There is "overwhelming" evidence to show that well-designed offices help to boost health, wellbeing and productivity of staff in the workplace, according to a new study from the World Green Building Council.
Anything ranging from good air quality to a 'room with a view' can affect the health, satisfaction and job performance of office workers. This leads experts to suggest that how a building 'works for people' should be a priority.
With salaries and employee benefits making up 90% of the average company's expenditure, higher construction or occupation costs for better offices are far outweighed by even small improvements to employee productivity, the council argues.
While low-carbon buildings are not automatically healthier and more productive for occupants, "green" measures such daylight or natural ventilation can often be a virtuous circle of good design that works for both people and planet, the report said.
Better air quality in the office could lead to productivity improvements of 8% to 11%, research suggests.
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Meanwhile other factors including lighting, views of nature, noise and acoustics, layout, and access to amenities such as gyms, bicycle storage and green space can have impacts on health and productivity.
Jane Henley, chief executive of the World Building Council, said: "The evidence linking good office design and improved health, wellbeing and productivity of their staff is now overwhelming.
"There is unquestionably a clear business case for investing in, developing and occupying healthier, greener buildings."
Geoff Dutaillis, group head of sustainability at Lend Lease, said: "Whatever business you are in, you are in the business of people. How a building 'works for people' should be the priority question.
"This report provides further evidence that workplaces with clean air, natural daylight and engaging and adaptable layouts all contribute to making healthier, happier and more motivated individuals who create stronger, more resilient and profitable companies."