How the Fitwel Rating Could Impact Flexible Workspaces in 2017

Fitwel is a certification standard developed by the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that seeks to transform workplace environments by supporting buildings that contribute to occupants’ health and wellbeing.

Although currently available only to a few buildings, the Fitwel certification program is expected to be fully launched in 2017 and although the rating can be used for any type of building, the developers will be focusing the certification process in workplaces.

Their goal is to promote workplaces that support the wellbeing of its occupants and support healthy communities; a goal that many flexible workspace operators share and an important aspect of the work revolution that we’re witnessing today.

Wellness and wellbeing are among the top drivers behind new work strategies and models. Professionals around the globe have increasingly become more preoccupied with their wellbeing and they’re constantly searching for work and workspaces that support their wellness goals.

“The Fitwel certification responds to the growing demand for recognition of healthier buildings and workplaces, serving as a market differentiator to retain and attract tenants and future employees.” – Center for Active Design website.

Seeing this as a window of opportunity, the Fitwel certification could be an ‘ally’ of sorts to flexible workspaces, providing them with the possibility to add value to members and by giving them a competitive advantage in their own local markets.

And the good news is that any workspace can do it, or more clearly, any workspace/building has the capacity to do it. There are no prerequisites to undergo the process of certification, and “It (Fitwel) is based on the premise that new and existing buildings–regardless of their size, age, budget, and location–can support healthy occupants through incremental changes.”

These changes and the certification as a whole are based on the following 7 health impact categories:

  • Impacts community health
  • Reduces morbidity and absenteeism
  • Instills feelings of wellbeing
  • Social equality for vulnerable populations
  • Provides healthy food options
  • Promotes occupant safety
  • Increases physical activity

What’s unique about the certification is that it’s not a one-time instance. One of the program’s goals is to enable for change, over time, as scientific evidence and wellness needs evolve; which would allow flexible workspaces to adapt and adopt necessary practices and design trends to keep their community healthy, and therefore happy.

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As more information becomes available on Fitwel and results from pilot version, we will share it with you.