ORLANDO, FL—The way a building is designed and the way people operate within the building has an impact on the people inside. That is according to panelists during a breakout session at the CREW Network Convention. Whether they live, work or play in the building, the amenities you offer can impact satisfaction and retention for employees and tenants.
First up was speaker Jessica Cooper, International WELL Building Institute, who talked a bit about elevated stress levels, health, physical and mental well-being and more. “Whether it is meditation or some other form of being healthy, you have to do whatever enables you to do your best work,” she said. While she explained that medical care and genetics are important to wellness, the majority of your well-being is impacted by the environment you spend your time in.
“Many think of the well-being movement as an extension of the environmental sustainability movement. We are now looking beyond the planet to really focus holistically on humans.”
And as it relates to corporate organizations, she said that well drives value to organizations to attract and retain top talent, maximize human performance, build brand equity and more.
She also pointed to a few case studies from ULI that showed that healthy buildings can have a positive effect on both human health and real estate performance. One such study was CBRE’s Toronto and Vancouver office. CBRE Canada president and CEO Mark Renzoni, recently said that the firm’s decision to pioneer WELL certification reflects the company’s belief that the office environment can and should add to the health of its people. “CBRE employees have access to some of the healthiest offices in the world, and by being first movers, we are in a unique position to counsel our clients through the process.”
Ware Malcomb studio manager, Erica Godun, said that moving to do work in a different place within an office is key to a better well-being. In addition, she notes that the goal is for the people who are at work have a better working environment.
“You don’t have to invest a lot of money into physically changing the building. You can manage your space better. Put in better filters. What is the water quality? You can also test indoor air quality,” said Jill Ziegler of Brookfield Properties. “Increase your property management to start. That can go a long way into upping your interior.”
There are lots of other things you can do with programming and amenities,” said Ziegler. “Also think about versatile spaces, which is something you can do without changing anything physically about the building.”
For building owners who are evaluating ROI, Ziegler suggests to listen and respond to tenants and occupants and do a triple bottom line cost benefit analysis. On top of that, she suggests tracking and improving on investor and analyst ratings.