Considering the recent hype around individual health and wellbeing, it should come as no surprise that the next big “green” trend in the corporate world is wellness for employees. Total, holistic wellness relates to more than just exercise and physical fitness. It also considers access to clean water, fresh air, in-house counsellors, plenty of natural light, and incorporating greenery into the work environment.
This is where the WELL building standard comes in, which focuses on “human wellness within the built environment” and identifies explicit characteristics that, when comprehensively incorporated into building architecture and design, improve the overall health and wellbeing of the occupants.
So far, only one Australian building has received the WELL building certification, Macquarie Bank’s 50 Martin Place. However, there are already numerous other companies around Australia working towards receiving accreditation and seriously considering the ways in which they can create healthy, supportive workplaces. This focus on employee wellness embodies the transition from the traditional corporate focus of financial wealth to one that considers the health and wellbeing of employees and the wealth that happy and healthy staff can provide.
The elements that contribute to the WELL building standard, such as fresh, clean air and good, natural light, not only positively impact employees, but they also have great returns for the employers. Large amounts of natural light mean a reduced electricity bill, greenery within buildings and office spaces increases productivity and reduces negativity and stress, and clean water and nutritious food mean healthier staff and less sick days.
So let’s see how many employers realise the immense benefits of employee wellness and start working towards the goal of WELL Building accreditation!