Society

Three steps to workplace wellness with Bureau Veritas

11.23.18

A healthy, happy workforce is an integral part of any productive, successful business. Today, forward-thinking companies are increasingly investing in their workplace environment to boost the health and wellness of their people.

In recent years, companies have been recognizing the value of a more holistic view of employee well-being and moving beyond defining wellness solely in terms of the presence or absence of illness and safety hazards.

At Bureau Veritas, health and safety (H&S) is a foundational value. Bureau Veritas accompanies organizations of all sizes on their path to greater workplace wellness through its H&S and sustainability auditing and certification services.

3 factors top workplace wellness trends  

Employee productivity is at the heart of any thriving business. But for employees to be productive, they need a workplace environment conducive to their health and well-being.

In fact, recent studies have shown that office design has a strong material impact on employee health, well-being, and productivity.1 Specifically, several factors associated with a workplace’s physical environment have been proven to have a positive impact on workplace well-being. Three in particular—indoor air quality, noise and acoustics and natural lighting—are consistently cited as essential to contributing to a positive workplace environment.

Better air, better care

Most people spend a significant amount of time—90% or more!—indoors.3 As a result, the quality of indoor air has a significant influence on health and well-being. However, indoor settings often contain concentrations of pollutants that are two to five times higher than outdoor levels.4 Sources of indoor pollution can include cleaning and personal care products, central heating and cooling systems and building materials and furnishings.4 Studies have shown that indoor pollution can trigger nausea, asthma, headaches, fatigue, respiratory irritation and allergies.5

Air quality optimization by Bureau Veritas

The right ventilation and building care can significantly improve indoor air quality. Recent studies demonstrate that productivity improvements of 8-11% are not uncommon as a result of better air quality.1 Bureau Veritas makes use of state-of-the-art Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology to help clients achieve optimal indoor air quality in the design, construction and management of buildings. For existing buildings, Bureau Veritas offers comprehensive air quality and ventilation inspection services and helps its clients craft and implement detailed action plans.

Noise at work: more than a nuisance?  

Most workplace environments are noisy. Phones ringing, people chatting, fingers tapping on the keyboard and machines constantly printing can all grate on nerves. But noise is more than an annoyance: recent studies show that it can have adverse health effects, too.2 These effects can include cardiovascular issues and sleep disturbance, which contributes to increased fatigue, mood changes and other issues. Repeated exposure to high noise levels can also result in stress-related anxiety, nervousness, and reduced productivity.

Managing acoustics with Bureau Veritas

To help organizations best manage noise and acoustic hazards, Bureau Veritas provides certification services to achieve compliance to ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001, internationally recognized standards for occupational health and safety management systems that include noise-reduction measures.

Daylight in the Workplace

For many employees, daylight is the most-wanted natural feature in the workplace.

Time to see the light

For many employees, daylight is the most-wanted natural feature in the workplace.6 And it’s not hard to see why: daylight helps regulate circadian rhythms, or the daily cycles of waking and sleeping hours. When these rhythms are upset, people can experience stress, sleep deprivation, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.7 In fact, one neuroscience study found that people seated by a window sleep 46 minutes longer on average compared to those who don’t.4 And workplaces with adequate natural lighting noted an up to 40% increase in productivity and sales. 6

What is more, people generally prefer to be surrounded by nature, which provides variation and sensory change.8 This phenomenon is called biophilia—the affinity of human beings for, and need to connect with, the natural world. A recent study found that those who worked in spaces with green or other natural features reported a 15% higher level of well-being.

Lightening up the workplace with Bureau Veritas

Sustainable building can help drive better outcomes for employee wellness because these building principles often take into account elements of biophilic design.8 BREEAM and LEED—the world’s leading green building rating systems—provide third-party verification of a building’s environmentally friendly features. Bureau Veritas has teams of BREEAM and LEED assessors experienced in evaluating the environmental credentials of workplaces and supporting clients in optimizing building operation.
 

Fostering a culture of workplace wellness

Bureau Veritas is a Business to Business to Society company, committed to contributing their experience and expertise in health and safety to the pursuit of a better world. Through testing, inspection and certification services, Bureau Veritas partners with clients to meet their workplace health and safety needs and to improve the productivity and performance of their organizations. More broadly, Bureau Veritas participates through the partnership with clients in the shaping of a more socially responsible culture that includes workplace wellness.


1 https://www.ukgbc.org/sites/default/files/Health%2520Wellbeing%2520and%2520Productivity%2520in%2520Offices%2520-%2520The%2520next%2520chapter%2520for%2520green%2520building%2520Full%2520Report_0.pdf

2 https://www.wellcertified.com/en/articles/noise-isn%E2%80%99t-just-annoying-it%E2%80%99s-bad-your-health

3 https://indoor.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-47713.pdf

4 https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality

5 https://standard.wellcertified.com/air/air-quality-standards

6 https://www.eco-business.com/opinion/why-natural-light-matters-in-the-workplace/

7 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201306/exposure-natural-light-improves-workplace-performance

8 https://www.interaction.uk.com/insight/biophilia-the-benefits-of-life-in-the-office/