Forum looks at impact of workplace on health

Wiltshire communications consultant Joanna Watchman has launched an online community to look at how our work environment impacts our health and wellbeing.

Work in Mind is a community-driven platform aimed at driving positive change in the environments in which we work, live and learn to boost health and productivity. It is designed to bring together everyone from employers, to employees, designers, architects and building operators to share ideas, resources and research.

“Over our lifetime we devote an average of 90,000 hours to our jobs, so imagine the benefits to our mental and physical health if those hours are spent in a well-lit, temperate, human-centric space. Doubtless, we’ll all be more positive, proactive and productive,” said Joanna, who is the founder of B2B communications consultancy Content Coms.

“Over the last few years, we’ve made phenomenal strides in our thinking about how we can use technology to optimise our environment to benefit the people within it, whether that’s a child learning at school, someone sitting in an office or a medic in a hospital.

“However, consider the latest research on workplace wellbeing by the British Council of Offices, which reveals that a staggering one in six workers believes their office is having a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing.

“We need to look at optimising buildings through the prism of sustainability. If you embed sustainability into your environment with better heating and lighting, a major by-product is that the buildings become better, healthier places for people to work. That’s irrespective of whether you’re talking about a glamorous London office, or a factory.”

Joanna was inspired to launch Work in Mind after moving the Content Coms HQ from inner city Bristol to the Glove Factory Studios in rural Holt, Wiltshire. The bold decision quickly paid dividends, on both a business and wellbeing front. Instead of an arduous commute to an inner-city hub, the team now sit at desks with views across green fields, dotted with lakes. Natural light streams in through vast windows, fuelling productivity.

Joanna said: “Each year we put a percentage of our profits towards CSR, and after our move it felt fitting to promote workplace wellbeing. I enlisted the expertise of strategic communications consultants, Lightbulb, to think through ideas for projects that would help push out the message that buildings and workplaces can be healthier, if only people will invest in the technology and thinking in the first place.

“Work in Mind embraces everyone’s work environment, from the midwife delivering babies in hospital, to those working the night shift in a factory.

“We’d love to hear from anybody who is interested in being involved and have already had a staggering amount of interest, which can only lead me to think that there’s a real need for this.”

If you’re interested in contributing to Work in Mind, visit workinmind.org or email hello@workinmind.org.

Pictured above: Joanna Watchman, founder of Work in Mind

You must be logged in to post a comment Login