Healthier spaces to improve productivity

Written by Warren Fitzpatrick

Man at desk with sun beaming in
There are a multitude of elements that influence employee productivity, including air quality, temperature, and light.

If we were to look back at the last few years, the industry has revealed great insights into the workplace and productivity. Studies have given us overwhelming evidence that workplaces can have a very positive or negative impact on employee productivity, performance, health, and wellbeing.

Gold standard research has found:

1. Better indoor air quality promotes individual productivity;

2. Better individual productivity leads to better organizational results;

3. Productivity and organizational results can be measured and expressed as a return on investment; and

4. This has proven to hold in working offices around the world, as well as in controlled laboratory environments.

In 2014, the World Green Building Council published a paper (WGCB, 2014) which showed that better indoor air quality can lead to productivity improvements of 8-11%.

Researchers at Harvard University took this concept further in 2015 and discovered more dramatic results in their published research that looked at how greener buildings impacted employee cognitive function (MacNaughton, et al., 2017). The research proved that worker cognitive scores increased by 61% in indoor environments with low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and by 101% in indoor environments with improved ventilation and subsequently low VOC levels.

It has been found that overall employee costs total greater numbers than real estate costs.

A year later, The Stoddart review took the next step by linking individual performance to organizational results. The review identified that effective workplace can improve business productivity by as much as 3.5%. The study suggested organizations in the UK should focus on employee efficiency instead of focussing efforts on real estate cost reduction. The argument being that overall employee costs total greater numbers than real estate costs.

Soon thereafter, we saw that businesses recognize the link between indoor environmental quality and organizational performance, but had trouble applying this to the real world as it was difficult to calculate ROI from improved productivity. The British Council for Offices (BCO) published their report “Defining and measuring productivity in offices”. The report suggests that overall productivity benefits of 2-3% could be gained by improving the workplace environment.

The research suggests that UK businesses and organizations are sitting on the untapped potential of 2 – 3.5% productivity gains by optimizing their workplace.

Facility sweeping
Monitoring your facility can massively aid effective management.

As you are about to begin (or considering) your journey into the world of facility monitoring using sensors, it is incredibly important to take cognizance of what you are measuring, and why? It is important to ask what the value is of only being able to measure the occupancy of a building or workplace when what we should be looking at is a complete holistic approach.

That’s why we believe Ergosense is the only truly holistic solution to bring you insights into your facility’s occupancy and environmental health that can help you increase employee wellness and productivity.

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