People have used all sorts of design tips and tricks to increase productivity in the office, from feng shui to open work spaces. Employees and business leaders alike claim these moves stimulate creativity, promote collaboration and encourage people to work hard. Recently, a report from the World Green Building Council found creating an environmentally friendly office has similar benefits.
Green, Healthy Offices Increase Productivity
The organization surveyed several different companies across the globe to find out how employees and business leaders felt about environmentally friendly work spaces. It discovered employees overwhelmingly favored green, healthy offices, and that people who didn’t work in such areas believed adopting these initiatives would lead to greater productivity. Various respondents in the Middle East, for example, agreed that improving indoor air quality would benefit their work.
As many workers expected, these and other changes had a positive impact on productivity. For instance, after moving to a certified LEED Platinum building in October 2015, the average weekly number of sales at a call center for French manufacturer Saint-Gobain grew 97 percent. In addition, the leads per call rose 101 percent.
Creating a Green Office
Investing in a LEED-certified building isn’t an option for every company, but businesses can set goals that support sustainability initiatives to create cleaner, healthier work environments. A simple way to start is to encourage employees to recycle. Try setting goals to reduce waste by a certain volume – maybe one or two fewer trash bags – every month. Employees can create objectives and key results to encourage them to convert all paper records into digital ones over the next two quarters or to convince customers to accept correspondence through email as opposed to the postal service.
Your business can also follow in Google’s footsteps and focus on biophilia. Google, a leader in productivity and ongoing performance management, believes people work more effectively when they feel connected to nature. The company uses design elements to replicate the outdoors, including air-filtering mud walls and hemp floors, according to the WGBC survey. Employees who can see these elements from their desks say they’re more creative and satisfied with their work environment.
Biophilic design has quantifiable benefits as well. According to GreenBiz, one call center saw a 6 percent increase in productivity simply by giving employees the ability to look outside.
A healthy, natural environment has positive effects on employee satisfaction and output. Businesses hoping to implement green initiatives should have set goals and OKRs that allow them to support this cause.