It is the mission of healthcare providers to ensure the health and well-being of patients, not only by providing excellent clinical and service quality, but offering compassionate care in a comfortable treatment setting. Many healthcare providers today have adopted the WELL® Building Standard, a model of set standards used by design and construction industries to integrate human health features into the built environment as a meaningful method of boosting overall patient satisfaction. But can employing WELL® -type techniques also offer a means to improve employee health and satisfaction? Research suggests yes!
For many of us, a large portion of our day is spent at work. It’s safe to say an employee’s job satisfaction can have a huge impact on their quality of life. There is no shortage of research that demonstrates the benefits of promoting health and wellness in the workplace.
What is the WELL® Building Standard?
WELL® standards are based on scientific research utilizing data (much like LEED®) concerned with the impact building construction has on the environment and health of its occupants. A “well building” is one that is designed, constructed and maintained with the goal of improving the health and productivity of its users. The standard offers a wide range of features and design strategies separated into seven general concepts; air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
Healthcare providers who concentrate on the health and well-being of the occupants of their facilities can positively affect both employee and patient satisfaction through the way they experience the building itself. There are many reasons to adopt building standards to improve employee health and wellness, including:
- Healthy employees are more engaged, productive and generally more satisfied.
- Satisfied employees tend to treat their patients and co-workers better.
- Healthier environments can reduce absenteeism.
There are many features and design strategies that can easily be incorporated into building standards that can impact employee health and wellness. Following are a few standards and some simple approaches to begin implementing workplace health and wellness standards:
- Illumination: Studies have shown that lighting plays a major role in employee productivity. Consider making enhancements to lighting to improve concentration and productivity.
- Comfort: Acoustics, ergonomics and temperature can greatly impact employee comfort, well-being and productivity. Sound barriers, adjustable computer screens, ergonomic seating and adjustable thermal controls can enhance employee comfort in the workplace.
- Air Quality: The quality of indoor air in workplaces is important not only for workers’ comfort but also for their health. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) has been tied to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Ensure adequate ventilation and high indoor air quality in your facility.
- Fitness: Regular physical activity is essential for health and wellness. The integration of interior pathways and stairs in the workplace can provide opportunities for physical activity in the workday.
Providing a healthy work environment is crucial to attracting and retaining the best employees. Consider utilizing these and other methods to put the health of your employees first and improve the wellbeing of your people on your next healthcare construction project. Ask your design professional if they are familiar with the standards or if they are certified in the industry. Even if you chose not to pursue a recognized WELL® certification, your healthcare organization could benefit from the results of these standards.
For a free well-building MRI suite consultation, contact David Sweitzer, KMG’s Director of Operations at (330) 528-1759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about WELL® standards, click here (https://www.wellcertified.com/)