Three weeks ago, we hosted the second edition of Measuremen Presents at the beautiful Hortus Botanicus, the botanical gardens in central Amsterdam. This edition of Measuremen Presents was a huge success and we ended the day with some great, new learnings! We had experts from Google, KPMG, Diageo, Planon and a professional Dutch football club, AZ, in attendance. These guests shared and discussed their views on a healthy workplace and advised on everyday strategies to apply in the workplace, based on their experiences.
Who is responsible for the workplace?
The discussions took place in two separate panels lead by Measuremen’s co-founder and CEO, Vincent le Noble. Each panel offered interesting and differing viewpoints of health within the workplace. The first panel was made up of Ingrid Boekkamp, Frans van Eersel and Teske Schröder. During the first panel, the main question of discussion was: who is responsible for a healthy workplace? The conversation concluded that an organisation should create requirements for a healthy workplace with input from all departments such as Facility Management, Human Resources, ICT and Real Estate Management. But incorporating healthy practices within the organisation itself is not the only thing that helps integrate a healthy workplace culture; the responsibility also lies with each individual employee. Attendees also suggested that a clear, singular motivation for a healthy lifestyle plays a huge role in workplace health as well.
How does gathering data change the way people think about their health?
The second panel was made up of Lisette de Jonge, Joost Burger en Justin Timmer. During this panel, the focus was on data and culture. Each of the three members shared their own experiences in gathering data as an important part of forming a healthy workplace. Justin Timmer is a researcher who is measuring everything about himself from his heart-rate to his happiness number. As an expert in the so-called quantified self, he shared his experience from measuring his own activity and others. Lisette de Jonge shared her experience about running a pilot at KPMG in which each participant measured their daily activity and sleep with a Fitbit. It was concluded that through gathering these kinds of insights, people become more conscious of their health and activity, therefore offering them some motivation or accountability to make improvements.
Finally, the conversation led to culture, which ultimately plays a huge role in an employee’s health and happiness within an organisation. Lisette de Jonge shared that she will start working soon at IKEA and she spoke about the Swedish coffee culture of “Fika” and how it is a crucial aspect of the culture there, in personal and work life. Fika allows people to relax and have more personal conversations with colleagues, friends and family.
In the coming years, will the idea of health within the workplace evolve?
The discussions during Measuremen Presents lead to the conclusion that everyone is responsible for their own health. Although the work environment plays a huge role in health, a person’s own personality, motivation and responsibility contribute to a bigger part of their personal health. The conversation ended with the question of how we will look at a healthy workplace in five years? Hopefully, as Lisette de Jonge suggests, a healthy workplace will not be a discussion in five years, but it will be commonplace and a normal part of an organisation’s culture.