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The Future of Workplace Wellness

In the Summer 2016 edition of the NAIOP‘s Development Magazine, Andrew Gallinaro, senior vice president and director of asset management of National Development discusses how real estate professionals, property managers, and landlords are changing offerings to better reflect the desires and demands of tenants.

With a shift away from campuses that are car-centric – where employees drive to work, leave during their lunch hour to grab a bite, and then head home promptly at 5 PM – and towards office parks that better reflect a wellness-focused work/life balance, property managers too are shifting their priorities. From the seemingly-obvious decision to incorporate more natural light into the workspace, to software companies housing in-office barre studios, corporate wellness takes a number of forms.

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“Fitness studios, walking trails and outdoor gathering spaces are a welcome component to the workplace, but employers are also thinking about other ways to bring wellness into the office. At some companies, tenants can schedule a weekly delivery of organic fruits and vegetables, or request a standing desk to offset the health risks of sitting for too long. (The average American worker spends eight to 12 hours a day sitting, increasing their risk of “deleterious health outcomes,” according to one scientific study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.) Companies like…Green City Growers are installing vegetable and herb gardens in suburban office parks, giving employees the opportunity to engage with nature and enjoy fresh produce throughout the year.”

GCG already operates more than a dozen of these corporate wellness garden programs. Some, like the employee wellness program at athenahealth, are funded by the companies. Others, like the garden at Reservoir Woods shared between Verizon and National Grid, is funded by the property manager.

These aren’t just feel good stories, however. There is substantive evidence showing that wellness programs have a sizable return on investment:

20150805_smartbear_harvest_mm“Wellness initiatives, new amenities and program offerings help employees meet their personal wellness goals, but studies by RAND Health and others indicate that these programs also pay off for employers: For every $1 spent on wellness programs, employee medical costs fall by about $3.27 and absenteeism costs drop by about $2.73. These programs even contribute to improved morale and better recruitment and retention.”

Read the full article here.


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