Research shows that organizations who value the wellness of their employees’ have an easier time retaining those employees who are healthy, happy, and more productive as a result.
According to The Business of Healthy Employees, a 2016 Survey of Workplace Health Priorities, companies who offer their employees extended benefits packages that include weight reduction, stress reduction, smoking cessation and even financial management programs are seeing huge rewards.
“The vast majority of employees believe benefits programs improve work culture (90 percent) and make them feel appreciated (67 percent) and productive (78 percent) in their jobs,” the study says. “With employee engagement low in many organizations, it is important for employees to feel valued. Because of the health and wellbeing, they are offered, 63 percent of employees feel more engaged with and loyal to their company.”
How can these rewards help transform the lives of employees outside the office? When those benefit packages are extended to spouses and immediate family members as well, everyone feels better.
“The combination of employee participation in programs – coupled with the availability of the immediate family to participate – can have a positive snowball effect on employee health. Some employees report that participation in benefits offerings has a positive impact on their family and friends. A third of employees say their own participation encourages spouses and colleagues to participate in getting healthy, too.”
How office design & furniture can help
Office furniture that is ergonomically correct and can be adjusted to the right size for each employee and helps support wellbeing in the workplace. Lighting that is flexible and under the users’ control gives people the option to customize the lighting they require for the task they are doing which means they can see better and it reduces eye strain. For creative businesses who require their employees to see subtle colours and shapes is one example of where the right lighting can help their employees be more productive. Offering flexible task areas, such as soft seating areas, bench-style workstations, or sit-stand desks, not only gives employee options to work where they want, making employees happy, but encourages employees to improve their health through movement.
“Sitting at a desk for hours at a time can lead to back problems. Staring at a computer screen can cause eyestrain and headache,” the study says.
The WELL Building Standard
Employers looking to introduce, or improve, wellness best practices at work, can find support through seeking the WELL Building Standard; a certification process that makes wellness the focus of the work environment.
“We believe that buildings should be developed with people’s health and wellness at the center of design,” the WELL website says. “The WELL Building Standard takes a holistic approach to health in the built environment addressing behavior, operations, and design.”
What is interesting, is that the WELL Standard offers employees many opportunities to take control of their office environment to maximize their workstation safety and comfort. WELL performance quality categories include air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
At Envirotech, our Architecture and Design Representative Andy Delisi is a WELL Building Standard specialist and can come to your office to give a lunch & learn seminar to your team on how to embrace an office culture and environment of wellbeing.