Built to Thrive: How to Build the Best Workplaces for Health, Well-Being, & Productivity

This book is the product of the Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces’ (ICHW) inaugural Science to Practice conference in 2017 titled, “How to Build the Best Workplaces for Health and Well-Being.”  In the conference, we brought together experts from different disciplines and from both research and practice to attempt to address the gaps in knowledge.  Here, in this book, each author provides a perspective on the design of workplaces built for health and well-being, with the differing perspectives together creating the knowledge base for successful design.

Included with your book purchase

Immediate access to the first three chapters

Can't wait to get started?  We provide the first three chapters electronically so you can dive in immediately.

The latest research applications for building healthy workplaces

This book contains the latest on research on the intersection of design, health & well-being, and productivity.  We provide a list of references and resources at the end of each chapter for those readers who are interested in the scientific foundation underlying each topic. 

A decision-making framework

A decision-making guide is included at the end of the book, organized into three steps: (1) learn what occupants and users of the space do and need, (2) design for need satisfaction, and (3) evaluate and iterate.

Invitation to join an interactive dialogue

Register to purchase the book and you will gain access to a diverse community of practitioners, researchers, and other professionals who have bought the book.  This portal houses an interactive discussion platform where people can share their thoughts about the book and how they have implemented practices from the book.

Updates on new content

We will send updates on new content related to this book (e.g., videos and interviews) and you will be notified when new books are published in the Science to Practice series.

Table of Contents

1 | Introduction by Cristina Banks

In the Introduction, Banks explains why the physical (built) environment matters.  Spoiler alert: it is the key to organizational success! Banks explains how the physical environment affects human beings--physically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially--whether we design it with that in mind or not.  Banks further explains from an organizational psychology and public health perspective how this subsequently affects motivation, satisfaction, health, and degree of person-environment-fit.

2 | Building for Well-Being & Productivity: What Choices? By Gretchen Gscheidle

This chapter highlights how Herman Miller’s corporate philosophy and design and research methodologies combine to support health, well-being, and productivity—in short, the prosperity of people and place.  Find out how choosing the right furniture can have an impact on how people experience their workplaces—physically and psychologically.  

3 | Designing for the Right Emotions by Sally Augustin

This chapter focuses on designing for the right emotions for the workplace and provides a wealth of information about how the design of the space we’re in influences our well-being and professional performance.  Learn how to ensure the workplace matches the emotions employees want to experience at work.

4 | Body Conscious Office Design by Galen Cranz

This chapter teaches us about postural variation and movement, which are critical for the health and well-being of people in your organization.  How do we design spaces and seating that accomplishes this? The chapter will present ideas about how we can support these goals through the thoughtful design of the physical environment.  

5 | Avoiding Infectious Disease, Sedentary Work, & Stress by John Swartzberg

This chapter addresses the issue of how to minimize sickness in the workplace and how to reduce to the extent possible factors that lead to injury and disease.  Learn what you can do to avoid harm in the workplace and design spaces that actually promote employee health.  

6 | Evaluating What a Workplace Feels Like (Part I) by Kevin Kelly

This chapter introduces the concept of measuring the intangiblehow do workplaces make people feel?  Kelly presents a scorecard approach tapping into aspects of the workplace that have demonstrable effects on occupant health and well-being. Learn how the scorecard can be used to evaluate the “success” of a workspace in creating a healthy work environment.  

7 | Evaluating What a Workplace Feels Like (Part II) by Gervais Tompkin

This chapter addresses more fully the psychological dimensions of a healthy workplace.  How do you introduce interior design and architectural features to generate a desirable effect on people?  Tompkin describes state-of-the-art examples of how workplaces can stimulate different psychological responses that build to a more motivated, engaged, and satisfied employee.   

8 | Building for People: What Metrics? By Anthony Ravitz

This chapter introduces several concepts regarding different metrics that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of work spaces from Ravitz’s experience at Google.  Learn about the various metrics available and what they can tell you how elements introduced into the workplace affect people. This is an essential guide for selecting appropriate evaluation tools to learn how the workplace is functioning from a people point of view.

9 | Toward Healthy Workplaces: Decision-Making Framework by Isabelle Thibau & Caitlin DeClercq

This chapter builds on and aims to integrate the diverse voices from previous chapters into a single framework for how to achieve a healthy workplace.  The chapter covers user-centered practices and systems theory as concepts that underlie this unique decision-making framework.  We’ll walk you through the three essential steps to include in your design process.

10 | Conclusion by Caitlin DeClercq

DeClercq invites you to reflect on the importance of changing how we think about building our workplaces.  ICHW presents final thoughts integrating what you have learned in the previous chapters to assist your future journey into health and well-being design of workplaces.  

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ISBN: 9780578479163, 0578479168

Introduction to the Built to Thrive book