Office buildings are on a health kick. With environmental ratings now well established across the office sector, buildings are now being measured on how they promote good health among their occupants.
This is a result of the growing trend for companies to encourage white collar workers to adopt less sedentary lifestyles.
With the long-term health risks of sitting at a desk all day now being compared to smoking, companies are looking to landlords to provide amenities that promote physical activity and general well-being.
This could no better be illustrated by the rush for landlords such as GPT to open end-of-trip facilities – usually in the car parks of their office buildings – to service the now record numbers of workers now cycling or jogging into Sydney’s CBD every weekday.
And a simple bike rack and shower will no longer do.
Top companies are in a war for talent and if they are located in premium office space, they are looking for premium end-of-trip facilities to match. They are also looking for green spaces, natural light and open plan stairways that promote the health and well-being of their staff.
For what Sydney might lack in terms of bike lane infrastructure, it is now making up in luxury health club-styled end-of-trip facilities that now occupy many of the CBD’s landmark office towers.
The latest of these facilities is the GPT and QIC co-owned MLC Centre’s Executive Quarters, which aside from including a complimentary towel service, 318 lockers, 193 bike racks, ironing stations and secure access, includes a new elevator with direct access to Martin Place and connection to a large retail precinct.
The ease of access to the Executive Quarters is designed to help workers to find time to fit physical activity into their busy schedules.
With companies being more proactive in promoting active lifestyles among their workforces, figures also show the surge in bike commuting has largely come from office workers – particularly well-paid ones.
Between 2006 and 2011, the number of Sydneysiders riding to work increased 38 per cent to 22,320.
According to the City of Sydney, 20 per cent of bike commuters into the CBD are managers, 56 per cent professionals and 11 per cent clerical or administrative workers. Around 52 per cent of the bike trips into the Sydney CBD in 2011 were by people earning more than $104,000 a year.
This surge in demand – particularly from office workers in Sydney’s CBD – has now seen it become standard for premium-grade office buildings to provide facilities for workers to store their bicycles and shower before work.
This article by GPT Group’s Head of Commercial Chris Davis first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 3 October, 2015.