pattern on any material you need.

Additional Reading 

Looking to learn more? Check out some of the resources we found researching this article.

Biophilic Design and Nature’s Health Benefits – Emma Becker, Design Pool Blog 
5 Ways Immersive Audio Can Boost Workplace Wellness and Productivity – Emma Ascott, Work Design Magazine 
2023 Trends: A Well Being Approach vs A Wellness Program – Rachel Howren, Work Design Magazine 
The Role of Art in Workplace Health and Wellness – Martha Weidman, Work Design Magazine 

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Emma Becker

Emma Becker is a teaching artist and arts administrator working in the state of Rhode Island. She believes art, creativity, and self-expression are essential parts of education. The daughter of a weaver, she grew up surrounded by textiles and developed a deep respect for textiles and their makers.


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