July 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM EDT  |  Culture  |  Facilities Support Services  |  WELL Building Standard

The ROI for Healthy Work Spaces – Maximizing Performance

Employee Benefits placard with cityscape background-1Typically, Facilities Managers present cost savings measures that will yield 5% in savings or efficiency or Human Resources Managers present wellness programs that about 24% of the workforce will participate.

Today, I want to present to you a certification that will increase your team member’s productivity by 20% and will have 100% participation. The program I recommend is the WELL Building Certification.

What is WELL?

WELL is an evidence-based system to manage the performance of building features that impact productivity and occupant health. WELL started in 2014 and is administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being through the built environment.

WELL focuses on over one hundred specific features centered around 7 core concepts:

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Light
  4. Nourishment
  5. Fitness
  6. Comfort
  7. Mind

Benefits of healthy, WELL certified workplaces

The four value-driven reasons to make your work space WELL certified are Attracting and Retaining Talent, Maximizing Performance, Building Brand Equity, and Promoting Health. This article focuses on Maximizing Performance.

Before we dive into the math, let me share some studies from the National Institute of Health (NIH) website:

  • 2008 Per-person Direct Medical Cost of Overweight was $266 and of obesity was $1723
  • Fatigue-related productivity losses were estimated to cost $1967/employee annually
  • Lack of physical activity costs $68.57 per year

Getting our team members in healthier spaces will assist with nutrition, sleep practices, and daily activity. WELL contributes to all of those items.

But the major statistic is a 2014 Jones Lang LaSalle study titled Perspectives on Workplace Sustainability. This paper cites studies that show a 20 percent productivity gain from workplaces that focus on wellness.

This 20% gain means major benefits, especially given that the certification costs are typically around $4.24 per square foot. If your average employee’s salary is $50,000 per year, not even considering retention savings or health care cost reductions, you have a Net ROI in year 1 of almost $9400 (assuming approximately 150 square foot of space per employee).

The business case can be made for WELL Certification in your space. If you are planning on making a move in 2017 or would even like to think strategically about how to retrofit your space, please let me know, I would love to help make your organization more productive.

About the Author

Ray Carney

Ray Carney

Ray Carney, WELL AP is a Vice President at Markon Solutions and a champion for wellness in the workplace. Ray’s areas of expertise include workplace strategy and modification, design thinking, leadership, sustainable design, data centers, and creating secure environments. His experience includes providing cradle-to-grave project management support for the successful design and build of secure facilities. He also spearheaded the tenant fit-out of Markon's headquarters expansion to ensure that it achieved WELL certification. This was the first WELL certified project in the Commonwealth and was recognized by the City of Falls Church for its achievement. Since joining Markon in 2007, Ray has managed numerous internal program strategies, capture efforts, and client engagements. He also co-developed Markon's in-house Leadership Development Program. Prior to joining Markon, Ray consulted for prestigious consulting firms in the DC metropolitan area and Ohio. Ray's passion for wellness in the workplace has led him to speak at numerous engagements around the country including the National Facilities Management and Technology (NFMT) Conference and Expo. He also published an article on WELL Building Standards in FaciltiesNet. Ray was named one of Engineering News-Record Midatlantic's 2016 Top 20 Under 40 for contributions to the industry. He received his MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Finance from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in Management with a concentration in Business Technology from John Carroll University. Ray is a WELL Accredited Professional, LEED Green Associate, Six-Sigma certified Yellow Belt, certified SCRUMMaster, Sun Certified Java Programmer, and holds the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential as well as both ITIL v3 Foundations and Quality Management certifications.