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Focusing on Wellness Pays Off

By Naomi Millán Green

When a company focuses on employee health and wellness, workers report increases in engagement, retention rates increase, and absenteeism declines, according to a survey of corporate real estate executives at large corporations conducted by CoreNet Global and CBRE Group, Inc.

When companies have focused on wellness efforts with specific goals, the efforts have paid off, according to the survey, which received responses from 211 senior level executives in the corporate real estate profession.

Eighty-nine percent of the firms represented in the survey reported that they are focused on health and wellness initiatives. Nineteen percent reported a decrease in absenteeism, 25 percent reported increased retention, and 47 percent reported increased employee engagement.

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.

“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.

This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor of Building Operating Management magazine, To learn more about supporting wellness in the workplace, go to


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