17th July 2019

London Living - WELL Being


How are you feeling today? And what can you see around you? Does your answer to the second question have any bearing on your answer to the first? In week 3 of our #LondonLiving2019 campaign we look at the impact that the built environment can have on well being. Savvy employers are making changes to keep employees healthy and therefore productive but how can this extend into other sectors? Jessica Mueller, DTZ Investors’ analyst investigates.

More than 40 percent of London is green space or open water, the royal parks are beautiful and are exquisitely looked after. In spite of this, the majority of us spend most of our day inside, meaning we are exposed to low levels of sunlight and fresh air, especially in winter. Real estate therefore, becomes an important factor in how we live our lives and can impact how healthy we are.

The WELL standard has been built around medical research proving how environments can affect human health. These studies show that the healthier employees are, the less sick days they claim and the more productive they will be. The WELL standard focuses on active offices, where for example the stairs are more prominent than the lifts. Another simple solution is encouraging people to move throughout the day and not let them be stuck to one desk permanently. The WELL standard is gaining popularity as employers are becoming more aware of the effect that office design can have on output. Serviced offices are typically seen as great spaces, which can really encourage creativity and efficient working. They have amenities such as coffee shops, quiet spots, meeting rooms and break out areas, which means occupiers can choose the right environment to be in depending on the type of work they are doing.

Offices are ahead of other sectors, potentially because there is an obvious and direct correlation between happy/healthy employees and productivity. However other sectors are catching on, as all built environments can make a big difference to your daily life, whether it’s where you choose to work, shop, socialise or sleep. Industrial parks have introduced running clubs and events to promote a healthy lifestyle. Shopping centres have introduced experience stores and activities, such as simulators, rock climbing/bouldering or ice skating. However, in the residential sector it is more difficult to see big changes, especially if you only have a 1 bed flat to play with. Residential blocks have attempted making a healthy environment by adding gyms and green space, but there is still room for improvement. There is much more that can be done in these sectors and as people are becoming more health conscious, all sectors need to keep up and provide great spaces indoors if they want to attract employees, customers and tenants.

Jessica Mueller


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future.

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