Employee health, wellness and environment.
Corporate wellness helps employees to work better, WELL certified offices are the superior level of Corporate Wellness. As Humans we have an inbuilt awareness of our surrounding environment. Our environment is so important for body optimization, it affects us in so many ways not only physically and mentally but also our behavior and reactions. About 33% of our lives are spent in the office, we need to meet our environmental needs for our bodies to perform at their peak.
If employees aren’t being productive and achieving their potential this will eventually affect business performance negatively. For companies to find and retain top talent, it’s essential for them to focus on a corporate environment that empowers people to work, think, collaborate and learn naturally together.
Our environment affects our health and paves the way for negative or positive behavior. It has the capacity to amplify or reduce stress, improve our mood and decrease depression. Research has revealed that rooms with bright light, both natural and artificial, can improve our mental health.
Stress impacts employee health and wellness
Let’s use stress as an example, I just mentioned that our environment can create or reduce stress, which in turn impacts our bodies in multiple ways.
This is because our brain and our nervous system, endocrine, and immune systems are constantly interacting and reacting to each other’s response.
Decrease stress at your workplace
Thus, the stress of a noisy, confusing work environment might result feelings of worry, sadness, or helplessness. This can cause high blood pressure, increase heart rate, and muscle tension. Additionally, hormones released in response to the emotional stress could suppress your immune system, allowing disease the opportunity to attack your body. This is a health risk!
Create a performance enhancing work environment
Creating a work environment that enhances a culture of health and reduces stress is a key piece to improving health and wellness and strengthening your immune system.
The way we interact with each other can be facilitated or discouraged by our environment.
An inviting space with a comfortable lounge, sufficient seating, food and beverage facilities nearby can encourage people to sit and chat, this consequently builds relationships and ideas. Where a less inviting space could discourage you to stay and socialise therefore robbing you of the opportunity to connect and create possibly a multi-million dollar idea.
To design a productive and comfortable work environment is such an important strategy for companies to remain competitive and have profitable business performance. For more office design ideas, visit MJPM design and build handbook - Office interior design ideas that will make your office timeless.
WELL Building Standard for Corporate Wellness
The WELL Building Standard is the premier standard for buildings, its the first standard that focuses on human health and wellbeing through design, construction and operations of buildings.
There are seven concepts that WELL focuses on: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind. Each concept is designed to elevate human performance by creating the optimal environment.
For example, how do you know what is the most comfortable temperature for prime concentration? Or what is the perfect level of light luminance to maximise productivity? Perhaps you would like to know what is the ideal level of air purity required for human health? The WELL standard uses research and evidence to set parameters that meet the optimal level of human health, allowing you to reach your full potential. For more information on WELL, visit Livevexia WELL office
Lets take a look at how these features affect our health and performance.
Air in the office | WELL Certified Hong Kong
Air, without clean, pure, good quality air we as humans just cannot operate properly. If the quality of air within an office is polluted and toxic, it effects employee’s ability to think clearly. They will be distracted and uncomfortable, their health will be compromised.
Water in the office | WELL Certified Hong Kong
The second feature is water,our brains and heart are 73% water, our lungs are 83%, skin 64%, even the bones are 31% water. It’s safe to say humans are made up of water. The consumption of water helps us to improve sleep quality, energy levels, as well as our ability to focus. Without water our bodies become dehydrated and subsequently even death.
Nourishment in the office | WELL Certified Hong Kong
Moving on to nourishment, we’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat," and this is especially true for the workplace.
What you eat during the day at work fuels and powers the brain. If you want your employees to feel energized, focused, and productive, they should be eating nutritious food and follow a balanced diet that encourages health and healing. Employees in companies with a strong health culture are 3x more likely to actively improve their health. This is group thinking at its best!
Light in the office | WELL Certified Hong Kong
The 4th feature is light, Having sufficient natural light in the office improves our mental health by decreasing depression and anxiety. A daily dose of vitamin D enhances our immune system and having adequate light when completing tasks prevents headaches, blurred vision and eye strain. Read more on the importance of light and how it effects your body here
Fitness in the office | WELL Certified Hong Kong
The next feature is fitness, Our bodies were not designed to remain static. We need movement to prevent, injury, physical disease and even mental disease. Humans who are more active are likely to be healthier and happier this is because exercise increases the blood flow to the brain and creates endorphins. Active employees have more energy and are more alert, their concentration and decision-making skills are better and are more productive.
Comfort in the office | WELL Certified Hong Kong
The office environment should be a place of comfort. We spend about 33% of our life in the office. Why don’t we make it meet human optimisation levels. This feature involves creating a distraction-free comfortable environment by addressing acoustics, thermal comfort, and ergonomics.
Mental health in the office
Last but not least is mind. We have a natural attraction to nature
That’s because being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, stress, boosts moral and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature contributes to your physical health by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones. Nature affects us mentally, Do you realise your mood improves after spending time outside, it changes from depressed and stressed, to calmer and more balanced. We can apply this to the workplace. Livevexia truly believes the benefits of nature in the workplace. Read more here.
A healthy office involves many spaces designed with beautiful elements used for different purposes. A social space, private space and resting space can improve concentration, collaboration, privacy and health.
A healthy office environment creates a healthy and productive human
In each of these features, WELL sets strategy and criteria to improve workplace design so that humans can perform at their best. The research backs up how our environment can positively influence health habits, wellbeing, and performance.
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