The demand for wellness amenities and features in the workplace is at an all-time high. Occupants and owners alike are driving the demand for wellness-focused office construction and design that attracts talent and supports employee health. There’s even a WELL Building Standard. Similar in concept to the USGBC’s LEED program, the Well Bulding Standard is a way to score a building and if it meets the criteria, deem it “WELL-certified”.
Top areas to improve the “health” of a building:
- Exercise – Treadmill desks, onsite fitness centers, accessible staircases, and walking-friendly surroundings are a few of the top ways employers are supporting employees who are interested in moving more during the work day.
- Lighting – Another big wellness trend in office construction is increasing natural light with more windows and lower cubicle walls. Natural lighting can actually impact an employee’s mood, energy level, and hormonal balance. Maximize natural lighting and reduce glare to eliminate eye strain and fatigue and improve employees’ attitudes.
- Thermal comfort – You want your employees to be comfortable at work. One of the biggest office construction factors that impacts occupant comfort is temperature. In addition to the air temperature, it’s important to have good air quality. Poor indoor air quality can lead to employees getting sick. Keeping your HVAC systems clean, monitoring humidity levels, and ensuring adequate ventilation are all ways to improve the the indoor air quality.
- Acoustics – Noise can be very distracting for employees, especially in the open office concepts that so many organizations are adopting. A quiet HVAC system, sound barriers, and sound reducing surfaces are just a few ways companies are masking the sound in their offices.
- Flexibility – Providing employees with a variety of work space options that support all work styles is great for employee health and job satisfaction. Many offices are adding collaborative spaces, quiet zones, treadmill desks, patios, and lounges to provide more options to employees.
- Nutrition – Employees spend 40+ hours per week at the office. During this time they eat several meals and snacks. Providing convenient access to healthy foods like yogurt, trail mix, and fruit is a great way to encourage healthier eating. In addition, installing water bottle refilling stations throughout the office serves as an easy way for employees to stay hydrated.