22 July 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
More commercial businesses in the UK will make "significant investment" in wellbeing in the UK over the next three years, according to research from Urban Land Institute, a built environment non-profit research and education organisation.
The research forms part of a report, Picture of Health: the Growing Role of Wellbeing in Commercial Real Estate Investment Decision-making, that was released at an event in Birmingham by the ULI UK Sustainability Forum to highlight the rise of wellbeing investment in commercial buildings.
The report, sponsored by E.ON, marks the first time that a comprehensive survey of property experts has been carried out to understand how health and wellbeing is influencing investment decisions across the real estate industry.
It focuses on survey responses and interviews with more than 100 investors, developers, fund managers, consultants, valuers and analysts.
In the poll, 86 per cent of respondents say they expect to increase their investment in wellbeing in the next three years, with 17 per cent anticipating this increase to be "significant".
The momentum for the trend is part of wider changes in the workspace towards flexibility and shared space, as well as companies looking for improved office environments as a way to meet the expectations of younger generations in the competition for talent.
The survey reveals the expected investment will largely be driven by perceived tenant demand rather than investor demand or government policy, as occupiers fight to attract and retain talent across an ever more mobile - and socially conscious - workforce.
Victoria Lockhart, co-chair of ULI UK's Sustainability Forum and director of market development at the International WELL Building Institute, said: "The increased interest in health and wellbeing we are already seeing from major players in the real estate industry cements the fact that wellbeing is becoming central to development and investment strategies.
"As companies seek to attract top talent, wellbeing is increasingly prioritised as fundamental to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. Companies are looking closely at the workspaces they offer as well as how the workplace can help translate a company's values and build a culture of health."
Five case studies from the report include 22 Bishopsgate and the Broadgate Campus, in London, which already have health and wellbeing placed at the heart of the developments.