Comparing WELL to LEED presents quite a challenge because it is easy to measure the return on investment (ROI) for LEED. Building owners are guaranteed energy and water savings which are both easy to document and track savings. WELL tries to demonstrate this by creating an office design that will make employees happier and healthier which, in turn, will lead to increased productivity. Though these are more indirect benefits, which can be difficult to quantify.
There is no one way to measure productivity.
Even if you have a WELL building, but a terrible supervisor, employee morale is going to be low and productivity will suffer. Even so, it is still worth the effort to try.
Jones Lange LaSalle has a concept that is called “3-30-300”rule. This states that a company typically spends a ratio of approximately $3 per square foot per year for utilities, $30 for rent and $300 for payroll. A reduction of payroll costs has a much greater impact on a tenant that than a reduction in utilities cost. The physical workplace is one of the top three factors affecting job performance and satisfaction. Tenants stand to reap significant savings in terms of fewer sick days for employees and happier employees.
The WELL certification may not provide specific guarantees of ROI, however a wellness-focused space removes potential barriers to productivity and well-being of tenants. There is no certainty that it will make your employees healthy and productive in a WELL building, but you can be certain that the problems aren’t caused by poor building air quality.