Work-Life Balancing Act Starts with Smarter Offices

Primary tabs

Work-Life Balancing Act Starts with Smarter Offices

by Suzette Lamont
Westpac’s new offices at Barangaroo in Sydney balance wellness and workplace. Photo: Nic Walker

Westpac’s new offices at Barangaroo in Sydney balance wellness and workplace. Photo: Nic Walker

tweet me:
Work-Life Balancing Act Starts with Smarter Offices http://bit.ly/2ePXCud @CBRE #workplacewellness
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 8:05am

CAMPAIGN: CBRE People and Culture

CONTENT: Article

The workplace is in a state of transition globally, with words like wellness, health, relaxation, social and even fun now synonymous with the office. As our work habits continue to evolve, so do our workplaces – offering more than just a stationary desk from 9am to 5pm.

The lines of demarcation between our work and personal lives have been blurred, with office buildings facilitating the work-life balance by introducing initiatives and features that reflect the interest of tenant’s employees.

Tenants have more power than ever, with landlords taking stock of what makes happy employees and ultimately a productive, more efficient and loyal workforce. Landlords are continually looking at ways in which they can enhance the “customer experience” of their buildings – a trend that is closely aligned to what the world’s best brands are doing with service levels. Retail landlords have been adopting this measure for some years, but office occupiers are now also realising that the customer is, indeed, always right.

In Sydney – the thrumming heart of Australia’s corporate world – landlords of some of the biggest office towers are conducting focus groups with occupiers to gauge their desires, needs, concerns and frustrations.

Gathering real, qualitative results has provided invaluable insight into company culture, creating opportunities to align staff better with the firms for which they work.

In one Sydney office tower, the focus group discussions uncovered that each Wednesday afternoon, senior management would disappear from the office. The absence was widely noted and subsequently created some disengagement with staff. The reason behind the weekly disappearances? Each Wednesday, senior management would hit the harbour for some sailing. After discovering this, the landlord was able to introduce an official sailing club – enhancing inclusiveness and employee alignment with the company by bridging the gap between senior management and the rest of the staff.

Ninety per cent of all costs sit with the salaries and wages of staff – only 10 per cent of total costs are tied up in the rent and built environment. So it’s easy to assess that it’s all about the people rather than the property.

As the fight to gain and retain the right staff becomes the critical competitive advantage for big business – and as the work environment can assist that – landlords are assisting in this critical business cost.

Increasing evidence points to the tangible return on investment that can be achieved for landlords through concierge services – which give valuable time back to tenant employees – and wellness programs that help to reduce sick days and increase productivity.

Keywords: Health & Healthcare | CBRE | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Wellness | the green perspective | work-life balance | workplace wellness

CAMPAIGN: CBRE People and Culture

CONTENT: Article