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Study reveals evidence linking office design with productivity

shutterstock_352308875 A new report which has been released by the World Green Building Council has revealed overwhelming evidence to suggest that the design of an office is strongly linked to productivity and business benefits. The report also shows that office design can have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of its staff. The authors of the report are now calling for companies to have a better understanding of the link between employees and their workplace and how doing so can improve business. At a time when more of us are suffering from mental health issues than ever before, it’s becoming increasingly important for employers to consider the wellbeing of their staff. Figures from the Office for National Statistics have in fact revealed that just under a fifth of Britons are now suffering from anxiety or depression. In a bid to help combat this, the study carried out by the World Green Building Council has revealed that there are a number of features which can impact the health, satisfaction and job performance of office workers including:

  • Air quality – better indoor air quality which features low concentrations of CO2 and pollutants can lead to productivity increasing between 8 and 11%
  • Temperature – the temperature of the office is a common cause of disagreements between work colleagues which doesn’t come as a huge surprise when you learn that thermal comfort has a significant impact on workplace satisfaction
  • Daylight
  • Having views of outside – several studies have found conclusive links between productivity gains as a result of being sat close to a window. Views of nature have so far been found to yield the most significant gains in productivity
  • Interior layout – the way that an office is laid out (including workstation density, configuration of work space, breakout space and social space) have all been found to have a big impact on concentration, collaboration, confidentiality and creativity
  • Noise – studies have also found that employees are finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate in busy and noisy offices because there are too many unwanted distractions which can lead to strong feelings of dissatisfaction
  • Active design – there is a tremendous amount of research to support the notion that exercise has huge benefits on our physical and mental health. It will come as no surprise to learn then that offices which incorporate active design house employees who are happier and more productive. There are a number of ways to do this including offering amenities such as a gym, bicycle storage and access to green space

shutterstock_333092183 The CEO of the World Green Building Council, Jane Henley, commented: “The evidence linking good office design and improved health, wellbeing and productivity of staff is now overwhelming. There is unquestionably a clear business case for investing in, developing and occupying healthier, greener buildings.” She continued: “This is something that office occupiers can demonstrate for themselves. Most businesses are already sitting on a treasure trove of information that may yield immediate improvement strategies for their two biggest expenses – people and buildings. Understanding the relationship between the two can help businesses to achieve significant competitive advantages.”

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