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Increasing Productivity in Offices

How can we create an environment that allows us to do our best and be the most productive? The World Green Building Council, in partnership with its Green Building Council network, has published a new report, Health, well-being and productivity in offices: The next chapter for green building, which finds a range of factors -- from air quality and lighting to views of nature and interior layout -- can affect workers' health, satisfaction and job performance. The report says that 

  • Indoor air quality: A comprehensive body of research suggests that better indoor air quality (low concentrations of CO2 and pollutants and high ventilation rates) can lead to productivity improvements of 8-11%.
  • Thermal comfort: Research demonstrates that thermal comfort has a significant impact on workplace satisfaction and modest degrees of personal control over thermal comfort can return single digit improvements in productivity.
  • Lighting and views of nature: Several studies have estimated productivity gains as a result of proximity to windows, with experts now thinking that views from windows are probably the more significant factor, particularly where the view offers a connection to nature.
  • Noise and acoustics: Research suggests that being productive in the modern knowledge-based office is practically impossible when noise provides an unwanted distraction. This can be a major cause of dissatisfaction amongst occupants.
  • Interior layout: The way the interior of an office is configured (including workstation density and configuration of work space, breakout space and social space) has been found to have an impact on concentration, collaboration, confidentiality and creativity.
  • Active design and exercise:  Health can be improved through exercise, and so active design within a building, and access to services and amenities such as gyms, bicycle storage and green space can help to encourage healthier lifestyles of building occupants.

Now that we have data revealing what works and doesn't work for offices we can use that information and make our offices as productive as possible! 

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