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Learnings from Wellness 18...

Cordless was pleased to support and attend the Wellness 18 London conference.

Organised by our sister organisation Unwired, the Wellness 2018 conference was a great day of discussion on Wellness strategies in the workplace. From our point of view as technology consultants, much of workplace wellbeing is being driven and enabled by technology.

Tomorrow’s workforce aspires to cultivate a ‘smart’ working environment that delivers an optimum user experience through technology infrastructure, apps and devices to provide customised services on demand.   

So, what did we learn from the discussions on the day?

According to The World Health Organization:

HEALTH IS A STATE OF COMPLETE PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING, AND NOT MERELY THE ABSENCE OF DISEASE OR INFIRMITY.

The conference kicked off with how Accenture is implementing new Wellness strategies, tackling the challenges of the nature of delivering professional services, including the unpredictability of hours worked and changes in working locations. Accenture aspires to be the healthiest professional services firm in the UK, with a proactive focus on awareness and engagement, rather than simply helping get sick people better. The firm is taking a holistic view of wellbeing, covering both physical and mental health. A programmatic and data-driven approach makes use of clear communications, governance and change management. Partnerships with leading healthcare organisations support and facilitate this strategy. 

Next we heard how apparently we spend a third of our lives at work and only 18% of jobs today involve moderate physical activity, compared to 48% in 1960. Physical inactivity is the 4th largest killer of people globally. 

We heard about the checklist for a healthy day and the seven concepts of the WELL Building Standard. Beyond the workplace, it is about having a “healthy scaffold” to keep people active and connected with amenities and a social infrastructure that promote a healthy lifestyle. 

We heard from Nuffield Health on how they are exploring solutions to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour in underserved employee groups.

We heard about the facets of a WELL-certified building including: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind and the importance of having a balance scorecard across all areas.

We then heard about the Wellness Journey at UBS to create a workplace experience through integrated building design and facilities.  The objective for its new London office at 5 Broadgate was: “Delivering a flexible world-class office facility for the integrated Firm”. The specific aims of the relocation included: Maximum flexibility and cost efficiency for London real estate portfolio; Enhanced client experience through world-class facilities; Productive and flexible working environment for staff; Secure and reliable infrastructure to minimise operational risk; and, Excellent sustainability characteristics and energy efficiencies. 

The workplace strategy was focused around: New clients, client retention an d revenue generation; Demographic / Talent availability; Staff attraction and retention; Commercial variability; Ease of travel to / from other UBS locations; Well-connected area for staff and, creation of a Location (Destination) or hub facility. Staff Amenities and Wellbeing were an important part of the project. 

The new workplace was designed around user journeys with built in touch points to offer healthy food, a tech point, a charity coffee bar, a concierge, retail, gym and fitness facilities, cycle bays, shower provisions. Initiatives were launched that promoted healthy eating and mental health. Within the workspace, space was allocated for multi-faith, medical facilities, hobbies, contemplation, nursing mothers and gender neutral facilities.  

Biophilic workspace design provided unrestricted access to a window and natural light with a connection to nature, sufficient provision of stairs for fit options of getting around, a variety of work settings for activity based working. Furniture was selected with ergonomics in mind. Consolidated print stations were put in along with recycling at source. SMART building design made use of 3g/4g / Wi-Fi / BOYD / INS / A3 as well as IOT sensor technologies to support user experience. Finally, a comfort policy including air, temperature, noise, water and light was put in place for users to be as productive and healthy as possible. 

UBS has a technology roadmap that covers:

1) Wellbeing: Comfort policy, communication of building performance metrics (air quality, temperature, light levels, CO2, new CAFM platform, nutrition and fitness concepts

2) Behaviour change: Space utilisation, locker usage, self-service reservations, social connections

3) Predictive (maintenance) services: Determine where and when (maintenance) services are needed, aiding statutory compliance (water quality assessments).

4) User profiling: Provide a customised experience for end-users based on personal preferences

For the future, UBS is also investigating delivering different services and functions through mobile apps including: meeting booking; Facilities Management; events; internal payment systems; wayfinding; travel booking; and, digital content management.

Finally, the event looked at the visibility experience and how workplace design impacts people’s perceptions and emotions. We heard how the workplace is a social space. We were told that user experience is how a person's perceptions and responses result from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service. User experience includes all the users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviours and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use. Buildings can provide a mechanism for generating and constraining patterns of encounter and avoidance between groups of people and we looked at examples of how buildings can bring people together, or keep them apart. The optimum visibility experience in the workplace is one that enables the shortest visual paths from anywhere to everywhere else. Did you know that as people move through the phases of creativity from preparation and incubation to insight and evaluation; they will require both communal and private space? There are also different ways that people prefer to retreat and different furniture and locations will provide options along the visibility spectrum from shielded to open; and, integrated to segregated. 

So to summarise on the day: Fascinating stuff and great to hear that organisations are taking our wellness so seriously. As for anything that can help us live and work better: we’re all for it!  

How Cordless can help...

If you want to talk to Cordless about how technology can support your Wellness strategy from the initial vision for a smarter workplace, through to the project management implementation, say hello@cordless.co.uk

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Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2018 15:45:54 +0100 GMT

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