Research has shown that there is a strong link between workplace satisfaction and office design that can increase office productivity. When measuring the benefits of great design, many companies only consider the obvious financial savings. These are often from energy efficient building upgrades. A reduction in costs is great for the bottom line, but there are other key business advantages to great design and productivity is one of them.
Increase Office Productivity
A report by the World Green Building Council (WGBC) stated that staff costs typically account for approximately 90 per cent of operating expenses for organisations.
Even a moderate improvement in staff productivity can have significant financial benefits for employers. In Australia, they estimate that businesses waste $7 billion a year on staff being absent and poor health.
Operating from environmentally sustainable office space is increasingly recognised as a strategic business decision that is both environmentally and economically sound. Most importantly, it can also enhance a company's biggest asset and expense - its people.
What Can You Do?
The WGBC report outlined a number of areas where businesses can examine their existing building design and make improvements.
If your organisation is looking to upgrade to a more sustainable future, these changes could be a good place to start. An increase in office productivity is one of the key benefits.
- AIR QUALITY & TEMPERATURE
Air quality has been shown to improve productivity anywhere between 8 and 11 per cent. High ventilation rates and low concentrations of CO2 are important factors in achieving better air quality. This includes effective air-conditioning systems, openable windows and the provision of indoor plants. Providing staff with control over their thermal comfort has also been shown to produce productivity gains. This can be done by zoning air-conditioning controls.
- MOVEMENT & EXERCISE
The health benefits of movement and exercise should be encouraged. This includes providing access to gyms, bike storage and green space. Research has shown that people who cycle to work are much less likely to take sick days. Standing desks can also be considered as an option for staff. The benefits of less sitting and more standing are highlighted in our article on The Dangers of Workplace Inactivity.
- LIGHTING AND NATURE
A growing body of research shows that green space and nature both have a positive impact on health and mental well-being. Office layouts that prioritise access to windows and natural light are linked to a boost in productivity. The magical power of indoor plants is that they boost air quality as well as the overall feel of the environment.
- AMENITIES & LOCATION
Office amenities are an increasingly important part of modern offices, particularly in relation to childcare. Businesses that provide these services on-site have been shown to experience a significant financial gain through less staff being absent. Read our article 'Find the Right Office Space' for you for more information on selecting the best space for your business.
- NOISE & DISRUPTION
Employees typically highlight loud office environments as a severe impediment to productivity. We can review your existing work environment and suggest ways to improve a noisy work area. Suggestions can include:
- Acoustic Modifications -
- sound proofing partitions
- the addition of sound absorbent materials and screens
- providing separation barriers
- Changes to Layout
- the provision of sound proof booths or quiet rooms for private conversations
- co-locating quieter teams together and noisy teams behind glass screens
- Acoustic Modifications -
- OFFICE LAYOUT
Research suggests that creating a number of different task-oriented work-spaces is the key to increase office productivity. This means providing separate areas where staff can socialise, brainstorm together or work quietly on their own.
Would you like to improve the satisfaction of your staff and increase office productivity? Great design can do this for your organisation by improving the environmental qualities found within your work environment. Contact us, we'd love to help.