ATLANTA, GA — Undoubtedly encouraging for those who made New Years' Resolutions to get healthier and perform better at work, a survey of corporate real estate executives at large corporations conducted by CoreNet Global and CBRE Group, Inc. has found that when a company focuses on employee health and wellness, workers report increases in engagement, retention rates increase, and absenteeism declines.
The survey saw responses from 211 senior level executives in the corporate real estate profession: 66 percent were corporate real estate end-users (occupiers), 25 percent were in technology firms, and 23 percent were in financial services firms. Eighty-nine percent of the firms represented in the survey reported that they are focused on health and wellness initiatives.
"Corporations that take an active role in managing health and wellness programs for employees are seeing positive returns on those investments," said Tim Venable, Senior Vice President at CoreNet Global, the leading professional association serving the corporate real estate profession. "As the line between work and personal life is increasingly blurred due to technology, remote work and 24/7 access to information, employers are taking measures to ensure employee health and wellness."
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.
When companies have focused on wellness efforts with specific goals, the efforts have paid off, according to the survey. Nineteen percent reported a decrease in absenteeism, 25 percent reported increased retention, and 47 percent reported increased employee engagement.
"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 increased focus is tied to a clear ROI for the business, where even small yet targeted adjustments in CRE capital and operating strategies have proven to increase employee engagement, productivity and retention rates – each of which supports the longevity of organizational success and profitability," said Matt Toner, Managing Director of the CBRE Institute.
To download a copy of the slides presented, see Corporate Real Estate's Evolving Role: Supporting Employee Health and Wellness (PDF).
About CoreNet Global
CoreNet Global is the world's leading professional association for corporate real estate (CRE) and workplace executives, service providers and economic developers. CoreNet Global's more than 10,000 members, who include 70% of the top 100 U.S. companies and nearly half of the Global 2000, meet locally, globally and virtually to develop networks, share knowledge, learn and thrive professionally. For more information, please visit www.corenetglobal.org.
About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world's largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2015 revenue). The company has more than 70,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through more than 400 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit www.cbre.com.