Engage employees through the way you design your space

designing space for you mental health

“Spaces are manifestations of your feelings.”

It was a line delivered by Mary Rellin, our ex-architecture student, now project manager here at The Team.

In the past, we’ve written about the design of workspaces and even provided advice and design support to clients like NS&I and NatWest. This week, at one of our Learning at Work Week skills sessions, Mary shared more insights on how to design better space.

And so, what are the simple ways in which you can think about space, at work and at home?

When you think about space, it is surprising how little diversity we factor in.

Chairs and tables tend to be design to standard heights and width as if we are all the same. We’re not. And that difference deserves recognition.

It is only when you start to think about space in terms of how you need to feel and create a narrative arc for yourself that you can start to design space.

A photographer will need a different space to a coder who will in turn need a different space to a chemist.

Libraries are deliberately quiet spaces. Nightclubs are not. We’re being flippant here, but you take the point.

The question is, what is the narrative arc for your business or your home.

It is helpful to remember three different considerations:


How does the space need to feel? As the school of the Bauhaus taught us, form should follow function. But going further, how does feeling inform function?

Do you need to feel inspired, relaxed, energised, safe?

At times you’ll need all of this, so how will you design it into your space?

Spatial sequencing

What should the journey through your spaces feel like?

What transitions do you need to see happen. For example, if you are entering or leaving a workspace, what messages do you want to leave people with?

Similarly, in your home space, where so many of us now work, how can you design separation from your work and your living space? How can you ensure that the bedroom is not the workspace?

Even if it involves the simple use of a curtain to visually separate the bed from the home office, does this help you transition out of one mental space and into another.

Escape spaces

We all need a safe space to go to. This needs to be designed into the work and home space. It’s the place where you are not surrounded by screens or speakers.

We see around 100 adverts a day and receive around 120 emails a day.

That’s a lot of distraction. So it is not surprising that we need to go for a walk every now and then, or find a space to just read a book, or chat to colleagues.

Escape spaces need to be built into your environment, if not for your own mental health, then for productivity’s sake. Yes, productivity. Because it is proven that the stronger your workforce when it comes to mental health, the more productive they are.

Here are just three simple tools to consider. There are more. Call us if you want to chat further about how we help people connect more with brands and businesses.