Building design and its impact on employee health and wellbeing is a key consideration to the restoration of economic productivity as businesses adjust to a post-pandemic environment.
“The wealth of business depends on the health of workers.”
Dr Maria Neira, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization
Whether a working environment is safe and healthy will depend upon a number of issues including air quality and noise pollution as well as cultural and stress factors. Research2 has found that the majority of employees report that noise regularly disrupts their work and that they experience symptoms associated with poor air quality, significantly affecting their productivity, wellbeing and job satisfaction.
When employees spend significant amounts of time working in enclosed office environments, maintaining indoor air quality is key to supporting employee health and wellbeing. Alongside management of air conditioning systems and manually operated windows to maintain comfortable temperatures and enable natural air flows, it is important that designs use surfaces that do not harbour dust and micro-organisms and so reduce levels of air borne toxins and allergens.
Designflooring offers a hygienic surface with an authentic look of wood and stone yet without any of the practical disadvantages of these natural materials. Designed with cutting edge technology, all our flooring products support healthy environments. Produced to ISO14001 standards, our products are ortho-phthalate free and low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) so designs do not need to sacrifice aesthetics to meet technical requirements.
As specified in the British HSE Control of Noise at Work Regulations 20053, keeping noise exposure in the workplace below 87dB will help protect employee health and wellbeing. Open plan offices with modern, minimalist design can suffer increased noise disturbance due to the use of sleek surfaces which can reflect and amplify sound. With research4 indicating that noise levels at work are having a negative impact on wellbeing, it is clear that specifying materials with acoustic benefits can support a healthy working environment.
To ensure the safety of employees as they return to the workplace, many businesses are installing screens and room dividers to enable individuals to comply with social distancing recommendations. While these adaptations can be expected to help reduce ambient noise levels by blocking transmission of sound waves, specifying flooring with enhanced acoustic properties can further reduce noise caused by shoes and scraping chairs.
Designflooring has been designed to be quiet underfoot, featuring a layered vinyl composition. Additionally, our easy-fit Korlok and Designflooring LooseLay ranges incorporate an enhanced acoustic backing which can reduce noise transfer to floors below by up to 21dB, helping developments meet current building regulations for acoustic performance.
Available in a wide range of wood, stone and sealed concrete designs, our Korlok and Designflooring LooseLay ranges offer stylish contemporary looks, acoustic benefits and a durable, hygienic surface to meet the technical and design requirements of a busy workplace.