Offices that promote well-being

Health Prevention QWL
2 minutes
How can companies reinvent workspaces to promote employee health? Customized offices, time dedicated to health prevention, e-health applications... Here are some examples.
How can companies reinvent workspaces to promote employee health? Customized offices, time dedicated to health prevention, e-health applications... Here are some examples.

Meet Emma 2040, your colleague from the future

Imagine a company where the majority of employees turn into “Emma 2040, the colleague of the future”: a hunched back (due to prolonged sitting), varicose veins (due to poor blood circulation), bloodshot eyes (due to intense work on screens), swollen wrists and legs, yellowish complexion due to lack of natural light…

This typical profile was born from the study “The colleague from the future”, from a sample of 3003 participants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. A prototype, in real size, was even designed to mark the minds.

To prevent their employees from becoming an “Emma 2040”, it is in the best interest of companies to play a full role in preventive health care by modifying their workspaces and developing new actions.

Light, sleep, physical activities

The Fabrique Spinoza has just published a study entitled “Santé Positive” (January 2022) which highlights the factors that determine health, particularly in the workplace, such as physical activity, light and sleep.

Physical activity
To fight against sedentary lifestyle, companies encourage their employees to practice a regular physical activity or, at least, to get up regularly.

Recently, the physical activity sessions offered by video have been widely acclaimed. The same is true for connected physical activity challenges that turn everyday movements into bonus points and fun challenges.

Sunlight, light and large windows to the exterior are among the first criteria listed among the indispensable elements of a work space oriented towards quality of life.

Karl Ryberg, architect, psychologist, explains how light influences our health. “Light is connected to the reptilian brain so that poor quality light puts us neurologically in crisis.”

Sleep quality is also among the new health prevention issues. 8% of employee absences are reportedly related to insomnia problems. New spaces are therefore being reinvented within the company itself.

French Companies such as Renault have installed “Calm Spaces”, Blablacar, Orange and the Banque Postale also offer rooms or cocoons for micro-naps.

eHealth applications for employees

In the prism of offices that become health trail, eHealth applications fit into the HR toolbox. Here are a few examples.

Physical activity
Some applications encourage physical exercise on a daily basis thanks to connected challenges, physical activity sessions in video, health webinars… EDF, AG2R La Mondiale, Volvo, Seb, have already made their employees move, thanks to the games provided.

Mental health
The Mindler application, for example, offers appointments with psychologists. With Moodwork, HR can prevent risks thanks to various indicators. On their side, employees can self-assess with tests or e-learning programs.

ErgoSanté, a company specialized in workstation adaptation, presented its new application that uses artificial intelligence to analyze body movements in order to prevent musculo-skeletal disorders.

And tomorrow, towards eHealth tickets?

Just like luncheon or vacation vouchers, companies and their insurance companies may offer “E-health vouchers” (physical health, mental health, sleep, obesity, diet, etc.) to enable employees to take charge of their health. The trend is there. In Europe, refund possibilities for health applications should advance considerably over the next few years.

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