The amount of time we spend inside our buildings every day is extreme – and we all know that by now. Particularly at times like these, there is a lot of emphasis on being and staying healthy and our buildings can help us. In practice, we now see that the sustainability environment is evolving from the outdoor climate to the indoor climate, i.e. the office environment. We can ask ourselves what the current obstacles are for office users and how we can remove them by means of health and the WELL principles?
For example, if you are sitting in an extremely boring building, but the users feel incredibly comfortable and safe, perfect, keep it that way! If this is not the case, improving health in your building can be effective. I am therefore advocating greater implementation of health considerations in our working environment. An interesting aspect here is the Blue Zones, the places on earth where people live longer and happier. Why is the reason for that? Stimulating natural movement, limiting stressful environments and an eye for natural and plant-based food.
The physical and social environment have a direct effect on health and wellbeing. Implementing health creates a complete picture of sustainability.”
– Berber Veenstra, consultant bij CFP
If your organisation is already working on health, show it! Health as a brand value for your building provides a positive boost to your building value and the corresponding image of your company. If you are having difficulty attracting young talent, offer your employees a healthy and stable working environment. Today’s office environments and economy are constantly changing and this can cause employees to increasingly look for stability and security. Providing such a relaxed working environment is what the new Generation Z and the Millennials – including me – need.
So turning your office environment into a stress-free space can be effective. Pay close attention to the wishes of employees. Of course it is necessary to get people moving – literally and metaphorically – but ensure that it suits your company. Only then do things go as they should and you ensure that this relaxed feeling can be transmitted. I suggest that we find out where these needs lie and that we start making our buildings healthier today. It’s up to you!
Written by: Berber Veenstra, consultant at CFP Green Buildings