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Springing forward – or struggling to get out of bed?

Most of us will call in sick on a Monday, according to careers website Zippia – THE “SICKEST” DAYS OF 2019: THE DAYS WHERE THE MOST PEOPLE CALLED IN SICK

That’s expensive – around $2,660 per year for a salaried worker – The Causes and Costs of Absenteeism

Here in the UK, the clocks went forward, bad news for those working on a construction site -the risk of accidents on construction sites can increase by over 5% – a 67% rise in days lost – The Dangers of Daylight-Saving Time

According to Morneau Chapell, although 90% of employers agree this is ‘very costly’ and 83% of employees believe that mental health and stress play a big part in absence, 43% believe that their employer doesn’t provide a workplace that supports health and wellness on the job – The true picture of workplace absenteeism

Lighting is just one part of that environment – but this CIBSE article references a number of studies and examples that demonstrate the benefits – Module 139: Human-centric lighting

Given the cost of absenteeism – let alone presenteeism – taking a look at the lights might just be a good business decision.


Walking the walk

The business case for taking care of your greatest asset – your people – is clear – a recent Deloitte survey found that 70% f executives were considering quitting their jobs for one that better supported their well-being – The workforce well-being imperative

Buildings that actively support well-being have a big part to play in demonstrating that commitment. This recent report by the CBRE (Value of Social Building Featuresfound that 49% of prospective tenants will pay a premium for space where facilities to support health and well-being are present. 12% will seek a discount if they are not.  Developers who go the extra mile with well-being certification (e.g. WELL) benefit from a 47% premium / 14% discount response.

This all sounds great on paper. But what does a ‘healthy’ building feel like?

I discovered precisely that, thanks to Giulia Mori at the CBRE for giving me a tour of their London offices that Giulia describes as a living lab ‘Henrietta HouseEvery detail has been worked out so the teams can get to work – right down to a library and lockers, lifts big enough to take a bicycle and an iron in the changing rooms!

The key to success? A refusal to get complacent – ‘this place is never ‘finished’ – and a commitment from the top to listen to feedback and take action when themes emerge.  Working groups from across the organisation are encouraged to raise concerns and requests and see those translated into action: from extra screens to a bright and airy mother and baby room and charging points for electric scooters.

It’s clearly paying off:  the CBRE has found that their teams are happy to come back – the place was buzzing when I visited, They are able to let parts of their space to clients and demonstrate the value of their approach in real-time. Giulia’s team is growing fast in this healthy and productive environment.  I can certainly see why!


Hopefully you can see the point of investing in a great place to work – now what?  

The Worktech Academy’s report will help you stay ahead of the curve with their excellent report (have to admit bias here as I was lucky enough to be a contributor ;-)). 

Here are the top five trends to look out for: 

1/ Smart workplaces – Data-led decision-making will harvest information from office buildings to fine-tune performance, from heat and light to which desks are being used and when the coffee machine needs topping up.

2/ Four-day working week – can boost productivity by up to 40% according to a Microsoft study in a Japanese subsidiary

 3/ Brighter light – I explain how most offices deliver the equivalent of starvation rations for the brain – and how investing in better-quality light is paying off for employers and employees alike,

4/ Audio-visual intelligence – a new generation of smart cameras and audio capture will allow video conferencing to break out of the meeting room box and support hybrid conversations and capture transcripts and actions with accurate transcription and editing in real time.

5/ The Great Regret – Millions who chucked in their jobs but now feel resignation remorse and the pinch of the cost of living crisis. A timely reminder not to burn any bridges.

 This is one of lots of super-practical research reports –register for their newsletter here.


And finally, a great video to share with the young people in your life who might not want to take any advice from you (‘whatever…’) – Why morning light is so crucial to your health | BBC Ideas

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