Recently you've probably seen the hype surrounding sitting in the workplace and the negative health side effects that various studies have concluded is taking years off our lives.
With the effects even likened to that of tobacco, a new slogan has coined sitting “the new smoking”, but can it really be that harmful?
It seems that in today’s society an excessive amount of anything can kill us but the statistics associated with pro-longed sitting are alarming and the transition from sitting to standing workstations have multiple benefits for both employers and employees.
We probably don’t realise but in an office environment you’re likely to spend around 6-8 hours a day sitting, followed by sitting down for dinner, an hour or more of television viewing before laying down for seven or so hours of sleep. Doing the math for your own routine is quite shocking and reveals it’s not so much sitting that’s depleting the health of our current office workers but a lack of physical movement and stimulation altogether. An array of different studies have come to air recently that outline all the harmful effects the mundane chair is subjecting our body to; these including a significantly higher risk of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Dr. James Levine from his research at Mayo Clinic has been educating the media on his findings, that the human body just “simply isn't built to sit all day” and in a lot of circumstances routine exercise such as going to the gym wont counter the negative aftereffects of being continuously seated; it is ultimately the amount of energy expenditure and physical exertion throughout the whole day.
The solution is something that’s been gaining a lot of popularity over the last few years and just like most current office trends has been a commodity in Silicon Valley for quite some time. Standing desks and workstations have numerous proven benefits including healthier workers, increased life expectancy of up to two years by halving our seated time, a 10% increase of employee productivity and less sick days as a VicHealth report reveals between 11-22% of which are consequences of prolonged sitting, also costing employers an average $7,400 each case relating to back pain and posture and accounting for a huge $11 Billion per annum of the Australian economy.
If the benefits are swaying you out of your seated position but the cost of new workstations or a new fitout is making your ol’ friend the chair seem misunderstood - don't sit down just yet. There is an assortment of different options and products on the market for all budgets to retrofit your current workstation or entire office into one that accommodates for both standing and sitting workplace practices.
Standing only desks are great for Activity Based Workplaces where employees can choose to spend their desired amount of time standing while working. Electronic adjustable desks allow you to go from sit-to-stand at your own comfort, kickstarter success Stand Desk, are beginning to bring affordable whole desk alternatives to the marketplace. There is also a wide selection of desktop add-ons to easily transform existing desks into standing-compatible workstations or for the fitness enthusiast there's treadmill desks.
If sitting really is the new smoking, will you stand for better health and wont somebody please think of the seated smokers?!
It's important for commercial building owners and property managers to know what their tenants want and how this correlates with their overall satisfaction, not just to maintain a positive workplace environment but also to attract and retain quality tenants. We review and recap the 2013 BOMA Global Tenant Survey results to identify the top trends in commercial tenancies.
Tenant Priorities When Selecting Space
What tenants want made easy.
The top three priorities for each influencing factor on the forefront of prospective tenants minds.
Turn Commodities into Instant Wins
Common amenities are often overlooked and rated relatively low in BOMA's survey results but the market has seen an increasing demand for these facilities to be improved, spurring a large number of refurbishments throughout Sydney CBD. As more people continue to cycle and walk to work as alternatives to driving and public transport, there has been an apparent increase for bicycle racks, change rooms and showers onsite.
The last few years have witnessed a paradigm shift in office layouts as an increase of companies veer away from the traditional office to Activity Based Workspaces (ABW) and more community orientated designs where staff can interact, eat and relax in between working.
Top Rating Amenities
Opportunities within Health & Hygiene
The survey results illuminate the high importance the participants place on health/hygiene features but also reveals the low frequency of their presence. Opportunities for improvement are obvious within sustainability and performance of the building but also held within such amenities and services as touch-less restrooms, hand sanitizing stations, cleaning/janitorial, recycling, flu shot programs and availability to general hygiene products.
The Importance of Green
Enhancing building performance is a crucial responsibility for every building owner/manager and the legal obligation to include NABERS ratings in all commercial property advertising leaves a heavy onus for improved sustainability but what do tenants thinks?
55% of tenants believe green creates favorable impression on clients.
57% of tenants believe green creates positive image for owners
65% of tenants think it is important for employees to work in a sustainable space
Service leads to Satisfaction
Satisfied tenants means lease renewals and a positive environment. Customer service critically relates to satisfaction as three of the top five factors influencing overall tenant satisfaction are directly related to service. These include:
Full Survey Results can be found on the BOMA website.