The importance of a healthy office
Since we spend at least half of our waking hours at work it makes sense that a healthy work environment is vital to our health.
Workers are obviously invested in maintaining their own health, and the companies they work for should also be invested as this will have a direct impact on the success of their business. Employees need to be well enough to turn up to work, and to do a good job when they get there.
Dexus Head of Sustainability and Energy Paul Wall says the major benefit for businesses in ensuring they have a healthy office is productivity.
“The healthier your workplace the better your employees feel and perform, making your business more sustainable,” he says.
“Having workers that are happy and healthy in their space helps you retain staff and attract good talent as well.”
Some office buildings can inadvertently sabotage the health of workers through what is known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). The origin of SBS goes back around 40 years, when adverse health effects such as headaches and skin irritations reported by building occupants were attributed to the amount of time they spent in a building – and in many cases, the poor air quality of those buildings.
Mr Wall says when it was first identified, SBS generally related to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Buildings became more sealed to keep the heat out and the cool air in, she says, and as a result ventilation levels worsened.
“Emissions from paints, aerosols and chemicals were trapped inside, and it was making people sick,” Wall explains.