What we learnt from the seminar with Philippa Gill
In today’s urban world we have multiple technological devices that support our day-to-day life. Our phone alarm wakes us up, the kettle or hot tap boils our water and the walls around us are made of materials that protect us from any form of weather. Historically, humans woke when the sun rose and they slept when it got dark. Natural materials were used to build a shelter and make a home. Through trial and error they worked out what would keep the rain at bay. There wasn’t any built-up urban areas and so fresh air was in constant supply.
Philippa’s presentation took us back to our beginnings; assessing our quality of sleep, natural habitat, society integration, exercise habits and diet. Through understanding how these concepts impact the workplace, we can apply wellbeing to each area. Humans were not designed to sit for prolonged periods of time under artificial lighting. Our quality of sleep is determined on our daily routine and exposure to our beginning state. Diet is becoming manipulated by easily available food which is fitted around our working day, that consequently has a snowball effect on exercise.
There are six fundamental needs of a human that a working environment should cater to; air, food and water, sleep, exercise, social interaction and security. Simply ensuring good ventilation that extracts CO2 and pumps in fresh air can be fundamental. Encouraging breaks and social interaction away from the screen is another key factor with effective results. In turn, employees should have the ability to have a restorative sleep and not just an exhaustive sleep, that recharges the batteries. These six needs also resonate with the WELL certification. This standard certifies a workplace that helps people work, live, perform and feel their best. To find out more about the WELL certifications, please click here.
Laura from Netcel kindly shared her views on bringing wellbeing to Netcel. Their existing premises wasn’t in keeping with their culture, they had completely outgrown the space and their office layout was impractical and didn’t fit their ways of working. The staff were asked to provide recommendations on what would make them feel more productive in their environment. This provided Woodhouse and Netcel an opportunity to design and build an office that met these requirements. The new office offered opportunities to collaborate in an innovative creative space, with lots of light, areas to relax and one that reflected the branding and values of Netcel. Click here to view the Netcel study.