Strategies and solutions for Workplace Wellbeing presented in CoreNet Global Hackathon – Team 16’s study overview
Addressing the challenges brought upon by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the corporate real estate industry, the CoreNet Global led a hackathon wherein members of the real estate community gathered together to develop solutions to respond to the problems posed by COVID-19 and immediate crisis in the future.
A hackathon, by definition, is a group of individuals convening to solve problems collectively and within a short, defined period of time. The CoreNet Global Hackathon entitled “A COVID-19 Virtual Ideation Experience” granted an opportunity for participants to ideate with peers across the globe and tackle the challenges in their selected topic. Over 1,000 members participated in the COVID-19 hackathon with representation from 35 countries in more than 90 teams. Teams addressed the following areas:
- Space Utilization and Metrics
- Distributed Work
- Workplace Wellbeing
- The Autonomous Workplace
- Environment and Climate Change
- Manufacturing and Industrial
Following the Workplace Wellbeing topic, the task given to the teams was for them to develop forecasts and key recommendations for corporate real estate professionals that address challenges and respond to wellbeing in the workplace.
In an interview with IDr. Charisse Gail Bantiling, Principal Designer and Vice President of the Design and Construction Management at Trends And Concepts, she shared how she and her team conceptualized design strategies for the future of the workplace and solutions to elevate employee-wellbeing.
IDr. Bantiling is part of Team 16 addressing the area of Workplace Wellbeing. Team 16 is led by Sujatha Ganapathy, Vice President of Knight Frank India. The other team members are:
- Ashwini Kuvalekar, Architect- Sustainable Solutions, Space Matrix Design Consultants Pvt Ltd, India
- Figueroa, Associate Director, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Philippines, Inc.
- Sandhya Hegde, Lead- Sustainable Solutions, Space Matrix Design Consultants Pvt Ltd, India
The report by Team 16 first identified the risks found within enclosed settings, such as the workplace, that individuals are more likely to be exposed to and may impact their overall wellbeing. The risks are mainly environmental, occupational, and behavioral.
“When we were doing the study, I figured to be able to answer the problem – we have to start first by looking at the problem and the problem is how could we create a workplace environment driven by wellbeing for the modern workforce,” shared IDr. Bantiling.
The future workplace strategy they presented takes into consideration the efficiency of the building, surrounding environment, available resources, and the measures needed in planning a new workplace or retrofitting an existing office to mitigate the aforementioned risks.
In their presentation, they proposed various strategies for the future of the workplace that underscores both big and small details that enable a harmonious and healthier living environment. Similarly, IDr. Bantiling discussed her design insights in a different platform, which also showcase a thorough guideline on enclosed physical spaces that promotes health and wellness in the current and post COVID-19 landscape.
Additionally, workplace design on wellness integration and infrastructure measures to prevent any type of disease or ill-conditions due to Occupational and Environmental factors are listed:
- Limit exposure to Air Pollution & Infection Risks, External Factors
- Access to Resources, such as water dispensers with safe drinking water as per the World Health Organisation.
- Provide Comforting Needs – Space Placement, Interior Design, Engineering and Operational Facilities
- Provision of contactless trash cans
- Access Control System – Face-Scanning Biometric Solution/Application based systems for attendance log-in to avoid touching the surfaces
- QR Code Scanner for Lift usage
Other aspects that are equally important in a workplace environment are programs for employees to encourage a healthier lifestyle, educational resources, and facility management protocols.
The hackathon’s result and final report for the area of Workplace Wellbeing states that the most important aspect for a re-entry strategy is the physical and mental wellbeing of an individual employee. Workplace wellness, initially a concept, may emerge as an industry with new products, practices, techniques, and strategies for companies to adopt and adjust for their respective spaces, building, and community