What is a ‘Healthy Workplace’?

A healthy workplace is an ideal place to work in. According to some research on employee behavior, one of the top three factors that employees look for in a job is a company’s commitment to health and wellbeing of its employees. This is given more emphasis as the world transitions to the new normal, giving a deeper definition to what a healthy workplace should look like.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published a document defining what a healthy workplace should be, post pandemic. A healthy work environment is a balance of occupational health and safety, as well as health promotion efforts and initiatives. While there may be varied qualifications and qualities, the WHO has consolidated its concrete definition: 

“A healthy workplace is one in which workers and managers collaborate to use a continual improvement process to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of workers and the sustainability of the workplace by considering the following, based on identified needs.”  

 Physical Work Environment 

Businesses can provide a healthy workplace by ensuring that the physical work environment is set to the highest industry standards and criteria. An ideal physical work environment ensures that the design and layout of the workplace is optimal for the comfort, productivity, and motivation of its employees. 

RELATED: Optimizing Buildings for Disease Prevention 

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) found that potential employees prefer working in an office located in a LEED-certified building, where their health and wellbeing are considered to be top priority. The same study found that workers based in a LEED-certified green building are found to be more satisfied on their job, and that 79 percent of the respondents agree that they would choose a job in a LEED-certified building over a non-LEED building. 

Uplifting health and safety in the physical work environment should cover indoor air quality, ventilation, maintained optimal humidity, and industry standard protocol for cleaning and maintenance. 

 Psychosocial Work Environment  

A healthy workplace should go beyond physical modifications and provide greater support to employees to their psychosocial needs. The 2018 Global Talent Trends survey found that one in two employees would like to see a greater focus on well-being at their company especially on the physical, psychological and financial wellness of its employees. 

A company’s culture contributes a huge role on the WHO’s definition of a healthy workplace. Programs organized and initiated by a company to promote healthy habits and uplift the general wellbeing of their employees should be holistic—providing focus not just on their physical wellbeing but looking after their mental health as well. One study also raises the issue of psychosocial hazards in the workplace that should be addressed by companies to promote a healthy workplace. These may include organizational culture and the attitudes, values, beliefs and daily practices, that can contribute as stressors to employees. 

Community Health and Wellbeing 

An ideal and healthy workplace is not bound by physical workstations and office floors, but should encompass communities. Providing a workplace setting that uplifts and prioritizes the overall health and wellness of its employees creates a huge impact on public health and vice versa. As active members of the community, employees who spend the majority of their day working in their offices should be in a work environment that ensures their holistic safety and wellbeing. 

RELATED: The Importance of Public Health in Communities 

Premium green buildings, such as JEG Tower @ One Acacia, invests in the well-being of its building occupiers by addressing health and wellbeing in a holistic approach. By following industry-set standards and optimizing building design and operations, it is one of the most ideal locations to work in Cebu City. JEG Tower puts a premium on their health, while practicing sustainability and energy efficiency. 

Shift to Sustainability – Highlighting Green Real Estate in the Philippines

The role of health has taken the spotlight as the government, along with other industries have been taking the initial steps to the new normal. More emphasis has been given to creating resilient and sustainable buildings that will further support the promotion of public health and wellness, especially in the workplace.  

Sustainability has been an enduring trend in real estate for decades. Aside from the negative health and economic effects, the COVID-19 pandemic also revealed how massive the impact of economic activity and building & construction has on the environment.  

According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI), healthy design and construction of green buildings should be prioritized now more than ever as they do not only key determinants of market competitiveness and investment appeal, but as more private estates aim to make sustainable and green real estate the standard in the Philippines.  

RELATED: JEG Tower at One Acacia: A sustainable landmark rises – Property Report PH  

Some publications have been suggesting that sustainability in real estate should be the new norm and should be the new standard post-pandemic. Optimizing residential and commercial structures to promote health and hygiene, and at the same time, contribute lesser negative impacts to the environment should be the focus of shift in the real estate landscape in the Philippines.  

Sustainable buildings, especially those that are certified by LEED, WELL, or BERDE in the country implements specialized measures that do not only prevent disease and potential outbreaks in the future but greatly contribute to the security and protection of public health in communities.  

RELATED: Optimizing Buildings for Disease Prevention  

Buildings and public spaces play a huge role in disease prevention and control. From its design to operations, buildings contribute to the battle against the spread of viruses in workplaces and offices. While other commercial establishments will only start to adapt to these newer standards after the coronavirus outbreak, sustainable and green buildings that were already certified by programs such as LEED have long been uplifting the quality of the work environment and promoting the health and well-being of their tenants.  

Driven to push forward this initiative to become the new standard, JEG Development Corporation (JDC) has specifically partnered with Casas+Architects to design this 22-floor tower towards sustainability, using environment-friendly materials and would operationalize as energy-efficient as possible.  

JEG Tower @ One Acacia has been one of the few commercial establishments in Cebu City that advocates for the overall health and wellness—not only of their tenants but the community as a whole. Earning its Silver pre-certification even before launching, this is JEG Tower’s commitment to the continuous betterment and upliftment of their fellow Cebuano’s lives, especially now after a pandemic.  

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In addition, JEG Tower was designed in such a way that tenants are also encouraged to lead a more sustainable lifestyle for themselves, not just as a defense against potential health crises in the future. This is also part of the general mission of JDC to improve life in Cebu City.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a healthy community is a prepared community. The best way of preparing for potential outbreaks in the future is by ensuring that the health of the overall community. Envisioned as one of the most preferred work locations for Cebuanos, JEG Tower @ One Acacia will not only offer office spaces that will boost employee productivity but also provide a space where their health and well-being is the main priority.