Perspectives on health and wellbeing from commercial and residential property

Wellness, a combination of physical, mental, and social wellbeing, is a concept that has come to the fore in various sectors. It affects all of us – as individuals, businesses, employers and employees – and has been both driven and reflected by policy in health, the labour market and, increasingly, the built environment.

The spaces we inhabit are key. How can the design and operation of places support greater wellbeing? What more can be done from our sector and from policy makers to reflect the wellness agenda? How is wellness best measured and what metrics can we use to show its value?

If proof were needed of the importance of the wellness agenda, the question of measurement is being debated on an international level as the UN sets Sustainable Development Goals for its member states.

The commercial property sector is waking up to the value of wellness, recognising that a healthy employee is a productive one, and that building design, amenities and operational culture can help create healthy, vibrant – and more profitable – working environments.

The workplace is more than square footage and increasingly forms part of a business’s offer to its employees. The rapidly expanding co-working sector is demonstrating the importance of culture, comfort and high quality design for businesses and their workers.

Employee wellbeing is a determinant of workplace performance, but wellness at work actually begins at home. Home and neighbourhood are increasingly relevant to the commercial sector.

Ensuring wellbeing at home is important in terms of long-term value creation, too. With the rise of Build to Rent and increasing demands in residential, the property sector is waking up to the fact that wellbeing is more than a corporate social responsibility trend; by improving buildings to help people work, live, perform and feel their best, we can create clear value for customers.

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June 2018