As we are experiencing the beginning steps of returning to the workplace, many are wondering what the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are on the spaces in which we spend so much of our waking time: the office. It is clear that a focus on building occupants’ health and well-being will outlast today’s virus. The virus’ will be the driving force behind the adoption and standardization of principles to make interior spaces healthier to inhabit. Many guidelines, both officially regulated and adopted as best practices, bridge the thresholds between sustainability, wellness, construction, and the use of space.
One such certification, the WELL Building Standard, uses research from medicine, science, green building, and the construction industry to improve and protect the health and wellness of the people inside our buildings. The International WELL Building Institute launched WELL Building Standards in 2014 after extensive scientific and medical research. WELL Building Standards are divided into seven concepts which must be achieved to reach WELL Silver, Gold, or Platinum. These seven concepts are air, water nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. WELL-Certified spaces signal a focus on wellness in the workplace and add value to businesses for marketing and branding purposes. More importantly WELL Building Standards increase productivity, improve employee retention, and encourage healthier employees that can reduce healthcare costs in the future.