Workplace WellnessBusiness Redesign & Build
“Australia has $26 billion worth of improvement yet to be made in staff productivity”
Smart employers have long been trying to hack into ways to get their employees to become more productive, efficient, and keep them at their peak industrious state – and many are now looking at Workplace Wellness. The cost to business from ill-health and sickies in Australia is estimated at $7 billion a year, while turning up and underperforming costs approximately $26 billion [Read More]. So don’t underestimate the immediate financial windfall of looking after staff and their health.
Although workplace wellness interventions have become more popular in recent years, there is still a need to recognise the benefits of workplace on wellbeing in many organisations. By targeting the connection between people and their environment, businesses can generate an engaged and satisfied workforce in an era plagued by businesses struggling to retain and attract employees who have the tools to judge and compare standards for themselves.
As many office workers spend the majority of their time indoors, it is long past the time to consider the human wellness in office design. The WELL building standard (2014) was the first major international building certification to address built environment through employee health and wellness, having found that buildings have a profound impact on not only aspects like stress and exercise, but also bodily systems such as the endocrine (hormone) and nervous system.
Aspects of Office Design for Wellness and Productivity
Here, we first detail how many of these office design aspects affect health, workplace wellness, and productivity[Read More].
Distractions like noise are closely related to interior design and office layout. A whole range of fit-out issues can affect wellbeing and productivity such as workplace density and how work, breakout, and social spaces are configured. By having an optimised interior layout, distractions can be diminished, and positive factors like concentration, creativity, collaboration and confidentiality can also be ensured to have greater success. Our interior designers and FF&E procurement teams optimise working space based on your vision of today with an acute ability to cater for tomorrow.
Noise greatly affects productivity in a knowledge-based office, as being effective with unwanted distractions is near impossible. High levels of unavoidable ambient noise can therefore create a major source of dissatisfaction for employees only wishing to do their best work. Without consideration for the acoustic performance of an office, employees can easily become less engaged.
Indoor air quality (IAQ)
Indoor Air Quality has well established findings for improving health and productivity. Indoor Air Quality is closely connected to respiratory health and cognition, as pollutants and contaminants, as well as badly ventilated air that allows airborne germs and materials can irritate medical conditions such as asthma and allergies, and promote illness. Additionally, research has suggested keeping low concentrations of pollutants and CO2 combined with high ventilation rates to decrease volatile organic compounds can improve productivity by around 8-11%.
Thermal comfort has significant impacts on workplace satisfaction, as an environment that is either too hot or too cold could distract the employee, as well as affect mood and stress levels. To address this, research consistently shows that designing an office that allow employees some degree of personal control over their thermal levels of comfort can return productivity to the single digits.
Ergonomics and physical activity
Ergonomics and physical activity is an important consideration for maintaining employee health and wellbeing for greater workplace wellness. Prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle is well-known to contribute to physical problems, decreasing cognitive function and leave productivity to suffer. Posture can also affect mood and stress. Therefore, offices can promote more activity through active designs (such as promoting stairs) and provide access to services and amenities such as gyms and bicycle storages. Investing in ergonomic furniture is also a good way to ensure your workspace is ergonomic and supportive for your employees – as Return on Investment is generated through ensuring vis-a-vis you prevent your workforce from musculoskeletal disorders, pain and injury.
Using Knowledge to Benefit You
Creating and maintaining workplace wellness of your employees can depend on an employer’s willingness to invest in designs that hold a holistic understanding of what can potentially impact health within your built environment. The biggest issue for employers is that Staff know what you think of them by this investment. Get investing!