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. 

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:  

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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.  

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

The COVID-19 outbreak may be stressful for some people. As the world continuously witness the world change, fear and anxiety can affect their mental health and take a toll on their general well-being.  

According to studies, stress and anxiety can greatly affect one’s health and well-being. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported many manifestations of stress amid the pandemic including difficulty of sleeping, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, worsening of chronic health and mental health problems, and increased use of alcohol and tobacco. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is common to experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, and loneliness during this difficult time. However, it is important to manage it by learning different strategies and coping mechanisms.   

Taking care of your mental health will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Here are some ways and strategies that can be helpful to practice during the outbreak:  

Take sanity breaks  

The news from the media and social networking site feeds can be overwhelming and stressful. Practice taking mini breaks from watching, reading, or listening to the news, especially if it is about the statistics of the virus. Being informed about relevant information is always helpful but getting anxiety from too much exposure to crisis-related news can also increase stress levels.   

It is advisable to limit your time scrolling on your social media accounts. Aside from mental stress, excessive use of phones and tablets can also cause eye strain and body aches.  

Take care of your mind by limiting your screen time. It is also a good practice to turn off any electronic device for some time each day including 30 minutes before projected bedtime.  

Stick to Routines 

Changes may be stressful for your mind. Experts suggest developing and maintaining a regular schedule is very beneficial for mental health. Stick to routines such as regular bedtimes, consistent times for meals, bathing and getting dressed, preparing for work or studying, and exercising. The predictability can make you feel more in control and would ease the brain.  

Stay busy 

Use this time to enjoy hobbies that you can do home, learn a new skill or two, develop healthy habits, and start a project that you have been planning to do. Staying busy can be a healthy distraction from negative thoughts. This can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.  

Focus on positive thoughts  

Focusing on the positive side of things is a healthy way of coping with stress and anxiety. While this can be hard for some, doing little things such as listing the things you are thankful for daily can mean a lot to your mental health. Instead of dwelling on how bad things are going, focus on the things you can control and keep problems in perspective.  

Connect with others  

Now more than ever, the need for connection is very important. Since everybody is away from each other due to social distancing and the community quarantine, hone virtual connections by video chats, phone calls, text messaging, and other similar apps. If you are working remotely from home, ask your co-workers how they are doing and talk about things outside of work.  

It would be also helpful for your mental health to voice out your concerns and how are you feeling with people you trust. 

Top Property Management Guidelines to Observe during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines

One of the key tasks of a property management team is to be prepared and protect their tenants in the event of a health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only tested the existing protocols and guidelines of commercial and residential establishments, but it has also redefined some of the ways real estate developers and companies weigh the importance of the health, well-being, and safety of their occupiers.  

Experts say that a holistic approach is needed to battle and contain the coronavirus. More than self-isolation and staying at home, community-level measures should also be implemented, which can be more effective in fighting the spread of the virus.  

1. Limit movement  

The enhanced community quarantine was implemented to limit movement and effectively decrease the rate of the spread of the virus. Moreover, it is important to declare all recent travel for respective self-quarantine measures and contact tracing purposes.  

The Property Management Team of Tomodachi Premium Residences has encouraged its residents to declare any recent travels-domestic or international, to aid in the efforts of controlling the exposure of others with the virus. Residents are also being encouraged to stay indoors and limit their movement outside the premises. Moreover, residents are also asked to refrain from inviting guests and visitors following the community quarantine. Social gatherings are also prohibited until the ECQ has been lifted.  

2. Close all common areas  

To stop the spread of the virus and limit interaction, properties are advised to close down all common areas that are accessible to their tenants such as gyms, function rooms, roof decks, etc.   

Tomodachi Premium Residences has advised its residents that the pool area will be closed as a measure and reminder for them to remain indoors.  

3. Postpone renovation and repair  

All the renovation inside homes and units should be prohibited in the meantime. Emergency repairs that can potentially harm the residents or damage the property should be reported to the management of the property.  

4. Be up to date with verified and relevant news  

JEG Development Corporation ensures that the tenants in our existing properties are safe and protected against COVID-19. Its Property Management Team is in full alert to assess the situation and follow news developments about the virus that will help fight its spread in our communities.  

5. Communicate and coordinate with your Landlord   

During a crisis, it is important to keep the communication lines open between you and your landlord. Now more than ever, staying connected is crucial in overcoming such an event. The management may offer initiatives that can help you during the crisis and provide additional measures for your convenience. Some may even offer rent concessions as a consideration and help with what is currently happening.  

