Good news! We can be happier at work

News | 6 September, 2017

Studio Banana’s partners delve into the latest trends on design and technology to support wellbeing within the workspace at Wellness and Worktech 2017 conferences.

Exploring life-changing strategies from leading wellness initiatives

A renowned elite of professionals responsible for wellness initiatives within the workplace gathered at WELLNESS17 and WORKTECH17 conferences, held in Madrid and London during the final days of Summer. Two unmissable events where we had the opportunity to reflect on challenging subjects like efficiency at work in the digital age, health, nutrition or chronic stress and burn-outs. Also on the importance of rest and sleep to find mental refresh and the need of developing a work culture that fosters exploration, discovery, happiness and belonging.

 

The power of belonging, curiosity… And sleep

These are turbulent times for work and workplaces. Turbulent but thrilling. In recent years, we have been experiencing a radical shift regarding work-life balance. We have seen it over and over. Wherever you look, the scenario prevails: we sleep less and work and commute more. Always rushing, pushing our minds and bodies to the limit. On top of that, we are also witnessing an almost compulsive obsession with efficiency: organisations want to perform optimally in a highly competitive digital market… Hopefully without leaving their employees behind. With these menacing clouds lingering on the horizon, how could we feel not just good but great at work?

Ali Ganjavian and Key Kawamura made the best of their time at stage and shared their views about the future of wellbeing at work from Studio Banana’s experience in architecture, service design and product design. McCann headquarters in Madrid were the perfect example of how space can actually shape a better work ethos by enabling new rituals and creating environments that foster a sense of belonging and wellbeing through co-design. Proof of the power of surprise and discovery was the Ernst & Young Experience Center in London, an innovation hub designed to activate curiosity while generating excitement and wonder and transforming workers into long-life learners.  On its part, OSTRICHPILLOW, the studio’s star product for power napping at work, has captivated people’s imagination and desire to sleep, proposing a new paradigm in which sleeping is welcomed and endorsed as a means to increase productivity and wellbeing.

How can we win the battle versus work

Both Wellness17 and Worktech17 were full of inspiring ideas and experiences. Still resonating in our minds are the words of Tom Savigar and Bruce Daisley, two experts in foreseeing and shaping the future of work in the digital era. Savigar, Chief Growth Officer at The Future Laboratory, set the day in motion at London with his talk about the future of wellbeing. He used design, technology and equality perspectives to examine the shift from a “Big Brother-style” monitoring in workspace to a hospitality and wellness paradigm. Good news, right?

On his part, Daisley, VP Twitter Europe, posed intriguing questions that made everyone in the room reflect playfully on issues of work, focus, commuting, food, sleep, productivity… Well, on life as a whole in general. Daisley’s message was a bold one: Work must be reinvented. We should work to win the battle versus work. Forgive the repetition, but maybe is not so much of a coincidence. It’s not for nothing that he runs a podcast about happiness at work conveniently called “Eat, sleep, work, repeat”.

Let the merry go round and overcome discontent and disengagement at the workplace. The future is bright and full of possibilities.

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