CBRE Workplace Strategies: The role of CRE in Corporate Health & Wellness

CBRE, in partnership with CoreNet Global, recently conducted a survey to query Corporate Real Estate (CRE) executives on the development of health and wellness initiatives in their respective corporations.

According to the results, the importance of employee health and wellness is rising in the workplace: 89 percent of the organizations responding reported giving some level of attention to the growing trend.

CBRE compiled the results in a recent ViewPoint Report. The report states that companies should strive to design work environments that not only function as places to conduct business, but also act as places that support and improve well-being of employees.

“You can provide a physical space that supports well-being, but you can also provide a healthier work experience by enabling amenities and services that make both work and life a little easier” said Nina Charnotskaia, director within CBRE’s Workplace Strategy group.

Most respondents to the survey reported that CRE plays a meaningful role in corporate health and wellness initiatives and 91 percent anticipated that CRE engagement in such initiatives would increase during the next one-to-two years.

According to Charnotskaia, employers are developing innovative offerings that help employees integrate wellbeing throughout the work day. Employee Assistance Programs, flexible work schedules, healthy food options and easy access to hydration, as well as a range of fitness options and well-being amenities are at the forefront of the conversation and are being broadly implemented in corporations.

CBRE’s own Workplace360 offices features a variety of wellbeing amenities, ranging from conveniently located hydration stations and height adjustable desks, to a concierge team aimed at making both work and life a easier and less stressful. The Downtown Chicago Workplace360 office provides access to the building’s on-site fitness center and is located in a walkable neighborhood that features a selection of healthy lunch options.

Site selection is a common wellbeing focus area for the survey respondents as well – with 58 percent defining site selection criteria that targets commute convenience and accessibility, while 45 percent give preference to locations that connect to nature.

Figure 3 - Health and Wellness Amenities

Through Workplace Strategy and Sustainability, CBRE has partnered with Delos, the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate, to provide WELL Building Standard advisory and certification services to its clients. The principle sets performance requirements in seven categories relevant to occupant health in the built environment – air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. CBRE’s Los Angeles Workplace360 office was the first CBRE office to be WELL Certified, or deemed an environment that improves the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, and performance of its occupants.

“When employers take well-being into consideration, they are impacting employee effectiveness, presenteeism and engagement. And while correlating wellbeing initiatives to productivity is difficult, we know that there is a direct link between improved engagement and productivity that makes wellbeing a wise investment.” said Charnotskaia.

Figure 4 - Mesuring the Impact of Health and Wellness

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