Shockingly, 83% of respondents to a recent survey have reported seeing ‘presenteeism’ (turning up for working when not fit to do so) in their workplace, with 25% of these believing that this is an increase on last year.
So what actually is a ‘well’ office?
- Air – Concentrations of some pollution indicators can be 2-5 times higher indoors compared to outdoors. Ensure you have good ventilation as well as heating and cooling systems in place.
- Water – Being dehydrated by just 2% has been shown to impair cognitive performance. Make sure your employees have easy access to water stations and encourage them to take regular breaks to top up their drinks.
- Nourishment – Over half of the world’s adult population is overweight or obese. Fruit and vegetable intake is associated with increased productivity and job performance. By simply offering free fruit, having a kitchen area where staff can prepare or heat healthy meals or organizing a healthy meal delivery service at lunchtimes can help increase well-being.
- Light – Disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm are associated with chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, and depression. Studies have found a relationship between proximity to windows and productivity, especially when windows offer an opportunity to connect with the outdoors.
- Fitness – Physical inactivity is highly prevalent worldwide, with 23% of adults failing to meet international exercise and physical activity guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO). The integration of physical activity into everyday life by providing opportunities and support for an active lifestyle and discouraging sedentary behaviors is encouraged. Offering discounted gym membership (or better still, having a gym on site) or promoting the use of stairs over lifts and incorporating sit-stand desks and ergonomic furniture to promote movement.
- Comfort – Work-related musculoskeletal disorders result in over £1.9 billion in medical and other associated costs, including lost productivity. Designing for ergonomic safety can help prevent the physical stress of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Maintaining optimal thermal comfort can maximize productivity and decrease typing errors.
- Mind – Various environmental characteristics can have direct impacts on mental health and well-being, such as housing, crowding, noise, indoor air quality and light. Having an area where employees can have some time away from their desk is crucial in keeping concentration levels high for the entire day. Allowing employees to change their environment will help prevent the monotony of the day, allow them to adjust their gaze to prevent eye strain and allow them to get their feet moving.
Can you afford to ignore the statistics?
The average level of employee absence across all sectors is 5.9 days per employee. Based on an organisation of 200 people with a mean salary of £30,000, this equates to £72,158.65 of lost hours due to musculoskeletal injuries alone.
With mental health and stress being the two most common causes of long-term absence, small changes such as the amount of natural light, improving employee relationships and implementing digital technology to reduce manual tasks are all factors that should be taken into consideration when building a well-being strategy.
How can we help you?
We aren’t just experts in office design and fit out. We’re also incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about improving the well-being of your staff.
Head of Facilities at a leading engineering company reported a 34% drop in absenteeism after we re-designed their office.
For more information, or to arrange a call or visit to discuss how we can help improve the well-being in your office, or design an office ready to be officially WELL Certified, please go to our contact page or call 0117 915 9990.