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Making an office more than an office

Posted by Greg Fearn 8 months ago

A 2016 report from Social Science Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, commissioned by the Department of Health, sought to understand whether workplace health programmes are effective for improving health and business outcomes, and to identify characteristics that influence their success. The report concluded that there are benefits, for the business and employees’ health, from establishing workplace health programmes.

In light of this report and the increased concern mental and physical well-being of the population the Taylor Report has called for a more proactive approach to workplace health for the benefit for firms, workers and the public interest.

This suggestion is likely to be something that the government supports due to the increased pressure on NHS budgets caused by inflation and an ageing population and will put pressure on companies to incorporate schemes designed to offer support and incentives aimed at reducing health and risks such as smoking, obesity and stress. Many companies have already taken steps to incorporate workplace health schemes including Lendlease which has a mental health first aider in every project and office.

However, if companies are under increasing pressure to incorporate corporate wellness programmes then landlords and developers will need to make sure that their properties are developed to allow companies to facilitate them. Developers will need to consult with their prospective tenants to ensure that their developments allow for open spaces, quiet rooms, gyms or even consultation rooms depending upon the companies wellness plan.

With a population that is likely to be working longer than ever, creating healthy work spaces will be key to ensuring that people can continue in work. Are developers and landlords likely to incorporate a tenant’s devised wellness plan or will tenants expect developers to create and incorporate a wellness plan into the development themselves for the benefit of the tenant?

This post was edited on Jan 10, 2018 by Karolina Labrenz

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