NewsResearchStandardsPeer reviewed study says WELL Certification does boost well-being and productivity

A new study finds WELL Certification drives significant benefits across occupant satisfaction, perceived health, well-being and productivity.
Content Team2 years ago6 min

A peer-reviewed study, titled “Impact of WELL Certification on Occupant Satisfaction and Perceived Health, Well-being, and Productivity: A Multi-Office Pre- Versus Post-Occupancy Evaluation,” has found an increase in occupant satisfaction by nearly 30%, as well as occupant perceived well-being scores by 26%, mental health by 10% and productivity by 10 median points in WELL Certified buildings.

According to the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), this study is the largest and most comprehensive longitudinal research of its kind. It analysed the impacts of WELL Certification on occupants across four perspectives: satisfaction with the workplace, as well as physical and mental health, well-being, and productivity. Using extensive pre- and post-occupancy survey data, the analysis was able to assess the impact of WELL Certification on the people inside a space when compared to their experiences before certification.

“Statistically proven”

According to the study’s survey findings, WELL Certification showed a series of statistically significant occupant benefits, including:

  • A near 30% improvement in overall satisfaction with the workplace, which jumped from 42% to 70%.
  • A 26% overall increase in reported well-being scores.
  • A 10% increase in mental health and a 2% increase in physical health.
  • A 10-point jump in median productivity scores.


  • Occupants were more satisfied in WELL certified offices, with means across all 12 studied parameters, improving 1.1 points, on average, on the 7-point Likert scale. Effect sizes were large for eight of twelve the studied parameters. Two parameters had medium effect sizes (physical activity and wellness programs), and two had small effect sizes (acoustics and access and quality of water).
  • Occupants reported higher perceived health in the WELL certified offices than in the non-WELL certified offices. Perceived mental and physical health means improved from 41.7 to 51.7 and from 53.0 to 55.1, respectively, on a scale of 0–100. Effect sizes revealed large and small practical significance, respectively, for changes in perceived mental and physical health scores from pre- to post-occupancy.
  • Occupant agreement rates to statements associated with their well-being were considerably higher in the WELL certified offices, with a 0.7-point improvement in means, on average, on the 5-point Likert scale. The majority of the effect sizes calculated for the perceived well-being parameters were large or medium, indicating non-negligible practical significance
  • Occupants reported higher productivity levels in the WELL certified offices compared to the non-WELL certified offices. The self-assessed productivity mean score increased from 82.6 to 85.2 on a 0–100 scale from pre- to post-occupancy. However, the effect size was small.

Study methodology

The research team analyzed the impact of WELL Certification using more than 1,300 pre- and post-occupancy survey responses from six companies in North America with analyses conducted at both the aggregate and company level.

“It’s exciting to see that, for the first time, researchers have published rigorous longitudinal research that provides a holistic view of the tremendous benefits of WELL Certification,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the creators of the WELL Building Standard. “This study shows unequivocally how WELL, with its people-first approach, supports wide-ranging benefits for occupants and organisations alike, creating significant improvements in all-important areas of occupant satisfaction and health, well-being and productivity.”

View the full study on WELL and its benefits.

Read more about WELL Standard Projects on Work in Mind.

Content Team

Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.

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