According to the Black Dog Institute, poor mental health at work is estimated to cost the economy over $12billion each year, including over $200million worth of workers compensation claims. These numbers are staggering. While mental health is a very complex subject, Evoke Projects looks at what aspects of the office design and workplace fit-out can help management build a healthier workforce.
A new year is always a good time to plan ahead. If you are thinking about a new office fit-out, refurbishment or relocation, check out the office design trends for 2019 from Evoke Projects.
Within every business, there is a work community with its own social networks and norms. By supporting this community, employers can promote healthy practices that will improve job satisfaction, well-being and motivation.
Office designs and workplace programs that help people thrive are part of the WELL Building Standard® v2. Evoke Projects examines the recommendations for “Community” under WELL v2 with recommendations for your next office fit-out or office refurbishment.
Given how much time we spend at work, our bodies are constantly exposed to the materials and furniture that have been installed in our office fit-outs.
The reduction of exposure to hazardous materials and ingredients is one of the aims of the WELL Building Standard® v2. WELL promotes healthy spaces that protect us from hazards, practices that can keep us well, and opportunities for us to connect with one another and live life to the fullest. This inspires our best work and our most productive selves.
Evoke Projects examines the recommendations for “Materials” under WELL v2 with recommendations for your next office fit-out or office refurbishment.
With around one third of our lives spent at work, it stands to reason that our well-being will be heavily impacted by our working environment. Evoke Projects has shared many tips on improving productivity and motivation with a new office fit-out or office refurbishment, but did you realise that our workplace can also have a dramatic impact on our mental health?
People can easily get distracted by noise within the office environment. Interior noise from speech and equipment has been shown to hinder productivity, focus, memory retention and mental arithmetic, while exterior noise from traffic and construction can be equally problematic. What can you do to create a quieter and calmer office design for your team?
If we are comfortable in our working environment, it stands to reason that we will be more motivated and productive. Interestingly, ‘comfort’ is one of the building design concepts that can be benchmarked under the WELL Building Standard®. Evoke Projects looks at what the Standard recommends to create distraction-free, productive and comfortable indoor environments during your next office fit-out or office refurbishment.
In version 1 of the WELL Standard, the ‘comfort’ considerations embrace acoustic, ergonomic, olfactory and thermal comfort. We have covered all those factors in this article, but it is worth noting that the WELL version 2 pilot breaks these up into separate concepts, so we will be revisiting this in more detail later in the year.
Most of us realise we should get more exercise. The Australian Government recommends that adults should be active most days and aim for 2 ½ – 5 hours of moderate exercise or 1¼ – 2 ½ hours of intense activity per week. It can be a challenge to fit exercise into a busy working week, so Evoke Projects looks at office design strategies to bring fitness to the office!
‘Fitness’ is one of the seven key building design concepts that can be benchmarked within the WELL Building Standard®. As 90% of our time is spent within the built environment, urban planning, building and office design strategies that encourage more physical activity or discourage sedentariness can promote a more active lifestyle.
When planning your next office fit-out or office refurbishment, you can use the suggestions below to achieve greater office wellness.
Sleep, productivity and mood are all affected by light. This is because of the human ‘circadian rhythm’, our 24-hour internal clock. In simple terms, when it is dark, our brain sends a hormone signal to make us tired, while light has the opposite effect. If our circadian rhythm is upset, we are likely to feel weary in the daytime and yet have difficulty sleeping at night.
We all know that healthy eating makes a difference to our mood, health and our energy levels. In turn, this is bound to influence workplace absenteeism, motivation and productivity, so it’s certainly worth promoting good nutrition at work. Evoke Projects looks at what your business can do to encourage healthier eating.
The International WELL Building Institute has included Nourishment as part of their ‘WELL Building Standard’, which aims to promote health and well-being through building and office design. Although most features apply to workplaces that provide food to employees through on-site canteens, there are some metrics that are generally applicable and worth considering for your next office fit-out or office refurbishment.