It has been known for ages that a work place has a great influence on well-being of employees and thus – their effectiveness, which is crucial from employer's point of view. It is not nothing new to state that mental or physical discomfort related to bad working conditions transfers itself into e.g. quality and quickness of performed duties. For instance, employees who spend a lot of time in noise feel the tiredness more quickly and they become disengaged and irritated. Nowadays, the question of users' comfort is raised during many events on which different ways for improving a work place are discussed or presented in order to enhance employees' well-being. The example of such an event was the conference PLGBC Green Building Symposium which was held under the head: „Health, comfort and productivity – profits from green construction”.
The influence that each office has on employees' comfort may be easily measured by monitoring of such factors as absence at work, rotation on certain posts, costs of medical provisions, efficiency of work as well as realization of assigned tasks. Too high level of the first three ones or too low level of the last two ones makes that employers are obliged to bear additional financial costs. In result, it is worth taking care about well-being of employees, for whom an office is their second home, in order to avoid such „expenses”. How to do that?
Solutions for such problems should be searched in e.g. the idea of sustainable construction which promotes work places favoring comfort of their users. Some factors have an influence on it and these are: optimal heat, light and sound conditions as well as presence of harmless finishing materials or ergonomic furniture. It is related to application of e.g. proper air-conditioning or ventilation systems, lightening, solutions which dampen the loudness and furniture adjusted to the character of performed duties. The list of solutions which provide comfort to their employees is long. However, the implementation of some of them is especially crucial in order to obtain points during the certification process of buildings in the LEED or BREEAM systems – they are confirmation of the fact that a particular structure meets conditions of sustainable construction and thus optimal working conditions were provided in it. While deciding on lease of office space in such an office, a company may be sure that ecological solutions applied in it will have a positive impact on well-being of employees and enhance their efficiency at work.
All sides engaged
Another solution is WELL Building Standard which is managed by the International Well Building Institute organization. It is a certification system which defines, measures and monitors influence of certain elements of the internal environment in a building on its users. According to the Managing Director in Delos Living Phil Williams, it allows on engagement of all interested groups in the process of designing and creating health zones within the PLGBC Green Building Symposium – e.g. investors, tenants, architects and executors. It is aimed at combination of the best practices in the area of designing and building with research based on science and medical evidence, that is use of construction industry as a tool for support of human health and well-being. WELL Building Standard is based on seven groups of factors which were defined by medicine as crucial for health. These as air, water, nutrition, light, physical condition, comfort and mental issues.
Undoubtedly, a properly designed and arranged office will contribute to well-being of its users. It also favors creativity and efficiency of employees and thus it translates itself into financial benefits for a company. Human capital owned by a certain organization is a motor for innovations and decides about its success on the market. Therefore, the special care about personnel should be considered as a priority in each company in present times. Modern technology or strategy are only a part of organization – the most important are people and their potential.