• Smart working & Place Benefits

More productive and happier if the office is green – part 2

The quality of the working environment is often underestimated, but just as often it is a crucial factor for the success a company.

The quality of the working environment is often underestimated, but just as often it is a crucial factor for the success a company.
Factors such as closed spaces and indoor pollution negatively affect the psycho-physical well-being of employees and the quality of the work they do.
Think, for example, of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) (source: Ministry of Health) that arises through non-specific clinical manifestations after a few hours of stay in certain buildings that do not receive fresh air from the outside, and that affects between 15 and 50% of employees.
In order to improve the healthiness of the workplace (we have already talked about it here, referring to the WELL Building Standard system) by constructing or renovating buildings, the Fitwel standard was created, presented in Italy for the first time in Europe last July.
Fitwel, developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and General Services Administration (GSA), is a certification based on the idea that each office receives specific and gradual interventions regardless of size, year of construction and location, with particular reference to the design and policy of workplaces. The goal is clear, to support the well-being of the occupants of the buildings but also of the surrounding community.
Going deeper into the issue of health, the Fitwel certification is divided into 7 categories: impact on community health, reduction of morbidity and absenteeism, support for social equity for vulnerable populations, instil a feeling of well-being, improve access to healthy food options, promote occupant safety, and increase physical activity.
Not to be forgotten, finally, is active design, namely all those construction principles that promote particular attention to spaces for total well-being, for incorporating physical activity within the daily routine of workers. And speaking of active design, the only Fitwel operator to date is the Center for Active Design (CfAD), a New York NGO that develops projects supporting health and quality of life and is the third party responsible for certification.
To date, in a year in which the Covid-19 pandemic has made even clearer the importance of living in healthy and comfortable environments, at home and at work, there are over 400 projects with Fitwel certification or waiting to receive it, with over 1,000 projects registered in 40 countries and impacting one million people worldwide.