Green building features support worker wellbeing and productivity

A workplace with good air quality, comfortable temperature, natural light and other features associated with green buildings is likely to result in a more productive workforce, according to a study conducted by Jones Lang LaSalle.

In the recently released edition of Global Sustainability Perspective, Jones Lang LaSalle research professionals analyzed previous studies of the connection between green buildings and employee productivity. Although the impact of green features on productivity is difficult to quantify, an examination of the existing data shows a clear correlation between a comfortable and healthy workplace and occupant wellbeing, which translates into lower absenteeism and greater productivity.

Read the complete findings of the study and other articles on global sustainability here: http://www.joneslanglasalle.com/Pages/Global-Property-Sustainability-Perspective.aspx

“When business people make a financial case for green buildings, they often focus on energy efficiency because the cost and benefit are easily measured. But the opportunity to increase employee productivity even by a few percentage points is a much greater financial plus, even if the benefit can not be precisely quantified,” said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at Jones Lang LaSalle. “Companies recognize that a comfortable environment that promotes good health allows their employees to produce better results.”

In the Global Sustainability Perspective, Jones Lang LaSalle recommends a range of strategies for building managers and corporations to create office environments that promote the wellbeing and health of occupants:

Indoor air quality

Allow individual control of indoor air quality levels and ventilation

Avoid placing printers and copiers near work stations to minimize toner dust pollution

Use chemical-free cleaning supplies

Install low emission wall and floor coverings

Provide air quality monitoring

Lighting

Provide workers with effective controls such as task lighting, blinds and shades to reduce solar glare

Design space layouts to maximize penetration of natural light into work spaces

Avoid glare on computer screens from lighting and from office windows

Thermal comfort

Give workers individual control over workstation temperature, if possible

Periodically monitor temperature levels

Access to outside views and external space

Design open-plan workplace layouts to maximize access to outside views

Provide access for staff to external space for use as break out and collaboration space, where possible

Acoustics

Monitor noise levels of printers and copiers

Provide separate work areas to accommodate various noise levels, such as quiet areas, meeting rooms, and lounges

Ergonomics

Educate employees on proper ergonomic practices

Provide equipment that reduce musculoskeletal disorders

“It may be impossible to know exactly how a specific feature in a workplace will affect the productivity of workers in that space, but we do know that many strategies to make buildings more sustainable also enhance occupant wellbeing and promote health, and those factors lead to higher productivity,” Probst said.

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