One thing Maris designer, Cait, is passionate about is how design in work and education spaces can help drive inclusivity in the workplace.
We’re all much more familiar today with ways in which digitisation has changed the way we communicate, work and function. However, the environments we can design, along with our knowledge of neurodiversity, mental health and physical wellbeing are also a game changing opportunity for all businesses to engage with and optimise top talent.
Cait says: “When we’re designing workspaces and education environments, we have to appreciate that there are multiple user types. For me, it’s all about thinking about people – that’s the most important thing about the entire job – how are they going to use a space, feel in it, function in it? It’s easy to get carried away and create a beautiful space but if it doesn’t work, what’s the point?”
Better space for better experiences
We now live in a world where we’re increasingly aware that different people think, work and operate in different ways. Introverts, extroverts, neurodivergent and neurotypical are all terms that are becoming better understood for their merits. So too are other individual needs when it comes to health, wellbeing and abilities, whether it relates to menopause, motherhood, vision impairments or other physical disabilities.
As a society we recognise that everybody has different needs, from those of us who work best in quiet spaces to those of us who need the buzz of a collaborative environment, those who need bright light, and those who have sensitivity to it. Aside from being ethical, creating the right environment to accommodate those different needs is not an imposition for businesses, but an opportunity to help individuals improve their productivity, happiness and contribution to the workplace by maximising their potential and wellness.
Attracting top talent
As well as individual needs, different jobs necessitate different working environments, as do varying life stages. If employers want to attract top talent into the workplace, we have to create spaces in which people can function at their best.
As a case in point, it’s widely reported that 10% of women leave the workforce due to menopause symptoms, and one in four consider leaving because the environment isn’t conducive to what they’re going through. These are women who are most likely at the top of their game, with the most knowledge and insight to do the job and mentor up and comers within the business.
Cait says: “This was one of the things I loved the most about working on the project with ID Business Solutions (IDBS) – they wanted to attract all talent, no matter who they were, irrespective of any physical impairment. The space had to be accessible so they could attract the best candidates without impediment, which made it a really joyful project to work on.”