Employee wellbeing is rising to the top of the corporate
agenda as businesses realise the positive impact a comfortable working
environment has on its inhabitants. This is not before time, as a growing body
of research has found that optimising the comfort conditions in a place of work
can have a positive impact on people’s physical and psychological health.
The great indoors
According to the Building Research Establishment (BRE),
people in Europe spend around 90 per cent of their time indoors, so it stands
to reason that poor air quality can have a detrimental impact on health. This
report by David P Wyon on the effects of an indoor environment on levels of
productivity found that poor air quality reduces productivity through symptoms
such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, aches and pains, eye and throat problems and
skin irritation. It can also exacerbate seasonal affective disorder (SAD),
stress, depression, backache
and other cardiovascular ailments.
The good news is that the issue is being tackled through
frameworks and standards relating to the design and operation of built
environments. For example, the International WELL Building Institute’s (IWBI)
WELL Building Standard is a performance based system for measuring, certifying
and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and
wellbeing. It focuses on air, water, nourishment, light, fitness and comfort.
the university challenge
A leading role
A Building Energy Management System (BEMS) can play a vital
role in enhancing occupational wellbeing by creating an environment where air
quality and general comfort conditions are fully optimised. It can also ensure
that people work in properly illuminated conditions, the importance of which
was highlighted in this
study. It claimed that 36 per cent of psychologists and psychiatrists believe
a lack of natural light is the number one workplace health hazard.
It should come as no surprise that employees who are more
comfortable are more industrious. In fact, the World Green Building Council
claims that productivity improvements of 8-11 per cent are not uncommon as a
result of better air quality, while a Gensler survey found that 90 per cent of
employees admitted that their attitude about work is adversely affected by the
quality of their workplace environment.
Tools of the trade
It’s important to give occupants a certain amount of control
of their workspaces – something that Trend recognises. A BEMS that is correctly
zoned can provide users with control of their immediate environment or areas
using the Trend graphical Supervisor IQVISION.
‘To enhance cyber security, IQ®VISION can also utilise users
existing corporate Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) passwords,’
explains Anthony Dann, Business Development Manager at Trend.
‘This means that any smart device with the appropriate security
levels such as a user’s own PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone can access
relevant information remotely. This makes the information within a BEMS system
accessible to a more diverse group of users, allowing them to see local
wellbeing parameters as well additional building wide information contained in
This can all can be displayed and interacted with on an
Centre of excellence
A workplace that has wellbeing as a key focus will offer a
better return on any investment through improved productivity, less absence
through illness and better staff morale. It is therefore clear that, as well as
being at the forefront of the drive towards greater energy efficiency, the
environmental benefits that can be experienced through a BEMS are considerable.
For information on
similar subjects and hot topics in our industry, click here for details of forthcoming BSRIA briefings.
To find out more
about how Trend can help improve wellbeing in workplaces call Anthony Dann
on 07885 653883 or send an email to Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org.