24 September 2014
The design of an office significantly affects the health, wellbeing and productivity of its staff, according to a major report from the World Green Building Council.
Health, Wellbeing And Productivity In Offices: The Next Chapter For Green Building, finds that a range of building design features from air quality and day-lighting to views of nature and interior layout, can affect the health, satisfaction and job performance of office workers.
The report, sponsored by JLL, Lend Lease and Skanska, also presents a toolkit that businesses can use to measure the health, wellbeing and productivity of their staff and relate this back to the physical features of buildings.
Measures include absenteeism, staff turnover, medical complaints and revenue - data that is already collected, but not typically available on a building-by-building basis.
Understanding the link between workers and their workplace helps to drive the business case for higher quality, healthier and greener buildings that are valued by investors, developers and tenants alike.
With salaries and benefits typically responsible for 90 per cent of an organisation's expenditure, any higher construction or occupation costs are far outweighed by even small improvements in staff performance.
The report suggests that design features that are commonly associated with green buildings can enable healthy and productive environments for their occupants, but acknowledges that low carbon buildings are not automatically healthier and more productive for occupants.
Further innovations in product technologies and renewables are needed, particularly to enable low-carbon cooling in hot and humid climates.
Jane Henley, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: "The evidence linking good office design and improved health, wellbeing and productivity of staff is now overwhelming. There is unquestionably a clear business case for investing in, developing and occupying healthier, greener buildings."