Workplace happiness now squarely on the property agenda says a new Global Real Estate Trends Report from JLL

Innovative employers increasingly look to enhance the mental and physical well being of their staff, according to new research by property consultancy JLL.

Its Top 10 Global Corporate Real Estate (CRE) Trends report, just published, says an increasing focus on employee performance and productivity will drive decision-making by corporate occupiers in 2018.

Jonathan Carmalt, head of office agency at JLL’s Birmingham office, says employers are now aligning their approach to real estate and HR strategies when they acquire new offices.

“Workplace wellness is still in its relatively early stages with only 9.5% of today’s employees covered by any kind of programme, however businesses are waking up to the real link between happiness at work and increased productivity and it’s clearly on the property agenda.

“The report indicated that happiness at work ranked higher (69%) than switching off and meditation for people’s desired state (25%).

“We’re expecting more companies to ‘humanise’ their workplace through the adoption of smart technologies and the better use of digital platforms to engage with employees, using employee satisfaction, performance and wellbeing as the new way to measure success.”

Carmalt highlights Birmingham’s The Colmore Building as an example of how innovative developers are dovetailing additional facilities into Grade A office space.

“Location and access to amenities is a key part of the new wellness architecture for buildings and The Colmore Building, as well as being in Birmingham’s central business district has gone one step further.

“Included as part of the offices is a fully-equipped gym, cycle store and changing space, concierge service and even rooms for beauty treatments.

“Clearly all this as part of your package will enhance how you feel about your employer, and how you feel at work.”

He cites Birmingham Business Park also as an example of how such an approach can be delivered across an established employment destination.

“There, we’ve seen a real focus on wellness and sustainability, drawn from its green surroundings and a strategy to create links between staff from different occupiers to create a wider sense of community,” says Carmalt.

“It’s about engagement across the park; so they have a cycling club, there are organised parkland walks, a day nursery on site, and even yoga lessons and massages. If a developer can build all those elements into its offer, then it becomes a very appealing place to work.”

The full report can be accessed here.

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