Linking Health, Well-being and Productivity in the Workplace

Linking Health, Well-being and Productivity in the Workplace

By: Donna Metallic

In a previous blog, I outlined the principles of the WELL Building, in this blog I would like to link together health, well-being, productivity and the work place.

Today the conversation is expanding to include a more holistic, person-centered point of view to promote well-being, an enduring state that encompasses wellness of mind and body, and can also lead to productive, engaged, and healthy employees.

The Link between Health, Well-being and Productivity: The built environment must adapt to the changing needs, desires and drivers of occupants. This is an opportunity to not only boost the investments in better performing buildings, but also improve the quality of life for people using these buildings. There is a statistically significant relationship between successful health and productivity programs championed by Human Resources and business profitability – improved business outcomes; lower medical expenses; better task effectiveness; and reductions of wasted time – all of which lead to higher return on investment; according to the Integrated Benefits Institute, Gifford, Brian. 2015.

  • In our office we have an “unofficial Fitbit” contest of who has the highest steps and the best sleep patterns; always a fun way to engage your colleagues in a friendly competition.

Wellness Programs in the Workplace are more common today, but if you do not have one, talk to your HR department.

How does Technology fit into this puzzle?  We are in a technology evolution in our society and workplace, the space and people will define the outcome.  Make the experience as stress free as possible and the engagement will be higher.  Our 24/7 mentality needs a little down time.

Here are a few well-being ideas to think about:

  • Our biological clock is regulated by daylight. The eye responds to a blue wavelength found in daylight that office lighting cannot reproduce.  Without sufficient access to this wavelength, the body has difficulty maintaining its natural cycle —impacting alertness and health.
    • Occupants who are exposed to daylight during their work shift will on average get 45 more minutes of sleep. According to– Trends Influencing Workplace 3.0 AIA CEU Course # HAW585
    • Daylight can have a profound impact on employee’s comfort and productivity.
  • Empower the end user with technology tools:
    • Training tools to spread knowledge to all employees
    • Training for technology, ergonomics and common well-being.
    • Offer adjustable furnishings (height adjustable work surfaces, seating, monitor arm, etc.) in primary workspace and meeting spaces, and an effective acoustic environment. Our research at IDO has found that adjustable furnishings reduce the risk of injury affecting peoples’ ability to work.

 

  • To create a clearly intended use of work or social spaces to help people achieve their tasks.
    • In the focused work environment make sure that the technology connections are simple, which will help us baby boomers!
    • Designing the layout of the floorplan so it is easy to understand helps occupants to see and find each other easily. Define zones to focus and get work done.  Good acoustics

We put people in the center of the design process which will result in outcomes to a better quality of work life.   Every day at IDO we work toward creating meaningful interior work environment solutions that increase the occupant’s productivity and well-being.

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