In the world of commerce, high rises have dominated the office space demand. Hence, the staircase has practically disappeared. But with the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises, many of the mid- to low-rise buildings are being occupied. And akin to this change is the revival of the office staircase. And yes, staircase design for commercial buildings, not-so-new and old, is making a comeback. But are there other benefits to having an office staircase?
The office is where much of a person’s waking hours are spent. Occupational health fundamentals show that having a well-designed workplace and ergonomic working conditions are tantamount to worker well-being. Workplace design innovations, for instance, have a direct effect on productivity and satisfaction.
One key aspect of the workplace is the staircase. Staircases that are built to support worker health as a means of exercise or some physical movement after hours of sitting down have become popular recently.
Life in the office is fast, but with the overburdening flow of work, people tend to stay longer in their seats. The idea of putting office staircases instead of elevators aims to reduce sedentary behavior among workers. If one puts the average worker to move around and go up and down the stairs between floors, it will be enough to get the blood circulating again after sitting long in front of the computer. This makes workers more alert and energized to work.
Also, staircases, especially those open designs, can increase natural light. Lighting is key in helping workers have better eye health. Another benefit is that staircases give workers a chance to connect and be more social, relieving some stress along the way. Stress from work is not good for the overall mental health, so having connecting stairs decreases the effects of pressures of office work.
Connection, Then Collaboration
With the connection that newer designs of staircases offer, it brings people closer, forms ideas, and shares them, and then collaboration begins. Working on one floor all day equates to working in a separate building. A worker would feel more isolated with this setup. In effect, their job and productivity can be affected. How would they be able to come up with ideas that matter to the company, the workplace, and their colleagues?
With connected stairs, minds become fresher, and ideas become more powerful. One can have open staircases or add strategic layouts to lead workers to each other. This can be hastened by placing different amenities per floor, so workers move about on every floor. With more movement, there will be greater opportunities to connect and collaborate.
Some designs that help workers connect are those largely connected staircases, which are able to accommodate more workers and those that directly connect to an outfitted bleacher area where workers can stop by a bit to talk. These examples are simple additions and orientations that can possibly revolutionize collaboration in the workplace. And it is achieved through a well-designed staircase.
Staircases have changed in the last century, but the structural design remains the same. It is a simple invention that can only be differed by style or material used. Even with the arrival of elevators and escalators, the value of staircases is immutable. Now, employers have found a way to take advantage of the staircase. By designing staircases according to their plans, workers are healthier and more connected.