What better way to start than with the definitions; Wellness – focuses specifically on the physical health of people whereas Wellbeing is holistic; integrating many dimensions including the physical, cognitive and psychological needs of people.
A recent study from Steelcase WorkSpace Futures Researchers in Europe, North America and Asia explored the role of the physical workplace in shaping employee behaviour and fostering wellbeing, and how this ultimately increases employee engagement and performance. They explain that “Physical wellness is a critically important area of concern however focusing on just physical wellness can actually be detrimental to people’s overall wellbeing. “ The research goes on to explain that employees need a workspace that can offer choice and control over how and where they work, and as a result empower employees, while reducing stress.
There are various ways in which this can be implemented within a workspace:
Provide a range of spaces that support various modes of work for employees such as;
A range of spaces that encourage physical movement to improve wellness of employees by providing ergonomic solutions such as;
A range of spaces that are designed to increase human interaction and create a sense of belonging to the workplace, such as social spaces and video conferencing to connect with remote workers etc.
Work environments that cater for employees emotional and cognitive needs as well as their physical needs, make it easier for workers to concentrate on the task in hand and perform at their best. Employees who are well supported and more in control of where and how they work, feel safer and more engaged, which encourages engagement and entrepreneurial effort.