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Why good health is just one reason to improve wellbeing at work

A recent white paper from CBx, a public forum for building energy professionals, raised some interesting ideas about wellbeing in the workplace. It got us thinking about the number of factors affected by the health of both our own staff and those within the many buildings we work in.

In the office-based sector, staff costs account for around 90% of a business’s operational outgoings, so for this reason even small changes to the wellbeing of employees can have a substantial financial impact. Comparing the cost of absenteeism to that of energy bills, which make up just 1% of a company’s annual expenditure, it’s clear that focusing on the welfare of staff must be a priority.

Employing unhealthy and/or unhappy staff inevitably leads to high turnover, resulting in increased recruitment and training costs. Those who remain may lack motivation; indeed, the well-proven link between wellbeing and productivity is supported by statistics showing that three in 10 people feel that their working conditions stifle their efficiency. Therefore, the idea that more productive staff generate increased profit allows companies to justify the cost of improvements such as HVAC refurbishment and investment in new technologies designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of ventilation and air-handling systems.

In many cases, building occupants become frustrated by complex HVAC systems and/or the lack of natural ventilation i.e. non-opening windows. Therefore, the provision of improved HVAC results in more comfortable, productive and happy staff. Achieving the highest standards of indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the greatest steps that can be taken to improve wellbeing and motivation.

The same is true when it comes to natural sunlight, as over-exposure to artificial light can lead to headaches and eye strain. The result of this can be increased absenteeism and may, depending on company policy, mean expenditure on items such as prescription glasses for staff. The reduction in the use of artificial light will of course reduce energy bills and carbon footprint.

Healthy workplaces are proven to benefit employees away from work, with a wellness study finding that those who sat near a window at work slept for, on average, an extra 47 minutes at night. Of course, this is also helpful to the employer because well-rested staff are likely to be more enthusiastic and productive when at work. Improving IAQ also means a reduction in the spread of coughs, colds and viruses, resulting in lower absenteeism for employers.

In association with our factories, Gibbons have conducted a great deal of research and testing and have developed cutting-edge technologies to provide a solution to some key workplace wellbeing concerns. Our systems can significantly improve the health and productivity of you and your staff, along with the efficiency of your ventilation and air-handling systems. So for more information call Gibbons HVAC Services Manager Andrew Knight on 07850 204915 or email andrew.knight@gibbonsgroup.co.uk

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