SINGAPORE, 13 March 2019 – Colliers International (NASDAQ: CIGI; TSX: CIGI), a global leader in commercial real estate services, today released its Wellness 2.0 report How? Where? Well! This research paper builds on the original Who? What? Well! paper published in 2018 as the discussion has since evolved from “what” wellness is and “why” it’s important to more practical considerations such as “where” to start and “how” to effectively implement wellness programs for enhanced productivity.

Sam Harvey-Jones, Managing Director of Occupier Services, Asia, at Colliers commented: “Across Asia, wellness is increasingly considered a key component of the employee experience. As the concept of wellness gains ground, companies are starting to measure and report on the links between wellness and financial performance, often through the reduction of employee absenteeism and greater productivity due to enhanced employee engagement. In India, savings from wellness initiatives are estimated at up to USD20 billion in 2018. In China, where healthcare costs could reach USD1 trillion by 2020, companies are moving aggressively to promote healthier workplaces.”

Victoria Gilbert, Associate Director of Wellness Consulting at Colliers, added: “Millennials assign significant importance to wellness factors at work, and with this demographic projected to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025 according to one study, it is no surprise that the global wellness industry grew 12.8% from USD3.7 trillion in 2015 to USD4.2 trillion in 2017.”

Multi-stakeholder approach to wellness
Ms. Gilbert commented: “To maximise the efficacy of wellness initiatives, an important initial step is to identify the baseline. It’s crucial to create a wellness strategy that’s core to a business and its employees. As wellness is not confined to one area of a business, the creation of a cross-functional committee encompassing facilities management, commercial real estate, HR and IT to jointly oversee wellness efforts is the optimal approach to ensure broad-based support and success across an organisation.”

New technologies enable new possibilities
1) Space: The emergence of more accurate air quality solutions is enhancing adoption rates across Asia, especially in China and India where air quality is a major concern.
2) Organisations: More and more companies are seeing the advantages of expanding wellness programs beyond physical to include mindfulness and lifestyle. For example, healthtech firm Byobeat measures employee’s heart rate variations over a 72-hour period to identify sources of stress.
3) Individual: Improved wearable devices motivate employees to get fit and enable tailored solutions to monitor their health. New AI-powered virtual wallets provided by companies such as CXA Group come equipped with access to services that prevent workplace health issues even before they arise.

Wellness considerations in commercial real estate
Colliers research demonstrates that wellness factors such as air quality, natural light and recreational space are all key drivers of relocation decisions in markets such as Hong Kong.

Mr. Harvey-Jones commented: “We’re seeing that landlords are increasingly adopting new building technologies and design features such as double-height windows and exterior glazing that allow in natural light, which has been shown to enhance employee health while lowering energy costs.”

Improved metrics needed to assess wellness
While wellness has already been linked to improved profitability, employee satisfaction and productivity are often difficult to quantify. The good news is there are growing number of tools such as real-time indoor air quality monitors, mobile platforms, and scorecards, to name a few, that enable more effective assessment of wellness programs and their impacts on companies’ bottom line over time.

Metrics based on human feedback can be especially valuable to landlords as they may predict the likely duration of a company’s tenancy. Those landlords and tenants who act early to effectively assess the efficacy of wellness programs while considering key human elements – including management buy-in and employee participation – will have a distinct advantage in the fiercely competitive property market and war for talent.

To download the full report, visit here.