How the office environment affects employees’ mental health

Before the pandemic, an average office worker spends 40 or 50 hours per week inside the workplace. As businesses prep for the new normal and business re-entry post-lockdown, commercial landlords and property owners begin to realize how the office space impacts and affects the overall well-being and safety of their employees.  

RELATED: Taking care of your mental health: Why it matters in time of a pandemic

The new normal presents an opportunity to provide a better work environment for employees and uplift their mental well-being. While most local and international guidelines and protocols focus on the safety of employees and reducing any potential exposure to the virus, it is also essential to consider how returning to the office will impact workers’ mental health. Many studies show that office spaces impact the mental health and cognitive function of employees, especially as they face more stress and anxiety while working. According to research, employees inside a confined space for long periods of time can suffer from mental burnout, demotivation, and added stress.

In a report by Entrepreneur, a healthy workforce can improve output due to lower stress levels and employee absences. A more holistic approach is also encouraged by some experts. In the same report, the corporate wellness program can go beyond physical, mental, social, and emotional needs. Mental health is an aspect that is most often overlooked by employees and employers alike when

Managing Stress and Anxiety

A healthy workplace can help employees manage stress and relieve anxiety. According to commercial interior designers, certain aspects of the office can contribute to increasing motivation, boosting morale, and productivity.

Gensler reported that biophilic and green features such as outdoor spaces and access to natural lighting can help reduce stress, anger, and anxiety. It can also lead to improved self-esteem and a better image of self in the long run.

Experts suggest that providing areas when employees can take a break, relax, and socialize is a simple step in helping them cope with the workload better and reduce the feeling of burnout while in the workplace. In the post-pandemic timeline, companies should be careful in providing common and social spaces while still strictly implementing physical and social distancing measures to protect employees from contracting the virus.


READ MORE: Safer and Better Normal: What’s the best workspace layout in a post-pandemic world?

Better Brain Function

Studies prove that the brain’s cognitive performance is affected by the environment it is in. Workplace strategists and design experts suggest that offering a multi-sensory design in the office can improve the employees’ mental health and boost their cognitive function. Stimulating people’s senses of sight, touch, smell, and hearing can lead to a better performance at work in a less stressful and overwhelming environment.

One research found that occupants of a healthy workplace scored higher in cognitive tests, slept better, and reported fewer health symptoms. Green features such as access to natural light, green walls, and optimal indoor air quality are also proven to significantly impact the employees’ thinking abilities, capabilities to focus, and retain information. Moreover, they are more productive and inspired to complete tasks at hand.

Premium Green Buildings for Mental Health

Premium green buildings and commercial developments, such as JEG Tower @ One Acacia, ensure that the workplace design does not compromise the safety, security, and functionality of the space. Instead, it adds value to the often-overlooked aspect of design, which is to promote holistic wellness to its occupants.

By providing safe spaces where tenants can relax, socialize, and reflect, JEG Tower @ One Acacia lives up to its vision of advocating for the overall well-being of its occupants while in the office. A healthy workplace should go beyond physical modifications and provide greater support for employees to their psychosocial needs. Backed by JEG Development Corporation’s vision of revolutionizing work-life balance in Cebu City, JEG Tower promotes the importance of mental health and stress management in the office and offers realistic measures on how to address it.

Want to learn more about JEG Tower @ One Acacia? Contact Lorenzo Rodriguez at (+63) 917-825-6884. For inquiries and more information, call us at (+63) 2-8403-5519 or send an email to info@kmcmaggroup.com.

Corporate Wellness 101: Why shift focus on health and well-being

With the several concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies are looking for sustainable and resilient solutions to better protect and equip their workforce physically and mentally. The shift to wellness is becoming one of the priorities as more businesses regroup and map out their workplace re-entry strategies.

Beyond a pandemic-proof workplace, public health and safety can be improved through a suitable corporate wellness program. This initiative offers many advantages beyond employee engagement and a sense of community.

According to Business News Daily, providing lifestyle enhancement benefits can be a powerful method to recruit and retain employees. These benefits usually involve fitness, mental health, or medical needs. Simply giving access or capacity to avail gym memberships, health apps or other assistance programs can keep them happy and loyal.

Similarly, in the Philippines, companies such as JEG Development Corporation has been offering a wellness program to encourage a more active lifestyle and support sustainable transportation in Cebu. Through an allocated fund, they have recently launched a well-received bike program for all their employees that allows them to purchase their bikes.

