Have Your Say … What is the Future of Wellness in the workplace?

This month Design Insider will be asking ‘What is the Future of Wellness in the workplace?’

For Clerkenwell Design Week 2018 Milliken’s Berry Street showroom became a ‘wellness zone’ in recognition of Milliken becoming a founding member of the Well Living Lab.

On Tuesday 22nd May Milliken held a panel debate ‘The Future is Well’ chaired by Jeremy Myerson (Director of WORKTECH and Chair of Design at RCA Helen Hamlyn research centre). The panellists were: Ann Marie Aguilar (Director of Operations, WELL Building Institute), Ali Ganjavian (Co-Founder, Studio Banana), Glenn Elliott (author of ‘Build It: The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement’) and Joyce Chan (Head of Sustainability, HOK) we asked each panellist about the future of wellness in the workplace, we welcome you to join the discussion by leaving your opinion in a comment at the end of the article. 

Bertie Van Wyk, Workplace Specialist, Herman Miller

‘When we feel better we work better. Implementing wellness in workplace design leads to higher staff engagement, improved knowledge sharing, cost savings and physical and mental health improvements.  We show our clients how the future workplace considers many wellness factors including physical and psychological proxemics, relationships, privacy and territoriality to create the full sought after human experience at work.’

Ruth Phillips, Designer, Morgan

‘People work well when they feel well, and as more companies adopt this ethos, we predict a continuation of the blurring boundaries between workplace and hospitality environments. Products that promote a relaxed atmosphere and collaborative approach will be increasingly important tools for helping promote this cultural shift and cultivate wellbeing in the workplace.’


Laura Pollard, Content Manager, Amtico

‘Our workplaces should be designed with the same universal wellness standards we set ourselves at home. Light and air quality, sound absorbing and hygienic materials, with colour and texture connected to nature are our future drivers of wellness – and why shouldn’t they be?’

Jonathan Hindle, Managing Director, KI Europe

‘The future of wellbeing at work will see organisations prioritising the worker experience over current metrics such as occupant density or productivity. One manifestation of this is a corporate environment that is a warmer, inviting, homely space. In the words of leading textiles designer, Natasha Marshall, “If you wouldn’t want it at home, why would you want it in your office?”‘

Mark Barrell, Design Director, Boss Design

‘Wellness is pivotal to good workplace design. Specifying furniture simply for the space available should be a thing of the past. By  introducing Habitats to new and existing spaces, specifiers will have significant freedom in designing environments that  enable collaboration and the exchange of ideas and information, through to individual focused work. Wellness will then flourish.’


Paul Callan, Managing Director, Evans Textiles

‘As we move forwards into a more increasingly digital world, the shape of wellness will grow and take form with more data-driven solutions. Employee engagement and wellbeing will be designed to be integrated so that each employee drives insights, allowing their business to react to them individually. I also think the workplace itself will become a technological hub – with internal social networks for collaboration and voice activated systems for productivity.’

Claire Williams, Strategic Business Development Director, Ocee Design

‘Wellness can be improved and supported by offering spaces for contemplation and retreat within the work landscape. Time to ourselves, to reflect and regroup is incredibly important for our wellbeing. We need to provide the physical spaces to allow people ‘time out’ so they can step back into the workspace feeling centred and productive.’


Helen Owen, Director of Business Development, Bisley

‘Our wellbeing research showed that office workers are desperate for their personal space back. So, I think the future could be about reducing distractions and encroachments and giving employees spaces they can own to help them maintain a sense of control and peace of mind.’

What do you think is the Future of Wellness in the workplace? Please let us know in the comments section below of on twitter @DesignInsider1


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
View all posts by Alys Bryan →


  • christopher radcliffe

    Wellness in the workplace must be influenced by everything else surely. Are you home alone, shared house, a family unit, with mum & dad, a flat, a house, a mobile home, is it warm, damp, light, dark, ground floor, basement, several floors up, homeless? What did you have for breakfast or not, did you grab something on the way? Lunch (dinner), dinner (tea), supper, was there alcohol involved? How much coffee, tea, water, sugary drinks do you consume? How did you sleep, was a partner involved? How did you get to your place of work? Walk, cycle, wheelchair, drive, public transport. Did you get into any arguments? How were you greeted, are you greeted? Where do you work, in an office, factory, healthcare / blue-light, hospitality, prison, retail, the forces, farming, private or public company? Do you like your boss, colleagues, do you have a boss, colleagues? Do you actually enjoy your work? If not why not? I’m sure a plant would help, a holiday, someone to say hi how are you doing. The future of wellness is in your hands, mind. Make a change in you routine. Take a chance…..

    • Kate Nannery

      Totally agree that overall well-being is down to the person.
      It seems that businesses and workplaces are beginning to take mental health more seriously these days and have started to think about it when designing work environments!
      A step in the right direction!

  • Jorge Lamadrid, WELL AP

    The Future of Wellness in the workplace will improve a lot with our new WELL v2!

    We need both broad experience and deep knowledge, not just deep expertise in order to be happy & healthy.

    Peru is not Canada, Spain is not Dubai… so a balance will be met culturally.