Creating offices that support everyone
4 min read time
Universal design is creating environments and offices that work for everyone. This goes beyond accessibility or disability, and aims to make spaces inclusive for all; regardless of their age, ability or status in life.
Universal design is key to supporting an ever-diversifying population. There are times that we are injured, temporarily restricted or have an issue we may not want to disclose at work. It’s about creating spaces where we don’t have to ask, but spaces that are intuitive and can be personalised and adapted to suit our needs. A great inclusive design can enhance productivity and engagement, and provides a great work experience for everyone.
A lot of organisations are very good at accommodating reasonable adjustments for staff (such as chairs or technology); whether to facilitate their return to work after an accident, or as a permanent measure for new staff. While this helps them do their work, it can actually alienate them if they’re restricted to using one desk. This means having less choice over where and how they work, compared to their colleagues.
Designing a barrier-free environment means that those people who might otherwise have challenges in spaces are no longer considered “other”. Part of the universal design concept is to take away the need to request special treatment and single anyone out as unique. Universal design allows us to provide the same user experience to everyone, whatever their situation.
Here are a few tips from our workplace consultants on how to make your office inclusive for all.