The WELL Building Standard is a vehicle for buildings and organisations to deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health and well-being.
Improving the experiences and emotions people go through during their working day is one of the reasons AMH Projects are so passionate about the workplace design and build solutions we provide. Workspaces can be created that enhance health and well-being, encourage movement, improve connectedness and social relationships, reduce fatigue and bolster productivity.
The Well Building Standard Concepts:
- Thermal Comfort
With these concepts in mind, they help to shape the design and build process that AMH Projects follows.
People spend approximately 90% of their time in enclosed spaces – in homes, offices, or other building environments, and air quality and thermal comfort can have an impact on how people think and feel. Using effective HVAC systems, can help prevent meeting rooms and offices becoming either too hot and stuffy, or too cold, enabling people using those spaces to maintain concentration and feel engaged in their work. Improved ventilation also helps to reduce the spread of coughs and colds which can be extremely costly with members of the teams on sick leave. Similarly, from a cost-saving point of view, a better ventilation system helps to reduce energy costs and is more sustainable.
Just as the quality of air within a workspace can affect mood and performance, the light which people are exposed to has a similar affect. Studies show strong links between better views, brighter light, and better performance in office environments. Integrating daylight and electric light to create lighting strategies focused on human health, along with traditional requirements for visual acuity and comfort, can lead to healthier and more productive environments. Where possible natural light is a great source of light, however screen glare from the sun should also be considered. Much like the ventilation systems, good quality LED lighting and energy efficient lighting will help to reduce costs, create a better working environment and be more eco-friendly.
Being able to focus and not be distracted by noise is key to working efficiently. Reducing noise pollution and providing more privacy are ways that good workplace design can improve the overall office experience. Acoustic panelling can be an effective way to break up areas within the office, soaking up some of the background noise and providing an interesting visual feature. Similarly stud partitions within meeting rooms help with the sound transfer. Certain spaces within the office can be designated for quieter working and acoustically proofed booths provide more ad-hoc private
Another important element of office design is to encourage movement within the space. Numerous studies indicate the health issues that stem from sedentary lifestyles, however, creating an environment and culture which allows the team to move around the office and engage in physical activity promotes better wellbeing, and better work performance. Activity-based- working design solutions provides freedom of choice in how, when, and where people work, helping them to be more effective and engaged. ABW recognises that people perform different activities and need a variety of work settings and workstations to support movement as they complete their tasks. Cycle storage, shower facilities and lockers can also help to encourage more active commuting to and from the office.
It’s imperative that team member’s mental health, as well as physical health, is supported during the time spent in the office. Design strategies, such as biophilic design which increase nature contact within built spaces, has been linked with numerous health promoting benefits, including decreased levels of depression and anxiety, increased attentional capacity, better recovery from job stress and illness, increased pain tolerance and increased psychological well- being. Peace rooms used for prayer, meditation and emotional moments provide safe spaces for people to use how and when they need to.
Acknowledging the diverse needs of staff both from the perspective of their work responsibilities, but also their personal preferences can be beneficial when shaping the design of a space. To create a culture where people feel connected with one another, and environments which encourage openness, collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing can lead to a much happier and healthier group of people.
Our team is here to help so please get in touch on 0117 231 0077 to discuss how to create a working environment that supports your team’s wellbeing.