A new interactive workplace Wellbeing experience in London
The Wellbeing Experience, at London’s iconic Building Centre, provides visitors a glimpse into a workplace designed solely around occupant wellbeing, health and productivity. As an interactive space, The Wellbeing Experience will constantly evolve, inviting visitors to experience the very best in wellness. Based on eight pillars that affect the human body in the built environment, the space is equipped with innovative solutions created to help people work and live well.
The environments in which we work are crucial to productivity and our general health. Whilst the solutions may seem simple, they must meet the needs of a variety of people, locations and industries. To simplify the task in hand for many employers, we base our model on air, water, nourishment, light, mind, comfort, ergonomics, and acoustics.
Clean air is critical to our health, but often presumed safe in indoor environments. A mistake made by many. Unclean air can be caused through a number of pollutants, but surprisingly to some, is a knock-on effect of interior finishes and furnishings. Poor health isn’t the only outcome of poor air, as is low productivity. This can be a costly mistake for employers and on average, can result in the 10% loss of employees’ salary for the company. One of our partners, Halton Vario, provides a complete demand-based ventilation system that guarantees occupant comfort at all times while optimising energy performance. Key to the successful model, is the speed of which air quality can be adapted to the needs of its users, with flexible layout changes being made in as little as 15 minutes. Whilst beneficial for employees, individual, room, zone and central system controls achieve energy savings of 50% compared with traditional systems.
Similar to air, water and nourishment is often overlooked and perhaps relied on the individual for its upkeep. The correct fuel however, is key to the performance of the human body. Companies can and should be supportive by providing nutritional information about the foods on offer, making healthier choices available and reminding their busy workforce of their importance.
Light and acoustics are often presumed complete in the design phase of office design, sometimes left for years without review or monitoring. The perception of both is subjective – we all experience light and noise differently – which is often the crux of the problem. At The Wellbeing Experience, we will showcase optimal, human centric lighting with the Lighting Intelligence company, Helvar. Its Light over Time solution is customisable to meet specific application and occupant needs and allows for a fully flexible pattern definition. Comfort also falls under this category, a feeling entirely dependent on the person and no one stop shop solution.
The sit/stand desk may appear a recent workplace phenomenon but was the chosen stance for the likes of Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway. Workplace ergonomics are the root cause of repetitive strain injuries and in 2016/17, 8.9 million working days were lost in the UK to musculoskeletal disorders. Ergonomically designed products support our productivity and decrease stress, whereas poor ergonomics can have a negative impact on our wellbeing and lead to health problems.
The mental health of employees has never been more of a focus in the workplace, but these aren’t just stress related. Research has shown that having a connection with nature has a positive impact on mental health and productivity. The concept of Biophilia, first introduced in the 1970s by an American psychoanalyst, suggests that all human beings are attracted to nature. Whilst the brain has a different response to simulated nature, simple changes, such as introducing patterns of nature in interior decorations with nature inspired photography, wallpaper and flooring will also support the benefits of lowering blood pressure, improving memory and boosting creativity.
These eight pillars evolve and allow The Wellbeing Experience to become a viewing platform for the general public, employers and employees, keen to understand the spectacle that is wellbeing.