BCO Wellness Matters

This week, we attended the launch of the latest research from the British Council for Offices (BCO).

The ‘Wellness Matters’ research is an in-depth look at health and wellness at work. The report is 233 pages so it’s very thorough and covers everything from statistics on why wellness is important to different measurement tools and case studies.

It also provides practical advice in the form of a roadmap (and 55 health and wellbeing outcomes) which outlines how occupiers and consultants can implement wellness in the workplace – from the acquisition of new space based upon a building’s wellbeing credentials to the measurement and feedback from a post occupancy survey.

We know from our work that wellness is important and we believe it will only grow in importance in future.  There seems to be well supported research and measurable benefits from improving wellbeing in offices but what are we doing about it?

At Francis Hunter Group, we mostly deal with the sub 500 headcount office market. We know that project resources can be limited or that clients aren’t always engaged with the subject. However there are some simple steps clients can take to ensure wellness is considered.Appoint a wellness leader

1. appoint a wellness leader

Businesses need to appoint someone to be responsible for wellness in the office. The subject tends to be shunted from HR to facilities to even the legal department. While it’s good to involve these people in any decisions, there does need to be one project owner. You don’t necessarily have to be the expert in all things to do with wellness – that’s why you employ someone like the Francis Hunter Group – but if there is no internal owner, it’s hard to implement and get buy-in for any sort of wellness strategy.

2. devise a long-term strategy

There needs to be a long-term strategy which includes clear and measureable objectives for what the organisation wants to achieve from its wellness strategy. If it’s not measurable, any successes cannot be evaluated and wellness will drop to the bottom of any organisation’s list of priorities.

3. cost planning

The BCO research showed that the perception of cost can be an issue but it needn’t be – it’s often the perception that’s the issue rather than the reality. We would advise our clients to include any costs at the start of a project so it’s incorporated into the build and design phases. Our design consultancy Maze are specialists in the workplace and can incorporate key wellness elements into their core offering rather than it being an ‘add on’.

We know the workplace impacts people’s wellbeing, productivity and staff retention and given the amount of time we all spend in the office, it’s not a subject that can be ignored.

If you need support or advice on this area for a project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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