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CBRE event: wellness in the workplace

Bernard Crouch, director of Acumen FM and an active member of the BIFM Rising FM’s committee, reports on the recent CBRE Wellness event.

On the 31 May around 80 FM professionals gathered at CBRE’s offices in London’s West End to hear about ‘Wellness in the Workplace’.

Two CBRE colleagues presented to us, Wouter Oosting who flew in to London from the Netherlands specifically to present this fascinating topic to us, taking off immediately after Q&A.

Oosting has over 15 years of experience in the field of workplace strategy, with international experience of workplace environments and office fit outs that introduce a wide spectrum of wellness initiatives.

His colleague Steve Murphy takes the workplace strategy and develops the implementation plan and communications strategy, ensuring co-ordination of client partners (HR, IT, Comms) through to delivery.

Oosting described how much life and society has changed in the past 10 years, especially in terms of our lifestyles, social media and diet. He then outlined the five main trends in workplace wellness:

  • Employees are living and working longer
  • We have declining health – world obesity has doubled since 1980
  • Key skills are in short supply
  • There is an increasing awareness of stress and mindfulness
  • Wearable technology is making it easier to monitor our health

At several locations CBRE have focused on introducing the WELL Building Standards for air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Some startling studies show how our reliance on sugary snacks, caffeine and other stimulants generally give us a short boost followed by a prolonged slump, when in contrast proper hydration and moderate exercise boost productivity throughout the day.

After the talk we were able to enjoy a free massage followed by networking over drinks and delicious canapes.

Most encouraging of all was to hear some of the attendees determined to introduce elements of wellness into their workplace as soon as possible.

The CBRE Wellness white paper is available at:  www.cbre.eu/emea_en/services/wellnessintheworkplace

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