Quality of life in the workplace is one of the great contemporary challenges in the world of work.
When Interface France decided to invest in new offices in 2018, the wellbeing of occupants was naturally uppermost in our minds when we conceived these spaces. Of course we were thinking about our teams, as well as our clients and partners who come to visit us every day, particularly to discover our Matériauthèque or to organise events.
It was important for us to successfully evaluate quality of life in our offices. Naturally, right from the start, we wished to obtain WELL Building Standard™ certification for these spaces. This is the international building certification that serves as a benchmark for quality of life and the layout of space. Today, we are very proud to announce that our Paris offices in the Opus building have been awarded WELL GOLD (New and existing interiors) certification. It is the first project to achieve this standard in Île-de-France and only the second in France!
What is WELL certification?
WELL certification introduces new standards concerning quality of life in the workplace and wellbeing. Unlike certain existing certification labels, it focuses primarily on the occupants of buildings, rather than the buildings themselves.
“Individuals spend most of their time indoors, basically within the walls of companies. Their wellbeing, which is a major performance lever, is an increasingly central concern for employers. WELL Building Standard certification establishes the main criteria to take into consideration in order to improve the wellbeing of employees.” Ann-Marie Aguilar, Senior Vice President, EMEA.
WELL certification in France and in Paris
Launched in the United States in October 2014, the WELL standard is a benchmark that brings together best practices in the design, construction, layout and utilisation of workspaces. While existing certifications such as HQE, BREEAM and LEED attest to the performance of a building in terms of its sustainability, WELL is the first certification dedicated entirely to the wellbeing of occupants.
With 66 projects in the process of being certified (in July 2019), France now has the fifth-highest presence of WELL certification of any country in the world.
- 1,057 projects either certified or in the process of being certified worldwide
- 39 countries have adopted WELL certification
- Almost 20 million square metres have already been certified
- 66 projects in France
- France has the fifth-highest number of registered projects of any country in the world
- Six projects in France have been awarded GOLD certification, including two in Paris.
In France, 92% of the projects in the process of being certified were initiated by landlords, who regard certification as a distinguishing characteristic that will attract new tenants to their buildings. This is a winning strategy, as confirmed by the results of the European Occupier Survey 2017 by the CBRE, which revealed that companies are increasingly concerned about the quality of their interior layouts and the wellbeing of their employees: 72% of companies surveyed expressed their preference for WELL-certified premises.
Interface’s expertise in quality of life in the workplace
At Interface, we know that happy and empowered employees are more productive and creative. As we see it, quality of life in the workplace is achieved through the services, layout and comfort provided to occupants by means of furniture and technology.
Our Paris offices were designed using a human resource-centred approach, in collaboration with the architects and designers of Tétris. The consultancy G-ON also provided us with assistance to obtain WELL Gold certification.
This layout of space, which was conceived with its occupants in mind, is coupled with services provided on a daily basis (fruit baskets, ping-pong tables, massages, yoga classes, etc.). But that is just the tip of the iceberg!
Services for occupants
At Interface, we know that it is important to offer high-quality food in order to maintain high performance throughout the day. Our spaces were designed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle, by providing organic snacks using local produce, a variety of drinks to keep hydrated, etc. There are also weekly activities such as yoga classes and massage sessions.
Varied furniture and state-of-the-art technology
Quality of life in the workplace is not solely limited to the activities or services on offer. For example, each employee has a fitness bracelet to tell them the number of steps they have taken each day, when to take a break, when to stand up from their chair and when to have a drink. We also offer more than 100 different seats to suit all tastes and to meet everyone’s needs.
The layout of our spaces
Right from the design phase of our new spaces, our aim was to improve the experience of our employees, clients and partners. Hence, to keep our employees in shape throughout the year, we have created areas where they can rest, read or isolate themselves in order to work alone or in small groups.
Interface France spaces and WELL certification
In order to ensure the quality of our spaces, we took steps to obtain WELL certification, the wellbeing certification label for building interiors. We chose this certification because of the tangible nature of its seven criteria, each of which is examined and measured.
“We congratulate Interface for achieving WELL Certified Gold at Interface Europe – Opus in Paris,” said IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. “With this office and showroom Interface has continued its longstanding commitment to advancing people’s well-being and is inspiring others in France and throughout the region to prioritise people’s health and happiness.”
Creating +Positive spaces™ has brought us plenty of benefits, both internally for the wellbeing and efficiency of our teams, and externally by demonstrating Interface’s expertise in the layout of space – areas where Interface wishes to position itself as a leader.