12 August, 2021. Nearly 96% of Romanian employees believe that the standards that certify a building's resilience to a pandemic are not only useful, but also necessary in the current context, shows a Genesis Property survey among 1,208 employees across the country. Certifying a building against pandemic risks has become an important aspect for most Romanian employees, and 85% say it is important for them to work in a healthy building in the future.
Almost 76% of employees believe that a certified building can limit health risks for them and their families and also help reduce the level of stress they feel as a result of the pandemic. Currently, 70% of them are still concerned about the risks of spreading viruses and bacteria fuelled by inefficient ventilation systems or inadequate sanitation of surfaces in their offices.
“Most employees want to return to the office and have become extremely careful about the health of the building they work in. A healthy working environment helps limit epidemiological risks and gives them more confidence that they can return to the office. Moreover, in the past year, the quality of the workspace has become an important criteria that almost 60% of employees will examine more closely when they will look for a new job in the future. Thus, a healthy working environment becomes a competitive advantage for employers in their strategy to attract and retain talent”, says Ștefan Tudos, Vice President of Genesis Property, responsible for managing the client portfolio.
More than 95% of employees believe that certifications are fundamental for office buildings, starting with those for emergencies, such as fires and earthquakes, to environmental and health protection.
The employees' perception regarding the facilities that their future workplace should offer has become more complex. Almost 61% want areas where they can relax, socialise and walk outdoors, 53.2% want to be able to individually set temperature and light levels in their workspace, 51.5% want to have a natural view and even indoor green areas, and 45% want to benefit personal protection equipment (masks, disinfectant, etc.).
A standard for healthy buildings
In April 2020, Genesis Property initiated the IMMUNE™ standard, a coherent index of standardized measures, grounded in science, designed and developed to assess and certify the resilience of the built environment. IMMUNE Building Standard™ is based on a practical investment in a Healthy by Design System (HbDS), incorporating a network of devices and available technologies, specialized equipment, dedicated personnel, and new amenities, promoting operational and health rules focused on the physical space where occupants and visitors interact.
The standard proposes 135 coherent measures empowering the building operator to verify and adjust the condition of the building to a healthy performance level, providing occupants with a healthy experience. There are currently several office and industrial buildings in the world that have implemented the standard measures and obtained certification for ”healthy buildings", with building H3 in West Gate Business District, Romania being the world’s first building to achieve the highest IMMUNE™ label.
The Genesis Property survey on employees' perceptions of the health of offices was conducted in June 2021 through the iVox platform, on a total sample of 1,208 internet users from all over the country. Almost 50% of the participants are women, about 70% are over 35 years old, and 43% have a net income higher than 3000 lei.