Ninety-three percent of senior-level corporate real estate executives rate the quality of work environments and work experiences as the most urgent issue facing their companies, according to new poll results that prompted an industry association to urge companies to adopt policies that support a “work-life” approach to productivity and employee engagement.

According to CoreNet Global, a corporate real estate professional association that conducted an Industry Leaders Opinion Poll, the nature of work is "changing dramatically, transcending the traditional definitions of productivity to include the concepts of enabling work, employee engagement, employee satisfaction and employee wellness framed around an emerging 'work-life support' business model."

CoreNet Global's Issues Advocacy Focus Group coordinated a wide-ranging advocacy statement based on input from subject matter experts and the extensive, long-term documentation of best-in-class workplace management practices from more than 7,500 CoreNet Global members worldwide. The position statement regards the quality of work environments and experiences as part of a company’s larger corporate social responsibility (CSR). Positive, engaging work environments can be mutually beneficial to both workers and employers.

"Companies, regardless of size or industry, risk losing competitive advantage by not addressing the new cultural, social and behavioral drivers that determine success in today's and tomorrow's business world,” the statement explained. “In this important sense, addressing the quality of work environments and work experiences is becoming a form of risk management against a reputation-driven landscape."

Like technology, economic conditions and demographics are major change drivers that are requiring companies to look at working environments and work experiences in a different light. Moving forward, these factors will determine a corporation's competitive advantage and are already impacting the success of many enterprises, the statement adds.

"The new job No. 1 of corporate real estate executives is enabling work and creating the conditions for employees to engage more fully with their coworkers and their companies' strategic plan or direction," said CoreNet Global Chairman Jim Scannell, senior vice president, administrative services at The Travelers Companies Inc. "Mobility and other technology advances are blurring the lines between work and personal lives, making effective work practices a lifestyle-management question, not only a series of work-related activities."