Increasingly greater attention is being paid to psychosocial and mental health programs towards wellness and resiliency in the workplace and it's no secret why. Healthy staff equates to a happier disposition and therefore, promoting well-being in the workplace is beneficial for both the employee and employer.
Ensuring workers have healthy work and life balance is being done all over the corporate world in the form of implementing a variety of wellness programs. It entails introducing group activities such as company-sponsored exercise classes, educational seminars, and even health screenings.
The initiative aims to give employees a relief from work life which can often be draining and mundane. Across the Philippines, companies are launching programs that offer gym memberships, social gatherings such as after-work drinks and performance review rewards in the form of holidays.
KMC Savills' sister company, KMC Solutions, a flexible workspace operator, even offer their employees yoga classes to help them unwind in their on-site training rooms at their headquarters in Picadilly Star.
KMC Solutions source offices and co-working spaces for their clients whom they work with to incorporate areas and amenities that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Implementing well-being with company organized activities
Head of Engagement Activities at KMC Solutions, and certified yoga instructor, Alex Gomez claims the partnership of companies with gyms and other wellness centers for special employee rates are key to providing access for workers to lead a healthy lifestyle.
He said: "At KMC, we have annual and monthly events. With our Skydeck at the headquarters, we are able to throw parties such as the KMC Foam Party, where employees and clients enjoy a night of fun and free booze! Last May, we had a Marvel movie block screening held at Bonifacio High Central Cinema."
"Moreover, fresh fruits are delivered for the employees based at the headquarters every day to encourage a healthy lifestyle. We also have an annual Health and Wellness Day where we invite exhibitors led by our HMO provider. This year's Wellness Day featured massage sessions and seminars on headache and stress management conducted by neurologists from Makati Medical Centre."
"At KMC, free yoga sessions are offered to those who would want to alleviate from stress whether from within or outside of work. Since starting the yoga classes about 3-4 months ago, we have seen eagerness among practitioners and their personal testimony of relieving their stress for the day and having a very good night sleep, among many other benefits."
Creating an environment to increase health and well-being in the workplace
KMC Solutions in-house interior designer, Kathleen Maranda said creating an office environment where well-being is its focal point boils down to its theme.
She said: "We, all want to break through the typical corporate style of office which impacts a person's ability to work. To achieve this, it is vital for an office to have a theme because it sets the user's mood and gives an overall impression to visiting clients."
Maranda lists four essential elements when creating an office theme that is vital for increasing worker productivity and encouraging health and well-being in the workplace.
- NATURAL LIGHT
"Maximizing natural light is essential in designing, no matter what size space. Well-lighted space increases user's productivity and comfort, it can also benefit one's health because sunlight is good for the body," Maranda said.
More natural light in offices also allows businesses to conserve electricity. Aside from the well-being of employees, this concrete attempt at energy conservation allows you to contribute to the environment significantly.
Comfort should be a top concern in any workplace design. This allows users to work better and productively as they go about their days especially for employees who work long hours.
She emphasized that users' comfort is one of the main priorities of a designer. Maranda explains, "Everyone wants comfort, right? It greatly affects one's ability to work, imagine seating on a plastic chair for 8 long hours or even doing computer work at a table with disproportionate height. It makes you more tired, worsen your posture and even decreases your productivity."
In design, color psychology has taken a big role. Maranda explains that every color has a corresponding psychological effect on a person. She said, "For example, red is a powerful color and sometimes perceived as demanding and aggressive that's why fast food chains always have this color. Green means balance since it's the center of the spectrum, it imposes environmental awareness and refreshment.
According to her, colors, when used incorrectly, will be perceived as being too bland or unfriendly. She pointed out, "When we spend our days inside off-white cubicles, our perception towards work becomes boring."
Green is always in! Placing plants or any form of greeneries can spruce up the workplace. Apart from the design impact, Maranda says that it helps reduce noise and gives the office a cleaner air.
"For me, plants are like cake toppers, they complete the set to make it more attractive. Also, using natural materials like wood helps the environment to look more authentic," she said.