Why industrial spaces are getting a wellbeing makeover
Gyms, parent rooms and community managers are emerging in warehouse precincts to promote sustainability and employee health
Amid growing demand for sustainability-certified buildings, plus longer worker hours on site, employers and landlords in industrial and logistics real estate are placing increased emphasis on wellbeing-led spaces.
Mental and physical wellbeing has been a focus for corporates for several years. But it is only over the past 12 months that warehouse occupiers have begun taking action, too.
One example: The Quantum Logistics Park in Ireland, which includes a running track, multi-use games area, multiple exercise points, public art installations, a centralised food plaza and expansive green space.
This example is indicative of a growing enthusiasm among industrial occupiers to create warehouses that will fulfil their sustainability requirements and attract the best staff.
Developers are also hoping to attract blue chip tenants.
Leon Carroll, a senior project director in JLL’s project and development services team, notes: “We are seeing proactive efforts to improve breakout rooms and audio-visual facilities, and to include wellness and prayer rooms, along with better end-of-trip facilities. We expect this trend will intensify and industrial developers and occupiers will strive to further enhance amenity for occupants of industrial facilities.”
While breakout rooms and end-of-trip facilities are some of the changes being implemented in individual warehouses, environmental, social and governance (ESG) real estate strategies are also appearing at precinct level.
- Displaying art commissioned from local communities, which enhances the aesthetic appeal of a precinct and contributes to a
sense of place. Local artwork can also foster community pride and identity.
- Outdoor exercise spaces, such as basketball courts, running tracks or dedicated areas for physical activity.
- Indigenous and native landscaping, which can provide connection to nature and hark to the cultural heritage of an area.
This can also promote water conservation.
- The appointment of a community manager whose role is dedicated to engagement with the local community as well as
supporting the day-to-day operation of a precinct.
The prevalence of automation in logistics is also expected to attract a new generation of workers with different expectations of the workplace. Environments that are efficient and appealing will be critical to maintaining employee satisfaction, retention, and overall productivity.