An average employee spends about 40 hours a week in the office. As their job demands increase, they expect more from their employers. This is not about requesting a salary increase or a promotion. Employees demand green and sustainable buildings to their bosses because it makes their day jobs less miserable.
Right now, the construction industry creates more buildings, based on how people use them. The market demands more options of sustainable and green offices not only because it cuts the cost of electricity, but because it improves health and productivity of the employees. There is a growing number of studies that support the connection of sustainable buildings to public health. Architects and other construction professionals use this knowledge to build structures that ensure the health of people in buildings, everywhere, every day.
To date, green office design is open to interpretation—developers, designers and engineers have their own ways and strategies to build environmentally sensitive buildings. They start with using eco-friendly construction materials, but there are more elements needed to create an office space that’s good for people.
Bringing humans back to nature
We live in a concrete jungle which grows at a fast pace, where most of us are deprived of scenic environments. Access to greenery is vital to the health and wellbeing of people, hence it is a huge part of building a green office. In fact, research confirms that displaying indoor plants can increase an individual’s productivity by 15%. Green offices with plants make your staff happier and more productive compared to lean offices without greenery. Plants don’t just improve air quality in the office, it boosts employee engagement and concentration as well.
What’s more is that people who see photos of nature in their offices develop sharper minds—becoming better strategists and long-term decision makers. A Dutch experiment recently showed the impact of greenery on a person’s ability to delay gratification. Researchers had two sets of people—they showed photos of natural environments to the first and photos of urban environments to the second. The two groups battled in a marshmallow game and the set of people who saw photos of nature performed better than the group who saw photos of buildings.
At Superdraft, we recommend that you hung of scenic nature photos and display indoor plants if there is no park or tree seen through your windows. The sight of plants alone is good for your employees, making them feel more human and less robotic.
Another soft benefit to the employees is daylighting. Here, a team of architect and building designers plan the orientation of a structure so it can use natural light to brighten the office.
Researchers say that the presence of natural light in the room helps your workers absorb the vitamin D, which is essential to their bone strength and overall health. Well-lit interiors are comfortable to the occupant—improving their mood, attention, cognitive performance, and alertness. It also helps workers sleep better at night.
Switching to a genuinely smart office
Going green shows concern for your employees. If they believe that their company cares for them as a person—not just an employee—they become more productive, more satisfied, and more fulfilled. Employees at their best mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability. The performance of workers in green workspaces increases on average by double, compared to those who work in spartan offices. With that in mind, green offices are is a great investment that today’s businesses don’t want to miss.∎