News and views

10/10/2019

Designing for health and wellbeing in the workplace

Designing for health and wellbeing in the workplace

Today, organisations and businesses need to consider workplace design features that support health and wellbeing if they want to attract and keep valued talent.

The International WELL Building Institute is leading the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive. The WELL Building Standard is the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness.

The World Health Organisation have made it clear that ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. WELL’s comprehensive, holistic criteria takes this on board and considers all elements of a building that has an impact on human health and wellbeing. The standard is made up of features that address ten concepts: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.

With overwhelming evidence suggesting that the workplace environment can affect all aspects of employee wellbeing, productivity and success, World Mental Health Day (10th October) is the perfect time to reflect on how some of the key WELL criteria influence employees in your building.

Water

Having easily accessible, high quality drinking water can increase concentration, reduce downtime and fuel creativity, all while benefiting overall employee wellbeing. A study conducted by the University of East London found that productivity increases by 14 percent when a person drinks water – explaining why its essential to choose a system that can cope with the demands of a busy workplace.

At Zip Water we offer a range of premium drinking water solutions, with the addition of our HydroCare service plans available to ensure they are kept in the best working condition. Products, such as those in the Zip HydroChill range, provide responsible drinking water suitable for organisations of all sizes. Ranging in capacities from 30 to 180 litres, the HydroChill promotes bottle filling with an ample supply of crystal clear pure tasting water that will not only boost green credentials but productivity and wellbeing, too.

Air

One of the most significant factors that affects employees at work is the air quality. In a future workplace wellness study completed by View, 44 percent of respondents said poor air quality makes them feel sleepy at work[1], which in turn affects their productivity and concentration levels. Using simple ways to improve the air quality – such as adding plants, opening windows or adding air filtration systems – can boost overall happiness and productivity by as much as 11 percent[2].

Light

Both natural and LED lighting is important in the workplace. Good lighting can improve alertness, mood, cognitive function, sleep-wake patterns and health. With statistics revealing that 80 percent of office workers value good lighting in the workspace[3], businesses need to look at how they can emphasise the natural light they do have and how they can regulate artificial lighting to support the daylight hours. This is especially important in the darkest days of winter to reduce symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, affecting around 20 percent of the population[4].

Temperature

Only one in three employees say their office temperature is ideal for doing their best work[5], with around two percent of all office hours in the UK wasted with debate over climate control[6]. Businesses should do their best to set an office temperature that is comfortable for the majority, while bearing in mind what’s best for productivity. Sticking around the ideal indoor temperature of 22°C while allowing employees to position themselves around the room in an area that works best for them can ultimately improve performance.

As well as working hard for employees needs there is also a strong business case for healthy buildings. WELL certified projects around the world have benefitted from greater employee satisfaction and engagement, a rise in the rate of hiring new talent and a fall in the employee turnover rate, plus improved productivity, attitude and collaboration among employees.



[1] https://workinmind.org/2019/08/14/natural-light-air-quality-have-greatest-impact-on-workplace-wellness-says-us-study/
[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2019/01/24/how-your-office-space-impacts-employee-wellbeing/#41e2f1d064f3
[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/pragyaagarwaleurope/2018/12/31/how-does-lighting-affect-mental-health-in-the-workplace/#29804d4d4ccd
[4] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/23/how-do-i-deal-with-seasonal-affective-disorder
[5] https://view.com/assets/pdfs/workplace-wellness-study.pdf
[6] https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20160617-the-never-ending-battle-over-the-best-office-temperature

─ Contact Zip

Close

Talk to us about your next project, request a brochure or arrange a full product demo with one of our team.