Nurturing Effective Workplace Wellness

To cultivate workspaces that improve mental health and encourage better employee performance design teams are centering spaces around nature, both in and out of the building. One example of this is HALCYON, a mixed-use development in Georgia.

Companies in every industry strive to attract and retain top talent, and a big way to do that is finding an appealing and appropriate balance to workplace wellness. The question is, what does this actually look like?

Workplace wellness has been one of the biggest office trends in recent years. To cultivate workspaces that improve mental health and encourage better employee performance, employers and office design teams are centering spaces around nature, both in and out of the building. A recent study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed outdoor space has a positive effect on social, physical and mental well being. It also has a positive effect on creative thinking. When creativity was tested, people scored higher when walking, or even sitting after a walk.

Cultivating a culture

But how can businesses cultivate a culture and environment that encourages this behavior? For starters, it’s time to untether from traditional office space. Offering employees the chance to work in different environments, such as nearby outdoor green spaces, supports the aforementioned benefits of creativity and mental wellbeing.

Technology has also contributed to office tenants’ growing desire to work in highly amenitized areas. In these mixed-use environments, tenants not only have access to the spaces within their buildings, they also have the surrounding restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores and outdoor gathering spaces.


RocaPoint Partners is incorporating wellness and amenities at HALCYON, a 135-acre mixed-use development in Forsyth County, Ga., which is opening next March. There, we have recognized the growing trend with health and wellness and are offering office spaces that give tenants access to unique wellness amenities. The biggest driver there will be access to Forsyth County’s Big Creek Greenway, which is a nearly 10-mile recreation trails and connects directly with the development.

RocaPoint Partners Principal Phil Mays

In addition, HALCYON provides Wi-Fi in its outdoor spaces—such as pocket parks and the greenspace outside our Market Hall—and along the trail, so office tenants can take a refreshing break from the office on a park bench, under the trees or in a lush green space. Nature is squarely in the forefront of HALCYON’s design with ample open greenspaces for yoga classes and outdoor gatherings, health- and wellness-centered tenant offerings and a focus on walkability throughout the development. HALCYON also offers office tenants access to alternative workspaces within the development such as coffee shops, restaurants and community gather spaces right outside their office doors.  

Office tenants, both the employers and their staff, want and need more than just a building. By offering opportunities to shop, dine, connect and refresh, office spaces at properties like HALCYON can allow tenants to live, work and recharge in the same place and provide an overall healthier environment by encouraging a better work/life balance.

In order to attract top-tier office tenants and employees, it’s vital to offer unique and extensive health and wellness elements along with places to relax, refresh and play. That way, employees will perform better and deliver bigger success to businesses.  

Phil Mays is a principal of RocaPoint Partners. Mays has more than 20 years experience in real estate investment, development, land use and zoning. Prior to RocaPoint, Mays was the director and nchief legal officer for EverBank’s commercial special servicing division. Mays formed and managed EverBank’s Commercial Special Assets Department containing more than $1.3Billion in underperforming CRE backed debt. Prior to EverBank, Mays acquired and developed real estate in Florida and metro Atlanta for more than a decade. Mays was Corporate Counsel in charge of real estate for Racetrac Petroleum from
1994-1996 and an associate at McCalla, Raymer et al in Atlanta from 1992-1994.