Green offices improve staff health and productivity, study finds

24th September 2014


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Management/saving ,
  • Mitigation

Author

IEMA

The design of an office significantly impacts the health, wellbeing and productivity of its staff, according to a report by the World Green Building Council.

The report outlines the features of an office and how their design affects productivity and health.

Better indoor air quality, where there are low concentrations of CO2 and pollutants and high ventilation rates, can lead to productivity improvements of 8-11%, it found.

Thermal comfort has a significant impact on workplace satisfaction and having personal control over temperature can return single digit improvements in productivity, it says.

Previous studies have estimated productivity gains by employees sitting near windows, and experts now believe that this is caused by the views, in particular, views over nature, the report states.

Other features that can impact productivity include noise, interior layout and access to amenities that encourage healthier lifestyles such as gyms, bicycle storage and green space.

The World Green Building Council has launched a toolkit to help companies measure health, wellbeing and productivity. This uses data from absenteeism, staff turnover, revenue, medical costs; data of how employees perceive their health and productivity while at work; and physical data such as office temperature.

Company expenditure on its people comprises 90% of its costs, compared to 9% for office rental and 1% for energy, any higher costs of construction or occupation will be far outweighed by even small improvements in staff performance, the organisation said.

Jane Henley, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said that office occupiers can demonstrate for themselves the link between good office design and improved health and productivity of its workforce.

“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 achieve significant competitive advantage,” she said.

However, low carbon buildings are not automatically healthier and more productive for occupants, the report acknowledges. Further innovation in product technologies and renewables are needed, particularly to enable low carbon cooling hot and humid climates, it says.


Transform articles

National climate plans could see fossil fuel demand peak by 2025

Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.

15th October 2021

Read more

The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.

23rd September 2021

Read more

COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.

9th September 2021

Read more

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert