The Third Place, a Modern Day Community Builder

The Third Place, a Modern Day Community Builder

American urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg said in his award winning book entitled The Great Good Place; humans have three main places they go to in their whole life and as individuals, they should see to it that they spend a balanced amount of time in those environments.

Oldenburg describes the first place as our home or our foundation. Our workplace as the second one and the third place being a space distinct for socializing with like-minded peers. In his book, he emphasizes its importance and how it could help build communities in neighborhoods and even to organizations.

Today’s generation of urban planners and designers now utilize it in strengthening humankind’s sense of community.

The Third Place

At first glance, Oldenburg’s description of the third place seemed vague. He coined the term to define a social surrounding separate from the two usual social condition of the home and the workplace. They are the “anchors” of community life that helps foster broader interaction among individuals.

The book suggested specific hallmarks that makes a “true third place”. Oldenburg says that first and foremost, it should be free or inexpensive. Food and drinks are important, though not essential. Its location needs to be highly accessible or proximate for many at the very least. Its vibe should be welcoming and comforting.

Fellow scholars have summarized his view of third places as a neutral ground wherein occupants are not tied down to the area and can go whenever they please. It puts no significance to an individual’s status in a society. Their economic or social standing does not matter in these environments. Its main focus of activity is playful and happy interaction although it’s not required to be the only activity. It is readily accessible to everyone and can accommodate their needs.

Oldenburg suggested that its existence is a must for a healthy life. Moreover, he advocated that it brings several important social values by discussing its historical role to the American Revolution.

Several suburban developments are now using ‘third places’ to address the deterioration of the American community.  As a result, office space providers saw an opportunity for a new kind of workplace that can reframe interpersonal interactions of employees.

Modern Offices

The annual Staples Advantage Workplace index provides an overview of the latest workplace trends and sentiments from several business decision makers and employees from both US and Canada.

Last year’s presentation highlighted the increasing number of workers facing longer hours; resulting to an augmented feeling of stress and being tied to their desks. More and more professionals are looking for ways to fight dullness in the office while a handful of them are moving to healthier spaces that can provide them with a new environment.

The index also showcased a growing demand for designated collaboration spaces and public spaces. And it’s not only coming from the younger generation, majority of the respondents that they find this feature most interesting in an office.

The concept of third places have become the most common solution to the predicaments today’s workplace is facing. And the rise of the ever popular shared offices and coworking spaces, is living proof of the need for a middle ground where work and casual meaningful interaction meets.

These unorthodox work areas take pride in the community they curate among like-minded individuals. Members are gratified with the connections they make and the work that they do. And this alone isn’t just coming from their individual opinions and reactions, surveys from around the globe back this up with statistical figures; clearly strengthening Oldenburg’s claims.

And though admittedly, third places won’t solve all of the problems present in today’s modern offices, we also can’t ignore the rewards it has provided us with. Moreover, it certainly meets the needs of the diverse multi-generation labor force.

By coming up with the appropriate flexible layout for your own team, it can be of value to the business. Lastly, as Oldenburg said in the book, it breaks down all the barriers between people and creates a positive public sphere that anyone of stature can enjoy.

Who knows, it can just be what your team needs. Talk to us today and get a sneak peek of a true third place.

Don't Pick One, You Have The Power To Choose Both

Don’t Pick One, You Have The Power to Choose Both

Don't Pick One, You Have The Power to Choose Both

Resisting mob mentality is hard.

More often than not, people get easily swept by the latest trend taking over the internet. Be it the newest challenge or a song that have gone viral. People consciously follow them religiously and those who say they don’t, subconsciously stays in touch.

It’s the prevailing mindset of everyone particularly in terms of modern technology. A year after the much-awaited release of Apple’s Iphone 6, fanatics immediately dropped them when announcements for the newest model made its rounds. It is easy for society to simply drop the old ones to make room for the new ones.

And though it’s hard to believe, sometimes, opting for what’s new won’t go the way we want it to. Instead, finding a way to utilize both the old and new is the best way to go. One great example of this principle would be during the peak of electronic books or e-books in the market.

When electronic reading mediums such as Kindle was introduced to the public, the printing industry was put in danger. Between the years 2008 and 2010 alone, the sales of e-books escalated to 1,260 percent causing a few print booksellers to into bankruptcy. It seemed then that the time that print books is almost over.

But much to the surprise of many, instead of going to an upwards trajectory, e-book sales began to decrease. In the first few months of 2015, it already fell by 10 percent. All the while, the American Booksellers Association expanded to 1,712 member stores in almost 2,227 locations within the same year from 1,410 in 1,660 locations five years earlier.

The Power to Choose Both

Amidst the numerous publications who have gone digital, one company made the conscious decision to choose both.

Penguin Random House decide to expand and update its warehouses as well as speed up the distribution of its books by investing nearly $100 million on the shift from their traditional operations. Some have traced back the inversion to print to the escalating prices of e-book while there are some who said that a handful of bookworms who still missed the feeling of a heavy paperback in their hands. Other buyers have said that enthusiasts have found a way to utilize both e-books and actual books.

In the end, consumers created a middle ground for both traditional and modern tool to contribute to the overall pleasure of reading.

By knowing what both sides have to offer to the situation at hand, we get a better understanding of how the Both/And principle could fit to certain circumstances. Kindle may never replace the feeling of an actual paperback, at the same time, books can never recreate the immediate assistance of Kindle’s dictionary system. Both the old and the new carries distinct individual strengths, hence, having the option to choose both isn’t a bad idea after all.

There are several other existing examples that fortifies the advantages of the principle to always choose both available options. There’s the commercial real estate market who have taken use of it to their advantage.

The innate nature of the world of business to be in constant state of flux have rendered office space providers to become innovative and adaptive to the passing trends of the industry. As modern technology made it much easier for humankind to work anywhere they want, more and more people are turning away from traditional work areas. Pioneers of the new movement found a way to instill the need for an actual office to the newer needs of professionals. Serviced offices such as coworking spaces and private offices made sure that the new generation of startups remained true to the tradition of having their own headquarters. Though they started catering to most remote workers of today, they still managed to aid the needs of the older members of the workforce.

Out with The Old, In with The New: Welcoming Corpoworking

Out With The Old, In With The New: Welcoming Corpoworking

Coworking spaces gained its popularity from teleworkers, digital nomads and freelancers from around the world. With over 11,300 spaces worldwide and over 835,000 members – it’s safe to say that the industry is keeping an open mind to the ever-changing modern workplaces of today.

And due to the undeniable success of the movement, traditional companies are starting to look into these open spaces despite of the disagreements it garnered from experts. Intrigued by its increasing growth and the several benefits it has among its members, these large businesses are wondering what significant change it can bring to the table.

Providers are also seeking a way to tap into this idle capacity and invite them over to join their growing community. As a result, they have implemented a new way of convincing executives to give room for innovation and a new working experience for their employees.

Corpoworking: Corporate Working defined Corpoworking as the combination of corporate business and coworking. A coworking space inside or outside the premises of the company, available to the use of employees aiming to carry out their usual tasks in a new environment and even external visitors.

The idea doesn’t veer too far away from the original movement except for the specific modifications done in order to meet the standards of the company. There’s still evident presence of community and flexibility at its heart, which showcases its classic values. Often done as a way to experiment with new conditions, it allows them to experience unprecedented flexibility modeled on the success of its predecessor.

Still, the question remains among several other companies, what makes it worth investing?

The Role of Workspaces

Over the recent years, new technologies and the arrival of the younger generations in the labor market created a significant change in the traditional fixed offices we have had for years. Experts are also accentuating the effect work areas have in a person’s overall well-being. Today’s modern office have now become a source of efficiency, collaboration and employer brand.

Productivity is seen as one of the factors easily affected by the layout and design of one room. Leaders are starting to understand the importance of having an innovative workspace that increases an individual’s output and performance. They are starting to utilize this concept to their advantage by implementing open spaces and high-rise office desks.

More and more companies are also transitioning from individual work to collaborative work. Therefore requiring them to find places that allows people to connect freely with one another. Finding the appropriate arrangement for your team is a prerequisite to collaboration. With this in mind, spontaneous interactions that could generate creative ideas can now take place almost anywhere – instead of it happening in one place.

Company culture and employer brand is also strengthened when enterprises go the extra mile in figuring out the latest news in mobility at work. According to a global survey conducted with over 7,6000 office workers from 16 different countries, office layout affects an individual’s company choice. Organizations are making the effort to create spaces for relaxation and entertainment in promoting their thoughtfulness towards the well-being of their employees.

Pioneers of the coworking movement believed in the significance of one’s surrounding environment and workplace flexibility. With the help of today’s technology, they are breaking down the cubicles and walls that once separated us; one space at a time. Join us as we welcome the emerging trend of corpoworking!

The Science Behind Coffee Shop Attraction

The Science Behind Coffee Shop Attraction

Whether you like coffee or not, we all have to admit that at some point in our lives, we stayed in a coffee shop. Either alone or with a friend, we all have splurged on a cup of latte or frappe and maybe a slice of cake.

Coffee shops around the world are frequented by different types of people. Some have made it a habit to drop by one each morning for their daily caffeine supply or for a quick breakfast. Some visit to meet old friends for some catching up. And there are those who simply want to sit down and get some work done.

From students down to freelancers, the amount of people who turn them into their own personal offices is quite overwhelming. But driving the “coffice” global phenomenon is a scientific explanation why certain individuals love working in different environments.

Researchers from around the world conducted several studies to find out the science behind coffee shop attraction.

Science Explains

Researchers from the University of Chicago says that it starts with background noise. Their study on the correlation between noise distraction and creativity compared the effectiveness of thinking with various levels of background noise. Examining over 300 people, results showed that people hearing moderate ambient noise scored higher on tests and have been rated as more creative by their peers. According to them, moderate levels of ambient noise activates abstract cognition by inducing difficulty in processing. As a result, people’s creative performance is enhanced.

Moderate doses of distraction forces the mind to become more creative. Hence, busy coffee shops are the ideal place to work in because of the noticeable hustle and bustle.

Another factor that attracts people is the walk that they will be doing from their home to the nearest shop. The activity alone can help get your creative juices flowing. A study from Stanford on the positive effect walking has on one’s creative thinking reported that after conducting four experiments, participants’ creative output increased by 60 percent after a stroll – coming up with unique ideas appropriate to the situation given to them.

To put it simply, any kind of increased stimulus could be good to the brain. Scientists from the University of California says that changing what a person sees, smells, feels and hears can increase their creativity. Chances of coming up with better ideas are higher and concentration on tasks will be improved.

A change of scenery brings a lot to the table, this is further supported by the strong presence of coffee shop attraction to modern day workers, but are these places really that effective?

The Coffee Shop Attraction Contradictory

Concrete proof have already been laid out before us; the spontaneous change of workspace location can result to fresh ideas but it’s also important to take into consideration the amount of factors present contradicting the coffee shop attraction.

One strong predicament is the unreliable internet connection. The public wifi cannot guarantee its visitors secured connectivity. And though there’s the option of paying for it, the chances of it being slow and spotty is still high.

The large volume of strangers surrounding you increases the inherent dangers of theft. Paying no attention to your belongings, even for a split second, is unsafe. Moreover, there’s the social disruptions they bring and the logistical problems of finding the perfect spot.

But despite of the drawbacks, patrons now have the option of getting their daily dose of caffeine while increasing efficiency in one place without over spending too much.

Cafes, But Better

Integrating the vibe of a home and the ambiance of a café, coworking spaces are made for professionals and even students who wants to work in a different environment.

Emphasizing on the importance of collaboration and building community, its open layout allows members to interact with one another in the most spontaneous areas of the office. From the communal areas that you share with the rest of the group to private offices and desks for those in need of privacy.

These modern offices offer anything an employee could want and need for a healthier work day – from free coffee down to workshops and events that help hone their skills.

Government Extends Support to Coworking in Southeast Asia

Government Extends Support to Coworking in Southeast Asia

Experts have already said it; the movement of coworking is no longer a fad but rather, a new way of working and living.

It has proved itself to be a lasting trend that drives major changes in the work market today. Not only is it disrupting the traditional standards of work in both US and Europe, there have also been a significant spike found in Southeast Asia.

Providers have discovered qualities unique to the region that allowed them to expand rapidly. And in order to understand how the movement managed to thrive in the area, it’s important to know why and how the locality have become drawn into these unorthodox offices.

Coworking in Context

The high growth rate of the economy in Southeast Asia paved the way for a community of startups and freelancers to flourish. As a result, the demand for affordable workspaces increased.

Pioneers of the movement found their niche in the region by using its unique need for diversity in the workforce to their advantage. Coworking spaces that offer regional access to cities such as Bangkok, Singapore and Manila have made it easier for members to expand their network with collaboration. Moreover, tapping into the distinct talent pool across different countries is now easier because entrepreneurs can now access specific expertise found in various locations.

Another driving force behind its success is the highly fragmented market present in the area. Businesses aiming to penetrate a new region presumes that there are several distinct challenges they are bound to encounter in each market segment. Hence, it’s only apt that they build a local team that would help them understand the landscape of each country, giving them a competitive edge.

Due to the aforementioned impositions and unique circumstances brought upon by the sector’s economy, more and more coworking spaces have opened in the recent years. Singapore alone boasts an estimated of 53 spaces from having a single one back in 2009. Vietnam has more than 50 given that the movement arrived in the country last 2012 and cities like Manila are attracting a slew of global players.

Other than the nature of its economy, there are many aspects that play a major role in the long term success of the aforementioned segment.

Government Support in Southeast Asia

Providing members with more than just the bare necessities of an office, the community they curate serves as a universal support system that helps budding startups grow and develop by creating a platform for them to connect with one another.

As a result, Southeast Asian governments view the movement as a new strategic tool that can encourage entrepreneurship within the population. Several countries in Southeast Asia have already started implementing policies that support coworking spaces. For one, members of the governing body of Vietnam are creating shared offices for small companies as one of their initiatives in transforming the country into a startup nation by the year 2020. Indonesia is taking an active part in a wider global initiative created for promoting entrepreneurship among developing countries; the Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia or GEPI which offers coworking spaces for startups that are still in its early-stage.

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A UK Initiative in Mastering The Art of Brainstorming

A UK Initiative in Mastering The Art Of Brainstorming

July 2014, the Virgin Media Business invited 30 of United Kingdom’s hottest startups, along with several other industry leaders for a ride to the London Eye as they debate the future of six key sectors of the economy – media and entertainment, food, fashion and beauty, social enterprise, retail and healthcare.

Entitled 30:30 Vision, the event served as a wide brainstorming session on the future of UK business. English business magnate and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said in a statement that collaboration between businesses of all sizes could be the key to succeeding in the 21st century. He further adds that large companies can learn a thing or two about innovation from startups.

Sir Branson is one of the many entrepreneurs who believed in the power of brainstorming and the ideas that can be produced by working together.

Collaborating Great Minds

DeskMag defines Brainstorming as a widely-used, powerful tool for creative problem solving that breaks away from the rigid, process-driven thinking. It surpasses barriers between members of the team and lets them forget their fear of failure as it gives them the freedom of coming up with as many ideas as they can. Though it disregards the viability of each proposal, the process itself can help improve them into something that is effective and useful.

But the process itself is not easily achieved in traditional private offices. Cubicles hindered employees from casually interacting with one another to generate fresh and creative ideas. And when several designers and experts saw the demand for collaborative work areas, the movement of coworking spaces emerged.

Now, thousands of these unique open-plan designed headquarters are found around the world – each one founded by community and collaboration. And though its layout made a great contribution in creating a platform for individuals to work together, there are certain things to take into consideration and lessons to remember before starting your first brainstorming session.

It’s vital to be prepared and organized so that you and your team can get the most out of your time.

The Mastery of Creative Brainstorming

Psychologist Keith Sawyers states in an article from The New Yorker that there are decades of scientific research consistently showcasing brainstorming groups producing fewer ideas that the number produced by individuals who would work alone and later share their suggestions.

DeskMag recommends that instead of forcing employees to generate new concepts or design during a session, set a specific goal – for example, request them to come up with 10 new ways you can attract more clients. After doing so, give them enough time to reflect individually before sharing their proposition with the rest of the team.

Creativity is often a process that cannot be restricted with time and when an existing idea is evolved and expanded into a viable solution, it gives your discussion purpose and structure.

There is a lot of discussion whether criticism should be present during a brainstorming process or not. Fast Company’s Cliff Kang says that it plays an important role in the said activity while some experts dissent this idea.

In hindsight, both viewpoints are somewhat true. Constructive criticism can refine an idea by identifying its weak areas and highlighting problems that can arise all the while attacking a suggestion can lead to discouraged participants. Proscribing it can encourage your members to openly share their thoughts but utilizing it as a tool for creating feasible solutions may produce great results.

And to ensure structure and focus in the set topic, have a designated moderator that can monitor the direction of the talk. The assigned individual can take notes and create a summary of the session as a whole. By doing this, the time and effort you invested in brainstorming would come to fruition. Integrate these new concepts into your workflow and see which would of them would work.

In an article he personally wrote entitled ‘Looking at the future of business with 30:30 Vision’, Sir Branson clarifies that the event is by no means a competition amongst the participants but instead aims to encourage collaboration between our future leaders. He adds “If we put our heads together, share our resources and stimulate innovation, the seemingly inconceivable can not only become a possibility, but a reality.”

With the emergence of shared offices such as coworking spaces, it’s only apt that we prepare ourselves for one big brainstorming session.

Have an idea you’ve been dying to share with anyone? Hit us up and let’s talk about it!

Mix and Mingle: Coworking and Social Skills

Mix and Mingle: Coworking and Social Skills

Being a freelancer tempts too many of us today – the ability of having flexibility in when, where and how you work; urging you to ditch the usual 9-to-5 and gain back control over your career. And amongst the sea of corporate workers is a growing number of professionals who already made the choice.

According to a 2014 survey conducted by the research firm Edelman Berland, 34% of the overall US workforce are made up of freelancers – over 53 million people. Experts even say that by the year 2020, the freelance workforce will rise to 43%.

Undeniably, there are a lot of perks in going freelance yet at the same time, there’s also an ample amount of cons that are mostly disregarded by the general public.

Isolation and Freelancing

Contrary to popular belief, working alone is not as fun or as glamorous as people make it seem. The career is indeed liberating but at the same time, it’s isolating.

When everyone else in your home have gone out for the day, the only company you have is your laptop and your pet dog or cat. Chances are, you’ll go through the day without saying anything and maybe even go for several days with having minimal face-to-face interactions.

This degree of solitude can be overwhelming to most people and can be detrimental to a person’s social skills. After a long while of working alone, this situation can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness – both of which can bring forth several health risks. Experts have said in the past that lonely people are believed to be more prone to high blood pressure, infections and irregular sleeping patterns. Moreover, long term effects range from heart diseases to depression.

The drawback it carries is pretty much unavoidable but struggling professionals have found a way to find a source of social interaction.

Keeping Company

The boom of the coworking movement gave freelancers, solopreneurs and digital nomads the chance to get their much needed social interaction.

These unorthodox offices have become a haven to them. Coworking spaces provide them with enough variety of work areas that they can easily balance their need for privacy and need to hone their social skills. They can start their morning by working in a single desk away from all the commotion and later in the day, move to one of the communal areas to interact and socialize. Its open layout allows for conversation to happen naturally and flow freely.

Individuals who have transitioned to shared offices, observed a significant difference in their social skills and circle. According to a survey conducted by Deskmag, 92% of their respondents reported an increase in their social circle and 86% have said that they felt less isolated. Other studies have reported that individuals living what they perceived is a healthier work life compared to when they were still in traditional offices.

People actually pay for more than just their desks and their memberships.

Improving Social Skills

Unbeknownst to many, coworking spaces bring so much more to the table rather than just cool offices and unique work areas. The movement utilized different approaches to improve workplace culture and create a significant impact to those working in it.

It takes pride in the element of community that they have. They created a platform for like-minded individuals to interact among themselves. These groups then formed a support system that trade tips and advices to one another – leading to a deeper connection between people whose sole similarity is delivering products and services.

Collaboration are created within its walls – helping individuals learn and develop their entrepreneurial skills. The events they host help keep their members mentally sound by reinforcing the idea of engaging in non-work related activities to replenish their minds and bodies.

Coworking spaces help individuals develop their social skills as well as their respective personalities by removing barriers between their coworkers and by reducing undue pressure and stress in their work lives.

Freelancers develop a sense of belonging within these spaces and assures them that whatever work they may be doing is significant.

Give it a try and you may just find your people, here.

The Shift Towards Ladylike Spaces and Coworking for Women

The Shift Towards Ladylike Spaces and Coworking for Women

The rise of the gig economy resulted to a career shift for numerous members of today’s workforce. Day by day, more and more people are giving up their traditional jobs in exchange for remote working, solopreneurship and freelancing.

This sudden shift in jobs then resulted to a demand for workspaces that can cater to their specific needs and wants. Hence, it’s no surprise that the industry witnessed a fast paced growth among coworking spaces in the recent years. The Global Coworking Survey reported 11,300 spaces worldwide with over 835,000 members. Experts predict that by the year 2020, the numbers would increase by 26,000 and members will grow to 3.8 million.

And as founders found more creative ways to appeal to diverse niches, hybrids of shared spaces have emerged. From unorthodox offices that have in-house climbing walls and play grounds to women-friendly, ladylike spaces with millennial pink walls and feminine interior.


According to a Bloomberg article released last January, these female focused workspaces is a response to the predominant “fratty [co-working] venues that advertise kegs and pingpongs”. Founder of all-female coworking space Rise Collaborative, Stacy Taubman, says that the women of today’s workforce are craving for community, connection and confidence – and that is what they are giving to them.

In hindsight, the concept isn’t relatively new. Over a century ago, thousands of “women’s clubs” surfaced to free its members of domestic drudgery by allowing them to form reading circles and study clubs. The trend of female-only workspaces have become the extension of this historical precedent.

In the US, more and more female-centric coworking spaces are rising such as The Wing, SheWorks Collective, Rise Collaborative, New Women Space, Paper Dolls, Hera Hub and Shecosystem.

By entering market with a fresh concept, issues are bound to rise. Critiques will comment on how exclusionary this may be in today’s age of neutrality and gender equality but founders have a rational explanation to this.

Finding A Place To Belong

There are several factors that contributed to the demand of female-only offices. For one, there is the obvious fact that the corporate world and even the startup ecosystems remain to be male dominated despite of the progress humankind has made in gender equality.

Women still experience discrimination in their workplace. In a survey conducted last March 2016, 8 in 10 fully employed women believe that gender discrimination remains to be present in the workplace. Almost half of the respondents have also reported that they have personally experienced discrimination because of their gender.

By designing ladylike spaces for themselves, women are addressing the challenges and difficulties they face in developing their respective profession. Paper dolls founder Jen Mojo said in a HuffingtonPost article that today’s women are building the structure of their career by collaborating in order for them to access the resources that they need.

