Companies report increase in productivity measures through focus on employee health

A survey of corporate real estate executives at large corporations conducted by CoreNet Global and CBRE Group, Inc. has found that when a company focuses on employee health and wellness, workers report increases in engagement and retention rates and absenteeism declines. The survey saw responses from 211 senior level executives in the corporate real estate profession: 66 percent were corporate real estate end-users (occupiers), 25 percent were in technology firms, and 23 percent were in financial services firms. Eighty-nine percent of the firms represented in the survey reported that they are focused on health and wellness initiatives.

“Corporations that take an active role in managing health and wellness programs for employees are seeing positive returns on those investments,” said Tim Venable, Senior Vice President at CoreNet Global. “As the line between work and personal life is increasingly blurred due to technology, remote work and 24/7 access to information, employers are taking measures to ensure employee health and wellness.”

The respondents ranked wellness design and construction elements in the following order of importance: ergonomic furniture, lighting quality, daylight and views, thermal comfort and air quality.

Among others, programmatic features that companies are offering include operating gyms, health clubs and wellness clinics implementing green cleaning standards, managing a bike share program, changing food options and vendors, offering fitness challenges, yoga classes, mental relaxation and group meditation.

Ninety percent of the firms surveyed have either implemented or are piloting active design—buildings that encourage physical activity, and a similar percentage have either piloted or are implementing workplace designs that offer and encourage employees to work from multiple areas.

When companies have focused on wellness efforts with specific goals, the efforts have paid off, according to the survey. Nineteen percent reported a decrease in absenteeism, 25 percent reported increased retention, and 47 percent reported increased employee engagement.

“Employee Health and Wellness is no longer a programmatic afterthought; rather a deliberate workplace strategy that top employers are addressing at all project stages—from idea conception through space delivery and management,” said Julie Whelan, Head of Americas Occupier Research at CBRE.

SOURCE: CoreNet Global.

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