CoreNet Global UK & UKGBC: ‘Delivering Occupier Health & Wellbeing’
Consensus is that there has been more talk than action in relation to Health & Wellbeing (H&WB) within the workplace in terms of design and or operational standards. To a degree this is due to uncertainty between fact and fiction in terms of what might constitute a viable strategy; which strategy to follow amongst the myriad of Health & Wellbeing strategies on offer; and their impact on cost and or programme. The solution lies somewhere between ‘what has the greatest near term H&WB benefit’ and ‘ease or cost of implementation’.
The case for Wellbeing is well documented and generally accepted however the path towards implementation is less clear.
The CoreNet Global UK Sustainability Community is collaborating with both the UKGBC and the World GBC to put together a programme for all CRE stakeholders, to shed light and offer insights on both ‘near term H&WB benefit’ and ‘ease / cost of implementation’. There will be a call shortly on this programme from CoreNet Global UK for contributors from both End User and Service Provider communities so please watch this space.
Much of the above will draw upon the considerable work already undertaken by both the World Green Building Council and UKGBC and we are hugely grateful to them for their support.
Bitesize briefings on Office Wellbeing launched by the UKGBC for CRE stakeholders
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has produced a number of bitesize guides on Health, Wellbeing & Productivity. The three guides are specifically aimed at design & build teams, occupiers and facilities managers to help them understand the link between an office’s design and the health, wellbeing and productivity of its occupants. The guides condense the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) ‘Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices’ report, sponsored by JLL, Lend Lease and Skanska.
The bitesize guides focus on protecting CRE’s most valuable asset, people. The ‘90%’ rule that staff costs are approximately 90% of business running costs, is becoming increasingly important in the buoyant market of today. Coupled with the fact that people spend 90% of their time in buildings, having the right office space has been shown to be a key factor in helping companies attract and retain the best staff. To this end business leaders are changing their approach to wellbeing in response to changing expectations.
This new approach focuses on enhancing the physical characteristics of an office environment. These include:
- Improving daylight, acoustics and thermal comfort
- Providing active and flexible spaces
- Introducing biophilia through increased planting
- Encouraging an active workforce with schemes such as cycle to work or subsidised gym memberships.
The WGBC report presents a Framework linking together these environmental factors alongside experiential and economic indicators. The Framework is a simple guide to the different types of measurements that can be used to identify and understand the impact of an office on its users to help organisations both improve their working environments, enhancing wellbeing and productivity.
The early adopters of this new approach are already seeing the benefits. At York House developed by British Land using the WGBC Framework, 95% of staff felt the refurbishment had a ‘positive impact on workplace culture’ and at Merchant Square JLL found that 96% of those surveyed would recommend working at Merchant Square to a friend.
All parties, from the designer to the occupier need to understand the implications on their business of increasing knowledge of the link between office design and the health, wellbeing and productivity of staff. The UKGBC Bitesize guides are a great way to start.
Should you or your organisation want any further information on the CoreNet Global UK Sustainability Community, or wish to contribute to the 'CoreNet UK Health & Wellbeing Programme' please do not hesitate to contact either James Pack or Camilla Read
LINKS TO FURTHER INFORMATION:
UKGBC Bitesize briefings:
WGBC Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: