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Wellness in the Workplace
Wellness is everywhere. It is front and centre of every facet of life from food to fashion to interiors to the workplace. However, wellness doesn’t stop at how you think it’s also about your surroundings and how they make you feel. This couldn’t be more true of the modern workplace.
The importance of managing and monitoring the internal environment for building occupiers health and wellbeing is known as ‘wellness in buildings’ however this can often be overlooked.
BIoT (Building Internet of Things) technology is, in the most part, considered primarily to cut energy, cost and carbon emissions. BIoT also considers operational performance of buildings and the equipment within the buildings as part of this cost reduction exercise. At present, wellness is merely a by-product of operational performance management; internal conditions are managed purely for energy and efficiency cost reduction.
Businesses are missing a trick. Wellness, just like operational performance management, helps cut costs to the business with a surprising cost benefit of staff retention. BIoT is therefore much more than energy and operational performance management; it can have a huge impact on the feel-good factor for those working within a building and boost wellness of staff.
In recent months, more businesses are starting to realise the operational benefits that BIoT devices can bring to employees within a building such as improved productivity and employee retention. The benefits are not easily quantifiable but the view amongst businesses is that controlling building and equipment operations for wellness is a key consideration as well as energy reduction and equipment performance management.
There are a number of ways in which BIoT can deliver wellness within buildings; the key is to provide real-time monitoring and management of the internal environment:
- Too hot or too cold is the most common complaint in all buildings. Heating or cooling to 21°C is the ideal temperature for staff.
- Consider where you locate staff in the building. Desks located directly under the air conditioning cassette are not ideal as the cool or heat blowing directly on the employee often leads in complaints and can cause health issues.
- In retail, if its warm outside the shoppers will be wearing clothing for the external temperature, they therefore do not want to walk into a cooled store just because the staff like the temperature at 16°C. 21°C heat or cool is an ideal temperature for staff and shoppers alike.
- Monitoring relative humidity is key, if relative humidity exceeds 50/60% it can cause mould growth, and musty odours all of which can create allergies and asthma
- Low humidity in winter months can cause the occupier to feel have dry eyes and nose, and can affect respiratory tract often leading to infections and colds.
- Monitoring lux levels to maintain the ideal level is critical not only to staff alertness but also for those walking around the building inside and out. Ensure there aren’t any dark spots that can cause trips and falls. Wellness also considers health and safety.
There are many more ways in which BIoT can assist with wellness management within your building such as monitoring carbon dioxide levels, hot water temperature, fume hoods and extracts in kitchens and canteens, boilers and bacteria levels, all of which are crucial wellness trigger points for both buildings and the people within them.
At its core, BIoT benefits the wellbeing of the occupier but also the health and safety aspect of a building while reducing energy costs and operational performance of equipment. A win win for wellness!