Creating a healthy office for a happier planet and working environment

Creating a healthy office for a happier planet and working environment
NEWS FEATURES FIRE & SECURITY SUBMISSIONS RESOURCES

Rebecca Fairfield, Head of Key Accounts at BRITA VIVREAU, shares how a healthy office design not only operates more efficiently for the environment but is key to employee wellbeing, productivity and retention …

Office design has a clear role to play not only in ensuring buildings operate more efficiently and sustainably but also in influencing how happy occupants are at work. In fact, these two factors are intrinsically linked.

From engagement and motivation to recruitment, staff retention and overall productivity, studies have demonstrated the impact of well-designed office spaces. Research by BRITA VIVREAU has even revealed that 79% of office workers claim a well-designed office would motivate them to accept a job while 82% said sustainability now tops their agenda of what is important when it comes to the office .

And while there are always costs involved with improving buildings, some studies like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee it costs 6-9 months’ salary on average . What’s more, with poor mental health costing UK employers up to £45 billion per year , employees will be focused now more than ever on offices which offer more than just a good location and fairly welcoming space.

So, how can we work towards creating healthier offices that support both the planet and employees?

Healthy planet, healthy mind

In a world where we are constantly reminded of our impact on the environment it can be easy to become despondent. A recent survey by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy found that 55% of people feel climate change impacts their wellbeing  with some branding the phenomenon as ‘eco-anxiety’. Thankfully, by introducing sustainability measures into office spaces which also encourage employees to do their part, means they are more likely to feel like they are making a difference.

For example, the simple introduction of showers and changing rooms encourage employees to use their commute to get active and gives them an option to skip driving or public transport for a healthier option that benefits both them and the planet, such as running or cycling.

Natural inspiration

Whether it’s a greater focus on ventilation, natural lighting, boosting oxygen levels through the introduction of plants or creating a more pleasant environment in general, we have a much deeper connection to nature than we might think.

Biophilic design is an approach in architecture that seeks to connect offices more closely to nature. DaeWha Kang Design researched the impact of biophilia on staff wellbeing when it was tasked with a redesign project for Mitie HQ at The Shard, where they created an immersive Living Lab with bamboo materials and lighting that reflected natural circadian rhythms. Research showed that productivity and focus was greatly increased in those working in the new office space and feelings of stress and anxiety were also reduced.

Comfort controls

Offering the opportunity to control heating or air conditioning individually or by groups of desks not only helps to reduce energy usage but once again provides occupants with more responsibility to be part of environmental change while catering to their needs with a more personal offering.

Say no to single-use plastics

As a population we’ve all become much more aware in recent years of the importance in reducing single plastic and it’s expected for offices to offer filtered water dispensers so that employees can use reusable bottles. By choosing an option such as BRITA VIVREAU’s Top or Extra l-Shape water dispensers, offices can drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste they produce while lowering their carbon footprint by removing the need for transporting, storing and cooling bottled water in power hungry fridges. The natural coolant technology used within BRITA VIVREAU water dispensers is also carbon neutral meaning employees can enjoy chilled, ambient, sparkling or hot water at the touch of a button.

Make the right choice for you

Most importantly it’s important to make the right choices for your building and the employees which work in it, but it’s easy to see how creating a functional, beautiful space can hand in hand support mental wellbeing and sustainability goals making it an attractive option for future employees.

Find out more a hygienic, safe and sustainable water dispenser solution for your building design by heading to the BRITA VIVREAU Top and Extra l-Shape product pages, or visit www.brita.co.uk/water-dispensers/products. Or contact Head of Key Accounts at BRITA VIVREAU, Rebecca Fairfield on 07483 078181 or rfairfield@brita.net.

 

Creating a healthy office for a happier planet and working environment

NEWS FEATURES FIRE & SECURITY SUBMISSIONS RESOURCES