Sustainable office space and employee engagement

A professional writer and passionate blogger, Sampurna has been lending her expertise to the online world by penning articles, guest posts and blogs on career, business and employment for a quite some time now. She also an avid reader; loves travelling and photography.

The view from office windows is rarely the stuff of picture postcards. However, researchers opine that there’s a direct correlation between our daily scenic environment and our personal wellbeing.

Researchers have proven that sustainable office spaces go a long way in ensuring employee engagement and also boosts employee productivity.

In recent years’ ideas such as employee engagement and well being has become significant for organisations. Since global employee turnover is on the rise; organisations are trying their best to retain employees. And for this, they are ready to embrace all kinds of policies and strategies. Opting for a sustainable office environment is one of them.

It is no secret that as an organization you lose money if your employees are not productive. And it is a fact that only sound employee engagement can boost employee productivity. But, what role does sustainable office spaces play in encouraging employee engagement?

A recent study from Harvard found, when employees work in green-certified office buildings, it turns out that they get a 26% boost in cognition, 30% decrease in sickness-related absences; respondents also reported a 6% increase in their sleep quality.

Promoting sustainable office spaces makes a lot of sense in modern times because our cities are growing at such a pace that, access to greenery is reduced with each passing day. Therefore, employers need to consider providing an oasis for employees. And needless to say, green buildings or sustainable office spaces are the answer.

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Another study conducted by Exeter University found that employees were 15% more productive when they worked within a sustainable workplace environment. A green office was instrumental in boosting employee engagement and also the concentration levels of employees.

What’s more?

A green office space can also aid in long-term decision making.

The American Society of Interior Designers found that physical workspace design has an enormous impact on employee productivity. Some of those factors include workplace clutter, lighting, temperature, and noise.

Additionally, a study conducted by the Journal of Public Affairs, Administration and Management found the following inferences:

• Lighting in office spaces affects an employee’s productivity to a great extent
• Both natural and artificial light are essential for maximising employee productivity
• Spatial arrangement of office furniture is important for productivity

Employee wellbeing is strongly correlated with sustainable office spaces, that is the physical set up of the workplace. Employees who like and enjoy the environment they are a part of, will be more productive, engaged and at the same time happy.

What can employers do?

There are certain ways by which an employer can ensure a good and sustainable work space for its employees. Some steps that can be taken are:

#1. Ensuring good air quality: Air quality has a huge impact on how people feel and function at work. Studies have found that increased ventilation at workplace increased employee performance by 8%. Air temperature also makes a difference. Employee productivity declines by 4% when the office is too cold and increases by 6% when it is warm and cosy.

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#2. Indoor plants and sunshine: New researches show that live plants, if paced within office can help improve cognitive function, lower stress levels and enhance creativity. Biophilia – the idea of human beings connecting with other living beings, including plants, is an emerging theory of sustainable workplaces.

In addition to this, is the accessibility of natural light at workplaces. Natural sunlight is not just a nice perk, but also has been proven to boost employee productivity and ensure good sleep quality.

It is time that organisations step and consider building sustainable office spaces to promote employee wellbeing and also ensure engagement along with increased productivity.

Apparently, happy employees mean more engagement and even substantial productivity.

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