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The importance of the office atmosphere on employee well-being today

Creating the right atmosphere has become increasingly important when it comes to designing office environments. Beyond reducing environmental impacts, there are many other factors to consider when building sustainable workspaces. From the materials we use to air quality, we need to take careful consideration to ensure our offices provide healthy, effective working environments for staff. When building workspaces for the future it is key for the industry to take an integrated approach to office design. The office atmosphere we work in can have a significant impact on employee well-being. In this blog, we will look at the importance of air quality and material use in enhancing office designs.  

A holistic approach to WELL v2 

Both material use and air quality are important elements of the Well Building Standard. They play contributing roles in delivering more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health and well-being. WELL, v2 was designed to help build healthier working environments for all occupants both now and in the future. WELL also looks into Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and requires materials inside a building to adhere to emissions thresholds. With this in mind, it is crucial for designers to consider (VOCs) and their impact on the built environment. As a result, specifying materials with low or no VOC emissions are instrumental in preventing poor office air quality.

Designers can look for external certifications for VOCs which will prove levels suitable for WELL V2. Therefore, it is key that we take a holistic approach to sustainable office design, delivering the best possible working environments. Independent product Attestations from Eurofins confirm our aluminium glazed partitioning systems and Tech panels comply with WELL, LEED, and BREEAM in respect to VOC release.  

A breath of fresh air   

With many of us having now returned to the office, even if it is only a few days a week, air quality in the workplace is very important. Often forgotten, good indoor air quality can significantly improve people’s experience of a building. Improved air quality can lead to a more engaged and productive workforce and therefore is an essential design element.  

Following on from the pandemic, businesses and employees are far more aware of the importance of the quality of the air we are breathing. If exposed to poor air for prolonged periods, people can suffer from headaches, coughs, fevers, and even respiratory problems. With this in mind, it is key that air quality and flow are taken into account when designing office spaces. There are several ways to make sure that we are designing workplaces with enhanced air quality. High-tech HVAC systems and air quality sensors are just a few ways designers can build safer and more comfortable workplaces.  

The importance of materials for the future of the office 

A focus on the materials that are used within the office is becoming increasingly important. Not only do the materials represent a business’s brand, but they must now also prioritise the health and well-being of staff. After all, it is the occupants who will be interacting with the office. It comes down to more than simply using the most environmentally friendly materials, it is important that designers choose materials that enhance the workplace for people also. Therefore, a well-thought-out office space needs to be created with materials that are not only built to last but are also built to adapt to people’s changing needs. 

One material which has been key for offices in the last decade is of course glass. Sleek, stylish, and sustainable, glass offers the ideal design solution to boost well-being. Glass partitions and door systems not only offer an attractive way to enhance the office but also provide acoustic privacy and facilitate light flow. Allowing natural light to flow continuously through an office can improve people’s moods and reduce stress. 

 In addition, acoustic issues are the main complaint amongst employees when it comes to the environmental conditions of an office. Acoustic glass partitions and doors can provide impressive acoustic performance whilst offering an attractive visual aesthetic. Addressing acoustics and well-being within the workplace will allow employees to feel more comfortable, which will, in turn, result in a happier and more productive workforce.  

We are also seeing more and more green elements incorporated into the workplace. The introduction of materials that connect the office interior with nature can foster both the physical and mental health of employees. 

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