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Healthy buildings improve productivity

Sep 8, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

The heightened focus on hygiene and sanitization in the last few years has shone a light on cleanliness as it relates to the safety of your building, but what about productivity? Healthy buildings show your staff a commitment to their health, safety, and happiness, and that ultimately leads to better-performing employees.

Your staff spends a lot of time in your building, so prioritizing productivity as part of your cleaning and maintenance plan is good for business.

Indoor air quality

Studies show that improvements to building air quality boosted cognitive function by 26.4 per cent, leading to better-performing team members. Employee satisfaction counts, too, as 20 per cent of people perform better when they are happy with their work environment.

31 per cent of people would consider leaving their job over air quality concerns, so it’s worth paying attention to the air quality in your building, staying on top of maintenance, and taking preventative action to improve the health of your building and the productivity of your teams.

Green buildings

Green buildings incorporate natural or sustainable elements designed to enhance health and wellness, as well as improve the overall staff experience. Things like living walls, green roofs, indoor plants, and natural materials can all help achieve your company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, as well as potentially qualifying your company for certification and recognition.

These elements make the workplace more desirable, as well as helping improve indoor air quality, reduce stress, and increase cognitive function.

A full overhaul

For the last 40 years, we’ve been living in a “sick building era,” according to Joseph G. Allen, director of Harvard’s Health Buildings Program and associate professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and it is time that building operators and maintenance managers to put health and wellness first in their buildings. Allen lists the elements that need addressing to make your building healthy: ventilation, air quality, thermal health, moisture, dust and pests, water quality, noise, and lighting.

He suggests that making changes doesn’t have to be expensive, saying “Workers in buildings with good air quality are more productive and we estimated the financial impact.” He continues, “The cost to achieve this is on average $40 per person per year, and the benefits are in the order of $6,000 to $7,000 per person per year.” He suggests that it is just about improving the basics, which comes at a reasonable cost, with great return.

Change doesn’t need to come overnight, the process can be completed over time, including assessing and optimizing your heating and cooling systems, maximizing outdoor air and light, upgrading equipment to maximize efficiency, and adding fans and additional air cleaners where necessary.

Designing a space for your employees that promotes health and wellness will also promote productivity and help your business prosper.

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