Firm designs wellbeing into new office

A major firm has unveiled a new workspace, which aims to foster employee wellbeing and limit anxiety.

More than 500 Minter Ellison staff relocated to the top eight floors of Governor Macquarie Tower and now occupy an office space specifically designed to maintain good mental health.

Having only moved in yesterday, partner and innovation and networks leader, Andrew Cunningham, said he has already noticed a change in the energy at the firm and said that people are starting to embrace moving around the office more frequently.

Like many firms, Minter Ellison has had programs designed to promote wellbeing for years, but with the move to a new office space, Cunningham said the firm wanted to make wellbeing an integral part of the firm, not just a ‘bolt-on’ as it had been in the past.

“What we’ve done is design a workplace which promotes physical health and wellbeing to help promote mental health and wellbeing, but also physical wellbeing is good in itself,” Cunningham said. 

The new office design includes an eight storey staircase in a light-filled atrium and surrounded by collaborative areas. 

“We also know that this industry, professional services in particular, is quite sedentary and there’s lots of research to show how harmful spending most of your time sitting is,” said Cunningham.  “The research shows that if you just use the stairs for seven minutes per day, five days a week, over a ten year period it halves the risk of heart disease.”

In addition, the firm has invested in motorised sit to standing desks, in the hope that employees will reduce the amount of the time they spend seated by around 20 per cent.

“Hopefully it will make them healthier, happier, more creative and more productive.  It will help us to continue to attract and retain the best people,” he said.

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