Cebu scholar develops COVID-19 contract tracing app

The local government and the whole community of Cebu City come together to fight the spread of COVID-19 within the city and in the whole region. Mayor Edgardo Labella announced that they are ready for mass testing after acquiring 30,000 test kits. 

According to his press conference, 20,000 kits were handed over to the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD) and to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), while the remaining 10,000 test kits were donated to the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7). 

As of April 14, Cebu City has recorded 31 COVID-19 positive patients. Mayor Labella said that they expect this number to rise once they begin with the mass testing. DOH has reported six new cases today after a few days streak of no positive cases. 

More than the implementation of enhanced community lockdowns and the establishment of isolation facilities, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia endorsed a mobile application that aims to control the spread of the virus via contact tracing. Through an executive order, Garcia required every Cebuano to download and install WeTrace, an app that would expedite contact tracing for persons infected with the coronavirus disease. 

“The WeTrace app has been developed to accurately trace and monitor, with utmost privacy and confidentiality, persons living in the Province of Cebu who have Severe Acute Respiratory Infections, Influenza-Like Illnesses or have been classified as Persons Under Monitoring or those symptomatic of the COVID-19,” the EO read. 

WeTrace supports a “report” feature wherein the public can disclose information given the chance that they have interacted with a COVID-19 positive patient, or those persons under investigation (PUI) and monitoring (PUM). It will prompt them to input their full name, contact information and details of their report. 

The app was developed by a homegrown talent, a Cebuano scholar of the Department of Science and Technology. This project was initiated right after the spread of the virus in the country was first reported. 

Technology photo created by nensuria – www.freepik.com

Apart from its report feature, WeTrace will also serve as a database and valid source of information of the Department of Health for statistics. The government unit can also release and disseminate information and health tips through the app. 

Ways to reduce waste in the workplace 

Waste reduction is one of the most important facets of conserving resources and adapting green initiatives in the workplace. Over the years, companies have become more aware of the impacts of businesses on the environment and have pledged their support and cooperation in helping combat the worsening condition of climate change. From choosing to locate in green buildings to incorporating a biophilic workplace design, committing to help in saving the environment can be simple yet valuable. 

Here are some ways you can reduce office waste: 

Smart use of paper  

For some, paper is still a necessity in day to day business. With the continuous advancement of technology, businesses can implement strategies that promote a smarter usage of paper and printing: 

  • Print in draft mode to use less ink
  • Use both sides of paper 
  • Shred scratch papers and use it as fillers in packages 
  • Buy refilled cartridges of toner and ink to reduce metal and plastic waste in landfills 
  • Provide paper recycling bins near workstations 
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Other companies, and even local government units in the Philippines, are even turning into paperless institutions. This eco-friendly digitalization is an initiative to significantly reduce paper consumption for transactions and a commitment to promote the conservation of natural resources to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. 

Provide reusable utensils and water bottles 

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Providing your employees with reusable water bottles and utensils does not only look good for your branding, but it will also be a great initiative to promote waste reduction in the workplace. Tons of plastic can be cut off from disposable spoons, forks, and plastic water bottles. 

Offer better transportation options 

Your employees’ commute to the office is also a great area for you to promote waste reduction. Encourage employees to walk or bike to work by offering shower rooms and changing areas. For employees who live farther, organize a carpool program and get them connected. 

Recycle e-waste 

Old and irreparable mobile phones, computers, printers, and other equipment can often be recycled. Look for recycling programs and companies who buy these scrap materials in your area that accept these kinds of materials. Your company can also hold a collection drive for the employees’ personal damaged devices they would want to donate. 

Locate in a green building 

Offices that are based in a green building impact the environment more positively than those who are in regular office buildings. Sustainable structures, LEED buildings to be more specific, follow and observe certain standards that are beneficial to the environment. These green structures use less water, energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases without compromising the usual operational needs of businesses. 

The company’s role in adapting green practices within the office and instilling the green mindset to their employees is very crucial. These small efforts and policies may be simple, but they can make a large difference if done collectively. 

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JEG Development Corporation, the name behind JEG Tower @ One Acacia, is one of the few frontrunners of the green revolution in Cebu. Being a family-run business for generations, the company has committed to promoting eco-friendlier options and solutions in their line of businesses. JEG Tower @ One Acacia is Cebu City’s newest premium green buildings. Expected to open in 2020, it looks forward to revolutionizing work and life balance by providing a working environment that uplifts its tenants’ health and wellness and promoting sustainable real estate in the province. 

Interested in leasing a commercial space in a premium green building? Contact Michael Glindro at (+63) 917-584-0443. For more information, send us an email at info@kmcmaggroup.com or reach out to us through (+632) 8403-5519.