There’s been a lot of talk of improving wellbeing and health in the workplace over the past few years. Some consulting firms have named wellbeing as the next major trend in green building.
But it’s no longer enough to offer lunchtime yoga classes and free fruit on Fridays. To really make an impact companies need to look at the effects of the built environment and other factors such as managing stress in order to positively influence their team’s physical and mental wellbeing. High levels of employee wellbeing means improved staff retention, less absences and improved efficiency.
The elements which influence wellbeing can be broken down into 4 main areas:
Temperature. Is there a constant, comfortable temperature?
Air quality. Is air quality properly managed to reduce or eliminate the amount of pollution, virus and bacteria, allergens and VOCs in the air?
Light and nature. Is enough daylight or circadian lighting provided in working zones? Can staff see natural elements such as plants?
Comfort. Are all employee zones designed for ergonomic comfort and to support agile working? Is noise pollution dealt with in an effective way?
Stress. Does the company know if staff are stressed? Is there a plan in place to avoid and support work-related stress? Are there quiet areas where staff can make confidential calls and do focused work to eliminate noise pollution?
Rest. Are there suitable facilities for quality rest and recovery?
Sleep quality. Is there an area for people to take naps at work? Does the company positively influence sleep quality?
Purpose. Do employees feel their job role makes a worthwhile contribution to the business?
Autonomy. Are employees micro-managed or are they trusted to make decisions?
Learning. Are staff constantly given the opportunity to improve their knowledge?
Lifestyle. Does the company encourage a good work-life balance?
Pain and illness. Does the company support working from home if required? Is there an area to fully relax and to help alleviate stress and pain?
Exercise. e.g. does the company provide shower facilities to encourage cycling to work or lunchtime exercise?
Nutrition. Are healthy drinks and snacks provided for staff and visitors?
“Thank you so much for coming all the way to Whipps Cross, you made the staff very happy today. Many thanks for the Neurosonic products – we are so excited to have them in the department”. Dr Jessica Best Opthalomy Education Fellow, Education Academy Whipps Cross