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Mindful : February 2019
the staff attributed the office’s circa- dian lighting to them getting a better night’s sleep. For its part, ASID management realized a jump in productivity and collaboration, reduced its energy bills by thousands of dollars, and antici- pates dramatic cost savings going for- ward due to lower employee turnover. Ultimately, the organization expects to recoup its investment in this “office of the future” in the first half of its 10-year lease agreement. And as CEO Randy Fiser notes, this move to create a healthy workspace is also paying the sort of intangible dividends not quantifiable by surveys or bottom-line computations: “My position as CEO requires me to travel 70% of the time, including internationally,” he says. “After a trip, I make a point to be back in the office to reap the benefits of the circadian lighting. It helps regulate my rhythms and gets me back on the proper time zone quickly.” These many benefits real- ized by those occupying WELL- certified buildings aren’t surprising, as workplace programs to promote employee health and well-being— whether via mindfulness training, the incorporation of biophilia, or tech- nologies like those that grace ASID headquarters—have been shown to cut absen- teeism, sick leave, and the costs associated with health care and disability. “Healthy buildings finally pencil out: They make sense financially, and in some sectors and markets may be seen as a competitive advan- tage in attracting and retaining employees,” says Joel Makower, of GreenBiz. (Full disclosure: He has been a friend and colleague since publication of his 1981 book, Office Hazards: How Your Job Can Make You Sick.) “It’s no longer a nice thing to do, or even just a way to lower operating costs. It’s rapidly becoming a de facto standard for landlords and companies.” → February 2019 mindful 73 well-being