CoreNet Global Advocates Quality of Working Environments and Work Experiences as Socially Responsible Corporate Practices

CoreNet Global Advocates Quality of Working Environments and Work Experiences
as Socially Responsible Corporate Practices

Employee Engagement, Work-Life Supports Redefine Corporate Business Models

ATLANTA, Jan. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Companies should consider adopting
21^st-century workplace practices and policies that meet the needs of both
employers and employees, according to a new corporate real estate (CRE)
industry advocacy statement released by CoreNet Global, whose members directly
influence the design and operation of corporate workplaces worldwide.

"Today, we regard the quality of work environments and work experiences as
important forms of corporate social responsibility (CSR), benefiting employers
and employees alike," the advocacy statement outlines, marking the first time
that corporate real estate occupiers representing the demand side of the
commercial real estate industry have spoken with a unified voice to advocate
sustainable workplace practices.

CoreNet Global's Issues Advocacy Focus Group coordinated the wide-ranging
statement based on extensive input from subject matter experts and the
extensive, long-term documentation of best-in-class workplace management
practices from more than 7,500 CoreNet Global members worldwide.

According to the position statement, the nature of work is "changing
dramatically, transcending the traditional definitions of productivity to
include the concepts of enabling work, employee engagement, employee
satisfaction and employee wellness framed around an emerging 'work-life
support' business model."

More than nine in 10 (93 percent) of senior-level CRE executives rate the
quality of work environments and work experiences as the most urgent issue
facing their companies, according to results of a CoreNet Global Industry
Leaders Opinion Poll.

"Corporate real estate and workplaces are no longer just about managing bricks
and mortar," a related finding from CoreNet Global'sCorporate Real Estate
2020research initiative emphasizes. "Work is now viewed as a social
experience."

"The new job #1 of corporate real estate executives is enabling work and
creating the conditions for employees to engage more fully with their
co-workers and their companies' strategic plan or direction," said CoreNet
Global Chairman Jim Scannell, Senior Vice President, Administrative Services
at The Travelers Companies, Inc. "Mobility and other technology advances are
blurring the lines between work and personal lives, making effective work
practices a lifestyle-management question, not only a series of work-related
activities."

Like technology, economic conditions and demographics are major change drivers
that are requiring companies to look at working environments and work
experiences in a different light.

"While we advocate for the types of flexible workplace strategies evolved over
the course of more than three decades by CoreNet Global members on the supply
and demand sides of the CRE industry, these strategies are being redefined yet
again by economic, demographic, technological and other forces," CoreNet
Global observes.

Moving forward, these factors will determine a corporation's competitive
advantage and are already impacting the success of many enterprises, the
statement also advises.

"Companies, regardless of size or industry, risk losing competitive advantage
by not addressing the new cultural, social and behavioral drivers that
determine success in today's and tomorrow's business world. In this important
sense, addressing the quality of work environments and work experiences is
becoming a form of risk management against a reputation-driven landscape."

To better understand the impact of changes in work styles as they relate to
lifestyles and productivity, the CRE industry should work with their
counterparts in human resources and information technology to devise new ways
of measuring workplace effectiveness, CoreNet Global recommends.

"A greater ability to assess the return on the investment made in employee
wellness is a fundamental step toward improving employee engagement," the
statement also indicates, "to the extent that company culture, industry type,
location, financial resources, job functions and other factors allow."

CoreNet Global offers two key action steps for companies that recognize the
inherent strategic value of workplace transformations:

  *The use of more empirical and evidence-based data is needed, as compared
    to the more qualitative and anecdotal case-based methods used today.
  *Shifting from the 2-dimensional measures of cost per square foot to
    3-dimensional outcome-based metrics such as quality of life per square
    foot.

Academic partnerships will also be critical to informing a change in workplace
performance measures, according to CoreNet Global, as is the extensive
workplace management knowledge of CoreNet Global members, the statement
relates.

NOTE: The "Quality-of-Life per square foot approach" to real estate is a
philosophy developed and espoused by Sodexo, a CoreNet Global Strategic
Partner. Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life,
an essential factor in individual and organizational performance.

With more than 7,500 members internationally, CoreNet Global is the world's
leading professional association for corporate real estate and workplace
executives, service providers, and economic developers. Please visit
www.corenetglobal.org for more information.

CONTACT: Richard Kadzis
         VP, Strategic Communications
         +1.404.589.3240
         rkadzis@corenetglobal.org
 
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