Over a seven-month period, research was conducted at CBRE’s Amsterdam headquarters. A total of 124 employees participated in this multidisciplinary study. For two months, data was collected with no changes (‘normal situation’) followed by a five-month period in which one element was adapted each month. Parts of the workplaces were fitted out with more plants, better lighting and participants were encouraged to exercise more, relax, eat more healthily and drink less coffee.
The effect of these changes on employees’ performance exceeded all of the research team’s expectations. Furthermore all of the experiments showed an improvement in performance within the healthy working environment. Other methods were also used in addition to these experiments, including daily questionnaires, one-to-one interviews and activity trackers. A total of more than 100,000 data points were collected.
The study had an unexpected, but surprising, consequence: the participants actually took their new healthier habits home with them! They even passed them on to family members.
Empowering a Healthy workplace
“With the help of wearable technologies and the right working environment, organisations can encourage their people to get the best out of themselves, both in terms of health and performance. In this way, the business community can play an important role in reducing cases of burnout, as well as improving the quality and performance of organisations. Currently, we tend to see things from the perspective of the building, but it is actually about the people working there. I am convinced that, in the future, we will start building offices that put people’s health first.”