by Peter Franklin
Thursday, 8
April 2021

Can Jennifer Lopez tempt you back to work?

Offices will need to do more to attract employees in a post-pandemic world
by Peter Franklin

Have you heard about the WELL Health-Safety seal?

If not, here’s the high profile promo. It features Jennifer Lopez. And Lady Gaga. Not to mention Robert De Niro, Michael Jordan, Venus Williams and Deepak Chopra. Oh, and Dr Richard Carmona too — the seventeenth Surgeon-General of the United States of America.

It’s basically a certification scheme for buildings — promising high standards of, well, wellness. Which is all well and good, but why are so many celebs and experts promoting it? More to the point who’s paying them to do it? (I’m assuming they’ve been paid. Well paid, most likely.)

Writing for The Tablet, Jacob Siegel has some answers. The organisation behind it all is a property services company called Delos. According its website:

Delos is committed to enhancing health and well-being in the spaces where we live, work, sleep and play through standards, programs and solutions designed to promote wellness, stress resilience, performance, restfulness and joy.
- Delos

These guys are selling a lot more than air-con. In the post-Covid world, attempting to set the global standard in this field is a major commercial play.

You see, only one thing makes a location valuable — which is that everyone wants to be there. Thus the property sector doesn’t just sell space, it sells a vision.

Before the pandemic, that vision was centred around the idolisation of work. Companies like WeWork and Second Home sold working space as a high status lifestyle. But then Covid came along. Not only did we discover the advantages and practicality of working from home, we became sensitive to the dangers of herding workers into glass boxes.

If the providers of working space are to tempt us back into their crystal towers then they will have to sell them as places of wellness as well as work. Defining what that means and helping employers and landlords achieve it will be one of the great growth industries of the 2020s.

However, we need think about this issue holistically (to a use favourite word of the wellness industry). Things that happen on the inside of a building — like adequate ventilation — matter more than ever, but shouldn’t we also care about how buildings make people feel on the outside?

Do they contribute to welcoming public spaces? Or do they extend a towering middle finger to rest of us?

If it’s the latter, then I fear that any wellness standard is just putting lipstick on a pig.

Join the discussion

  • “Not only did we discover the advantages and practicality of working from home, we became sensitive to the dangers of herding workers into glass boxes.”

    Herding, very apt as sheep are what we are talking about. WFH, work from home, is the single most dangerous thing society could do as it is like the factory workers of the 1960’s with their militant unions keeping them home till the industry just got sick of it and moved to Japan and East. Luckily service jobs, you know those ones the office workers do, replaced the manufacturing as GDP, but nothing exists to replace this off-shoring mess.

    All your WFH jobs are now potentially on the international market, one which the office protected you from by requiring work visas. Half of your cost is wages, the rest the benefits (maternity, holiday, pension), taxes, costs, rates, NHS, and what not. Then your pay internationally is a couple times more than what many nations who have a much higher collective IQ than UK, are paid. Also restrictive laws, weekends, 40 hour and then overtime, and on and on, health and safety, let alone the office, and the HR forcing quotas of less qualified, and on and on, you are a spoiled workforce, and now payback may be here. A foreigner can do your job for 1/4 the cost, and with computer translation and zoom, well that is a lot.

    This is the war on the Middle Class! The Middle class is the only power structure which can resist the globe reversing to Feudalism under the Global Elites, and this WFH just nobbled it in yet another attack. You are all sheep, and remember, the sheep live their lives in terror of the wolves, but always end up being eaten by the shepherd. Baaa.

  • Well I suppose that if the real Jennifer Lopez was disseminating the ppts or fixing the server every day I suppose I might be tempted. But I’ve been working largely from home for almost 25 years now and it suits me very well. It’s quite nice to go into an office every now and then for the good coffee and free fruit etc, but I’ve had enough after a couple of days.

  • They have safety logos on buildings to calm down the media indoctrinated hypochondriacs now?
    I almost want to laugh at this, but it’s just too sad.
    Of course they enlist celebrities to pitch it to us. They think we are that gullible. well actually, most people probably are.

  • To get involved in the discussion and stay up to date, become a registered user.

    It's simple, quick and free.

    Sign me up