RELATED: Why Sustainable Transportation Matters For A Greener Philippines

Since its inception, more employees are going on bike runs together to keep them fit, and also as a form of responsible socialization. Individuals who already have bikes or are less inclined to do so can use the budget to buy vitamins to supplement their health.

More data shows that these programs can help improve overall business performance as it fosters a healthier workplace. In a report by Entrepreneur, a healthy workforce can improve output due to lower stress levels and employee absences. Beyond productivity, enabling their interest to become more physically and emotionally fit will also reduce healthcare expenses for companies.

A more holistic approach is also encouraged by some experts. In the same report, the corporate wellness program can go beyond physical and emotional needs by addressing issues unique to one’s particular life. This can include financial aid, legal protection, or simply taking a more active role in the community which heavily appeals to the younger generation or the millennial workforce.

Recently, new fronts in healthcare and corporate wellness are being explored. With the help of technology, it is easier to access information and monitor fitness performance through certain apps and online platforms. Given the current pandemic, corporations can opt to avail of digital health care solutions in the workplace to create more awareness or mindfulness when it comes to physical or mental fitness.

RELATED: Pushing Sustainable Offices: Leveraging smart technology for safety, productivity

In a study conducted in the US, it was observed that employees are much interested in utilizing technology or digital systems that can help them personally monitor weight loss, provide health risk assessments, and other relevant biometric screenings.

With the drawbacks triggered by the pandemic, the shift in business priorities is a long time coming. Investing in the health and wellness of the workforce will deliver long-term returns and benefits not only for the individual but for businesses as well.

Looking to move into a healthier workplace? Contact Michael Glindro at (+63) 917-584-0443 or send an email to mike.g@kmcmaggroup.com.

How Green Buildings Contribute to your Health and Safety

Green buildings are designed to prioritize the general well-being of its occupants by ensuring their health and safety. As the world learned lessons on the importance of the environment concerning public health, a shift towards the construction and development of sustainable green buildings becomes highlighted.  

Changes in the demographics of the workforce and the requirements of a healthy workspace have greatly influenced this innovation in real estate and construction. Initially, the sustainability angle was about reducing the environmental impacts of buildings. However, as the community includes health and wellness in their top priorities, green developers started widening the scope of the advantages of staying in one.  

RELATED: How LEED certification can help prevent disease spread in the future  

Green buildings provide amenities and spaces that are designed and built with an optimized environment that may be beneficial to their tenants’ health and wellbeing. Contributing to an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional wellness, here are 5 reasons why staying in a green building is good for you:  

How-Green-Buildings-Contribute-to-your-Health-and-Safety-content-compressor

Better Brain Function  

Studies prove that the brain’s cognitive performance is greatly affected by the environment it is in. Green buildings impact a person’s cognitive function by improving focus and motivation. One research found that occupants of a green building scored higher in cognitive tests, slept better, and reported fewer health symptoms. 

READ MORE: How green buildings improve indoor air quality & provide a healthier working environment  

Encourages Movement and Activity  

Green buildings are designed to support the physical needs of an individual’s health standards. Spaces inside a green building are conducive environments that provide more opportunities for exercise and physical activity. Designated amenities and equipment are made available in rooms and common areas. Bike racks and shower rooms are also provided for the convenience and comfort of the tenants that wish to exercise.  

Hosts Collaboration and Communication   

Green buildings promote a person’s health and overall wellness by bringing positive social and emotional benefits too. Various health and wellness programs can be a venue for socialization and an opportunity for its tenants to build relationships and connect more.  

Provides Space for Detox and Meditation  

Green buildings also prioritize the mental health of their tenants. More than just contributing to better cognitive function, they also provide spaces that can be used for stress relief and meditation. Green areas and spaces can also relax the brain as the color is associated with calmness.  

RELATED: Taking care of your mental health – Why it matters in a time of a pandemic 

Built for Resilience  

Green buildings are also designed and built under the highest standards for resilience. Engineers, architects, and building designers work together to increase planning to cope with natural disasters and environmental threats. Moreover, sustainable materials are also used to construct green buildings, reducing its negative impacts on the environment.  

Interested in locating in a green building too? Contact Michael Glindro at (+63) 917-584-0443 or through mike.g@kmcmaggroup.com. You may also reach out to us at (+63) 2-8403-5519 or through info@kmcmaggroup.com.