A recipe for success

The link between the design of hospitals and the speed ... That is starting to change, however, with ... Rose Business Park in Leeds. “They had the foresight to ...
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temptation. Offer low sugar, low calorie snack bars and have a fruit bowl in the office – not just with apples, oranges and bananas but with exotic fruits which are more appetising.” Blueberries have been found to support long-term brain health and even help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, Money says. They are low in calories and sugar and research has shown they have an acutely positive effect on cognitive function and memory. Slow burning or ‘complex’ carbohydrates like wholegrains, rice, pasta and quinoa are particularly good for health and to aid productivity, as are nuts, seeds and plain yoghurt, she adds. Keeping our adrenal glands healthy through diet should also be a focus. “Our adrenal glands release hormones like serotonin from the brain to help us cope with stress – a function of the nervous system,” explains Money, “but those glands can be less effective in a person with a poor diet.” She recommends cutting down on white carbs and sugar and eating more foods that are rich in omega 3, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D. “Eggs, chicken, avocado, broccoli, mushrooms, wholegrains, nuts and seeds are all good sources of B5 – or pantothentic acid – which supports the adrenal glands.” Doughty says growing awareness of healthy food boosting staff retention is now having an impact on workplace design – something both occupiers and developers are taking into consideration. “In London it costs around £100/sq ft to occupy a restaurant in an office building. That isn’t cost effective especially when they’re typically used for two-and-a-half hours a day,” he says. One solution, he suggests, is for

14 propertyweek.com


Fast fact

Studies have shown that people who eat poorly are 20 % less productive in the workplace

“It’s cooler, edgier and more personal than the old staff canteen operation” an office café or restaurant to double up as an informal meeting zone. “The Bloomberg office has a restaurant called The Pantry which offers free food and drinks in a collaborative area. It creates social glue in the workplace and promotes the idea that people should get together in an informal setting to come up with ideas.”

‘Better than Starbucks’

JLL’s Warwick Street office is another example. It has a café called the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, which Doughty describes as “beautifully designed” and “better than going to Starbucks”. “People don’t leave the office quite so often as a result,” he says. “These concepts are cooler, edgier and much more personal than the historic staff canteen operation. Almost every office has too few meeting rooms and utilising the restaurant space takes the pressure off,” he adds. “It is a new approach to the use of space.” As for healthy food and beverage (F&B) operators that developers and landlords might consider putting into the ground floors of their office schemes, Money says Leon, M&S Simply Food and Pod have a particularly good healthy

food offer that could appeal to tenants keen to attract a health-conscious workforce. Developers are also starting to think about food in relation to workplace design in the initial planning stages of office schemes, something that was taken into account at White Rose Business Park in Leeds. “They had the foresight to tell occupiers ‘you don’t need to put in your own restaurants – we don’t need 10 restaurants on site. Instead we’ll build one restaurant that can be used by all staff and we’ll charge a very reasonable rate for the food’,” says Doughty. “They saved tenants a significant amount of money and they put on a really good show.” Despite studies having shown 30 years ago that food plays a vital part in our performance at work, a number of companies have failed to tackle the problem and as a result many of them are failing behind more forward thinking rivals, which has potential consequences in the ‘war on talent’. “I would say it’s 50/50,” says Doughty. “Some [companies] are ploughing on in just the same way they used to whil