More and more professionals are feeling the ebbing burn-out that comes with too much work and not enough recreation. As such, wellbeing in the workplace is an issue which is gaining more traction every day.
One country who seems to understand the importance of mental and physical health at work is the Netherlands. A pioneer of flexible working, one Dutch workspace has gone one step further and created what has now been dubbed as “the healing office”.
According to The Guardian, The Edge – a tower in Amsterdam – has been awarded an Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence for its sustainable approach to working.
The Edge features glass walls which allow for natural light to flood in, lights which only turn on when someone is in the room, and mobile apps on which employees can remotely control the temperature of their immediate surroundings.
“It’s a kind of laboratory,” Cees van der Spek, Global Corporate Relations Director of Developer OVG Real Estate, based in The Edge, told The Guardian. “The main things that make people unwell in offices are lack of daylight, the climate system not working and noise. Improving productivity is the holy grail in offices and, if illness goes down, it’s automatic.”
Sensors, built into light panels, also track which areas of the office have been used the most each day – which allow the robotic cleaners to focus more on tidying those places.
And due to the increased emphasis on promoting wellbeing, employee absenteeism has decreased within The Edge. The designers of The Edge reportedly targeted ten indicators of a healing office – which The Guardian reports include indoor climate, daylight, physical activity, healthy food, diversity and nature.
Wilmar Schaufeli, Psychology Professor from Utrecht University, also commented: “I believe job characteristics are more important than the environment.
“Certainly, physical environment plays some kind of role, and some people are probably more vulnerable than others. But when it comes to job stress, work overload, lack of autonomy, social or supervisory support tend to be more important.”
Photograpy Credits: Ronald Tilleman and OVG Real Estate.