How to create an Office Wellbeing Room
When I was asked by my colleagues to design and create a Wellbeing Room at our offices, I jumped at the chance. A wonderfully rewarding opportunity to combine 2 of my favourite and most passionate subjects, Interiors and Mental Health.
I was tasked with creating a safe and calm space for anyone suffering from any mental health issues however big or small and with the help of some of my wonderful followers and colleagues I created what you see here.
When I initially carried out some research online I didn’t find a great deal (perhaps I wasn’t looking in the right places!) so I decided to put this blog together as a guide to help anyone who might be looking to create something similar in your office/workplace or perhaps even in your own home.
So my first port of call was to sit down with my colleagues and get their thoughts on what they’d like to see in the room. I then asked my Instagram followers the same question and boy did they come up trump.
I had a huge list of fantastic ideas! Here they are in no particular order.
- Natural tones and lots of texture
- This suggestion came from several people and it was possibly my favourite. I had this in mind throughout and ensured that I added as many natural tones and textures to the room as I could.
- Indoor plants are known to offer improved mental and physical wellbeing. They help to improve the air quality around us by trapping and capturing pollutants which in turn helps us to breathe more easily. As well as this, research has revealed that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance productivity.
- There are lots of colours that are known to help influence our mental wellbeing. Orange is said to be the colour of happiness and can help to improve our mood and alertness.
With this in mind I chose an earthy orange/gold for the feature wall of the room, called Sudbury Yellow by Farrow and Ball.
- Natural Light
- If possible, choose a room in your office with lots of natural light. Natural light boosts your body’s vitamin D and in turn helps to boost your mood and make you feel more motivated. In some offices natural light isn’t an option and if this is the case choose warm bulbs for your lights that don’t shine directly at people.
- I wanted the room to feel more like someone’s lounge. A space that didn’t feel like you were in the office. Using table and floor lamps helps to create a more relaxed and homely feel.
Even if the room is basking in natural light you will need some softer lighting during the winter months as the nights draw in.
I found this wonderful floor and table lamp over at @iconic lights. The *lattice floor lamp with LED lights is a perfect combination of a natural material mixed with a soft and calming light effect. Again the *copper shade of the table lamp was a way to incorporate more natural materials into the room.
I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve had on theses lamps from my colleagues! They love them as much as I do and some have already bought them for their own homes. Praise indeed!
- Position of the room
- If you have the option, choose a room that is tucked away. Those that need to take sanctuary in the Wellbeing room may be put off using the room if they have to walk past a whole office of people first.
- Frosted glass or blinds
- Privacy is key in a Wellbeing room. If you have the budget frosted glass or blinds is essential. Again you colleagues may not feel comfortable using the room if it doesn’t provide privacy.
- Reading material
- Reading is proven to reduce stress and increase relaxation. Providing lots of books in the room that people can dip into is a great way to help people find calm and take their mind off things.
- Relaxing Activities & Toys
- As well as reading material you could also provide some activities to further help colleagues take their minds off their thoughts. Puzzles, Rubix Cubes, Lego, plasticine, stress balls and my favourite, adult colouring books which are a great mindfulness activity, helping you to focus on the present. (Don’t forget the pencils!)
- There are a few options to consider here. In the photos you will see an electric scented Aroma Diffuser. Just a word of warning, not all fire alarm systems will work with one of these as they give off a vapour which can activate some smoke detectors! The alternative would be to use a reed diffuser containing essential oils. You can actually make these at home too! Click here to find out how. There are lots of oils you can use. Click here to read about the best essential oils and their benefits.
- Incorporating Textures with furniture
- I created texture in the room by adding a corded fabric sofa from Wayfair.co.uk. This is the Skandar Corner sofa in coffee. They are really comfortable and supportive at the same time.
I also added a flatwoven rug for texture on the floor too. This rug is the Lohals Rug (160cm x 230cm) from Ikea.
- Phone line
- If you can, try to provide an outside phone line and phone in the room so in a moment of need a colleague can call any helpline they may need. Be sure to provide a list of useful helplines in the room. You can find these on the NHS Website by clicking this link.
- List of Wellbeing and Mental Health apps
- There are lots of great apps available now. The Mental Health Charity Mind have a great list that you can print and put in the room. Click here for the link.
- A box of tissues in the room is essential.
- A nice touch is to provide a little mirror for those using the room for use after any tearful moments.
- Bottles of water or even a water machine in the room.
- Engaged/Vacant sign
- Initially we thought about putting a lock on the door but after lots of discussion we decided a simple engaged/vacant sign would be a much better idea.
- Yoga mat
- Many find yoga/pilates based exercise improves mental health and wellbeing so providing a yoga mat in the room will allow those who need it, to practice.
Our Wellbeing room has been open for nearly a week now and the feedback we have had from colleagues in the offices has been overwhelming.
If you have any further ideas on anything you think we should add, please do comment below as I’d love to hear them.
*Signifies a gifted item