Fresh off our visit to the Global Wellness Institute’s “Wellness in Real Estate Conference”, one of the biggest things we should be thinking about is how to design spaces for more socializing and interaction, as loneliness becomes one of the biggest impediments to wellbeing, with stress being the second. Read more to see how you can design to minimize loneliness.
A lot of the time with our commercial clients we hear that employees get along and socialize together BUT there is no actual space in the office to do this. Now that a hybrid week is pretty standard in the majority of companies, one of the main reasons people want to come into the office is to socialize. So it’s important to create spaces like cafes or lounges for people to be able to do this.
We have been removing desking in favor of some of these more social and collaborative spaces to give employees a space to be able to socialize in. In addition to this we’re seeing a lot of large conference rooms being converted to smaller 2-4 person meeting rooms for more private, intimate conversations.
If you are fully remote and feeling lonely depending on the work you do, think about working from a coffee shop for half of your day or joining a co-working space. If you can’t do either of those, focus on making plans AFTER work a couple of nights a week to ensure you’re getting out of the house and connecting with people in person is key. We also recommend starting your day with a 20-30 minute walk outside. Whether you live in the suburbs or a city, getting out of the house at the start of your day and moving will help boost your mood and get you energized for the day.
Unfortunately with remote work here to stay and the rise of online living, it’s important to make a conscious effort to stay social and not hibernate.
The first thing you can do if you’re buying a home is buy small! Yes, you heard it here. Not only do oversized homes use way too much energy, but a lot of the times rooms go unused which is bad from an energetic standpoint. Additionally, it separates family members. Whereas if you are in a smaller home where every room is being used, the home will come to life, feel full and family members will overlap and come together with ease.
In an apartment and a home, make sure that common rooms such as the kitchen, dining and living room are set up in a way so that there is space for everyone to come together comfortably and that it’s designed in a way that everyone feels happy. This will help family members want to come out of their individual rooms and come together as a family in the common spaces.
In America we tend to section-off our land with high fences to block people out. But what about removing fences so you can interact with your neighbors? Feel too exposed or need to keep the dog from running away? Think about how much more inviting a low fence you can see over is versus a high one that blocks everything out.
Lastly – create a home that you love to entertain in. This doesn’t mean keeping a perfectly neat space for the approval of others, it means creating a space that you feel proud of and that is conducive to hosting friends and family. Consider available seating, easy of serving food, and maybe keep a few decks of cards or board games on hand – and then get ready to have fun.
Like with commercial practices, we really need to get intentional about designing our spaces to make it easier to come together.
Gala Magriñá Design works with clients that understand the importance of creating a beautiful space and want to work with a no-nonsense design team that is able to clearly chart the best way forward. What separates or approach from other designers is our extensive knowledge of how people live and how best to create a customized space that nurtures that. We aim to merge cool and beautiful interiors with a holistic, mindful and intuitive approach to design that results in powerful, healthy spaces that elevate and transform people’s lives. For more information please visit www.galamagrinadesign.com.