Organizations are increasingly factoring health and wellness into their building selection, writes Whelan. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said they gave preference to locations that connect with nature in their building selection.
“Initiatives in ergonomics and indoor environmental quality are also popular and often led by [commercial real estate]. Designing workplaces to encourage employee movement is a rising trend,” Whelan said.
BETTER EXPERIENCES CAN ALSO SAVE COSTS
Buildings are beginning to adopt smart automation systems, or Internet of Things (IoT) tech, to have greater control over key components of operations, like security, lighting and HVAC, with the goal of impacting cost, productivity and the overall employee and tenant experience. “As embryonic as it is for most occupiers at this time in the technology’s evolution, it is clear that the Internet of Things movement is not solely about saving costs in building systems, but is also increasingly focused on occupant productivity and experience,” said Guy Holden, EMEA president, Global Workplace Solutions, CBRE.
Recently, CBRE launched CBRE 360, a new global capability that focuses on delivering enhanced employee and tenant experiences in the workplace by integrating property services and amenities with advanced digital technology to accompany a new dispersed mobile workforce. “We’re focused on building personalized tech-enabled experiences in the workplace where we anticipate your needs through understanding data, and make your day better at work by connecting all types of amenities and experiences that today are very fragmented. The app, data layer and our on-site hospitality service teams all work in harmony to deliver a memorable experience in the office,” said Andrew Kupiec, global president, CBRE 360.
HAPPY + HEALTHY = ADVANTAGE
A 2014 study by the University of Warwick found that happy workers were 12 percent more productive. Companies that make significant investments in employee happiness and support saw their employee satisfaction rates increase. For example, one tech company experienced a 37 percent rise after making these investments.
One of the ways employers are investing in their employee’s happiness is through wellness programs. Stefan Gingerich, a senior research analyst at StayWell, said that employers are looking to establish wellness programs that are a “broader definition of ‘health’ or ‘well-being’, encompassing not only physical well-being, but also emotional well-being, mental well-being, financial well-being and more.”
According to CBRE’s 2016 Wellness in the Workplace report: “By improving the health and well-being of its workforce, an organization can create a distinct competitive advantage through reduced health-care costs, less absenteeism, increased productivity, as well as improved staff retention levels and space utilization. Wellness programs are a win-win and, quite simply, make good business sense.”