World Health Day: Workplace Wellbeing

As World Health Day approaches, employers have received a reminder of the importance of looking after the wellbeing of staff in the workplace.

Each year on April 7th the World Health Organization encourages individuals, policymakers and the media to discuss and promote the benefits of addressing the health needs of their communities. For businesses, the event is an opportunity to reflect on how they are supporting employees, particularly as a growing body of evidence proves the value of quality air and comfortable temperatures.

Recent Harvard University research showed green buildings could be worth $6 billion (£4.2 billion) in combined public health and climate benefits, and well-designed air conditioning solutions play a key role in making buildings greener.

Now, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) has revealed its Top 10 Global Corporate Real Estate Trends for 2018, which include a greater emphasis on employee wellbeing.

Wellness architecture

The report cites indoor air quality and ventilation systems as factors in the ‘wellness architecture’ of a building, along with thermal comfort, lighting levels, noise, and access to amenities. This architecture will help “activate and sustain human experience”, with mental and physical health supported at work as a result of “aligning workplace and HR strategy”.

JLL’s study notes less than 10% of the workforce is currently covered by workplace wellness services or programs, but it expects that to change as employers increasingly recognise the need for such initiatives.

Other trends for this year include more flexible workspaces and more emphasis on smart real estate, with the latter resulting in more solutions intended to both optimise user-experience and enhance business performance.

New measures of success

Tom Carroll, head of EMEA corporate research at JLL, predicted a more flexible and dynamic workforce will mean organisations building more agile environments “to embrace this transformation”.

“We expect more businesses to ‘humanise’ their workplace through digitisation and smart technologies, using employee satisfaction, performance and wellbeing as the new way to measure success,” he added.

Whether your workplace is embracing new technology and agile environments or not, the impact of a healthy environment not only on the wellbeing of staff, but also on the bottom line, should never be overlooked.

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