Tech Trends: Health + Wellbeing
Wellness has been a hot-button issue in the global arena, percolating into workplace environments on many levels. As the workday gets longer, employees’ health and wellbeing are impacted by their workplace to a greater degree than ever before. To maintain physical and mental wellbeing at work, employers are adding social amenities, food service, fitness facilities, better light and air quality, and organizational changes. The healthier the work environment, the fewer sick leaves will be taken, and the more effective workers will be. As staff is the most costly expense of any company, a healthy work place will save the employer money and create a better work. The new workplace is a live-work space.
One leading technology giant specifies minimum wellness amenities including massage rooms, hydration stations, game rooms, nap pods, meditation rooms, quiet rooms, walking workstations, gyms, lockers/showers, and bike storage. In addition, this employer offers its employees readily available healthy meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared by renowned chefs. Many employees at this company report feeling healthier at work than they do at home. Amenities such as these are popping up at Twitter, YouTube, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, among others.
A technology-based venture capital firm recognizes their firm road cycling team as one of the best ways to catch up with a colleague. Many companies are adopting walking meetings to get employees literally out of the box. The technology industry is creatively going to great lengths to incorporate wellness into the workday.
Findings support up to a 25% percent reduction in absenteeism and sick days when Wellness Programs are put in place. Encouraging health and wellness is a means to enrich the quality and content of the work.
Even bettering the air we breathe has become a top priority for workplace standards and construction. Living walls are popular in many workspaces for their biophilic characteristics. Their metabolic process also delivers oxygen into the space as well as the visual improves human emotion. In fact, LEED has begun to offer points for indoor plantings under “Innovation in Operation and Maintenance credit under LEED for existing buildings 2.0.
The entire building industry has developed an integrated effort in programs like WELL and LEED to ensure a healthy environment from sourcing building materials to the finished space. US Green Building Council has found that “LEED certified buildings save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy.” The latest building program, WELL focuses entirely on “human wellness in the built environment.”
These programs include sustainably harvested materials and low emissions transportation of materials, minimizing the impact of building materials on the environment. Low emitting or low-VOC materials are also targeted for maintaining a healthy indoor air quality for occupants. Buildings utilize automatic sensors for to increase the use of daylighting. Even the construction debris is considered in the air quality of the building.
A sustainably built workplace can decrease sick days, decrease building maintenance cost, and increase energy cost savings.
That’s it for Tech Trends! Next up… FUN at work!