Mojo further adds that another contributing factor to this emerging concept is stress hormones. In a recent study by researchers from the Indiana University reported unhealthy levels of cortisol – the stress hormone – amongst ‘token’ women working in male-dominated offices.

The gaps in the available resources that support the growth of women as entrepreneurs are being filled by these no-boys allowed coworking spaces.

Ladylike Spaces

Though there’s already a significant presence of all-female spaces in the US and other European countries, majority of the shared offices around the world are co-ed. And on the other side, male-only spaces have been established as well – one example is Australia’s first male only coworking space and gym, Nomadic Thinkers.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 Women’s Report, women are undeniably underutilized in the ecosystem of work. Job creation capacity of half of the world’s population is lost if they are not actively engaged as entrepreneurs.

Hence, more and more flexible workspace providers are coming up with ways to attract female entrepreneurs to join their spaces. Specific spaces in the US started offering child care services so that the ladies in their community can both be a mom and an entrepreneur.

Mojo says that all these structures boil down to changing the world of work and providing equal support as well as opportunity to all genders. As this shift towards ladylike spaces continues, we can expect more offices that are built around collaboration and community.

Rethinking Mental Health at Work

Rethinking Mental Health at Work


Mental illness, the term itself carries a stigma that can silence people. The mere thought of it creates a rift amongst crowds. It speaks volumes but only a handful bothers to pay attention.

Mental health problems affect people from all walks of life. It does not have any bias – no matter the ethnicity, social standing and even age – these psychiatric disorders does not allow exemptions.

All over the world, an estimated 450 million people are currently suffering from mental illness – becoming one of the leading causes of ill-health and disability. Approximately 43.8 million adults experience this in a given year and 9.8 million adults have severe cases that interferes with major life activities such as work.

And though treatment is not impossible, nearly two-thirds of those with a known mental disorder never seek help from professionals due to the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) have said that neglect leads to little to no understanding at all and when there is no understanding, there is neglect. As numbers grow to epidemic proportions, the United Nations’ health agency have urged governments from across the globe to find solutions that can be readily accessible to everyone.

Organizations from different industries have made their contributions to improve wellness in the workplace but according to the 2016 Work and Well-being survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) among 1501 workers, less than half of the participants felt that their organization supported employee well-being.

Leaders may have found themselves in an unfamiliar territory, they may want to help but they’re unsure of how to do so. Experts are having a hard time observing its symptoms due to the dissimilarity in how it manifests when at work or in other settings.

As a result, mental illness often go unrecognized and untreated – damaging the individual’s health and career. In America, at least $105 billion dollars are spent on loss productivity, absenteeism and turnovers. Due to the toll it has on employers, various programs are now being implemented to turn offices into mental-health-friendly workspaces.

Workplace Mental Health

Businesses and companies are doing everything that they can to improve the overall wellness of their respective offices. In support of this endeavor and as an effort to show how organizations can take care of their workforce while enhancing their overall performance, the American Psychological Association created the annual Psychologically Healthy Workplace awards program.

The Center for Organizational Excellence award recognizes organizations across the US for their commitment to the well-being of their employees and creating better working environment for their workforce. Since its first launch, winners of the award have reported that in return, rates of turnover have reduced and employee productivity have increased – outweighing the cost of their investment.

The rise of flexible workspaces also gave way to designs that helps reduce mental illness. Coworking spaces with open layouts encourage unforced interaction between members. Various work areas are readily accessible so that individual get to pick the environment they deemed appropriate. They can chose to move away from busy desks that increases their anxieties by settling on a tranquil room without any sort of distraction or noise. In addition to this, there are recreational rooms such as gaming and karaoke rooms that helps alleviate stress.

Those from the outside looking in can never truly understand what it means to have mental illness. They can only comprehend what they are suffering from through psychology books and articles but they can never feel what it feels like to fight your own self.

If there’s one thing that they can do, it’s this; to stop saying get over it, and instead, start helping people get through it. Give a friend a hand and introduce them to a mental-health-friendly workspace.