Designing for staff rooms

Designing for staff rooms

Staff rooms

Staff rooms are social areas and meeting spaces. Staff rooms offer an opportunity to enhance staff resilience while maintaining staff efficiency.

While in the past, staff meeting rooms have been strictly functional areas for staff work-related meetings, consider the opportunity to create a hybrid space in which staff can meet and share information but within a more casual, restorative context.

Making a few of the changes existing staff meeting rooms offers an opportunity to enhance staff resilience while maintaining staff efficiency.

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Design considerations

There are several design considerations for designing staff rooms:

Bring in elements of nature to reduce staff stress in meeting rooms

  • Nature scene artworks can offer a pleasant visual break for staff.
  • Incorporating a variety of real or artificial plants, or even using an existing monitor to cycle through still images of nature, also can achieve the goal.
  • Sounds of nature (recordings played through speakers) can reduce staff anxiety.

User control: A sense of control is especially important when staff are in high workload conditions with little autonomy or control over the situation.

  • Allow staff control over rearranging the furnishings within the meeting space to support a range of interactions from formal meetings to casual interactions.
  • Apps or direct controls to manage the type of sound and sound level, can help staff align the ambient environment to the activity at hand.
  • Table or floor lamps throughout the space not only allow staff control over their illumination level but also provides a more welcoming, home living room-type of setting.
  • A flat-screen monitor can be used to enhance user control over work-life balance: to easily bring in virtual team members during a staff meeting, display yoga sessions for small groups, to streaming a favorite show to guided relaxation/meditation or one-on-one counseling for emotional support.
  • Access to power and data connectivity built into the main conference table improve work process and reduce ergonomic risk.
  • A credenza stores supplies, supporting work process.
  • Scalable, freestanding walls can be designed to offer control over visual and acoustic privacy
  • Integrated, movable whiteboards provide caregivers with the chance to share ideas across shifts
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Access to social support: The space can be flexible, creating areas that enabling staff to access the family and friends support structure so vital to their health.

  • The space can be divided through a few high-backed seating options, free-standing panels, or even positioning the furniture within the room differently. These techniques can turn part of a meeting room into one that supports calls or video chats with family.
  • When those types of arrangements are not needed, the space can easily flex back into a typical meeting or social space, promoting collaboration and camaraderie among workers.
Flexible spaces free us from being locked into permanent situations and fosters our ability to adapt to whatever lies around the corner. It’s important that we set up spaces to respond to the changes of the world. These solutions can create compelling settings for the organization to be successful and allow their most valuable asset, their people, to thrive.
- Dr. Mike O'Neill

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