Companies now have a new reason to go green. New research has found that companies that adopt eco-friendly green practices have employees that are more productive than those that do not. A study published in the Journal of Organisational Behaviour shows that businesses implementing eco-friendly green practices enjoy levels of productivity that are 16 percent higher, on average, than in non-green office buildings, indicating the business value of adopting green practices is very strong. In this article, we take a closer look at how, in particular, sustainable coworking spaces can improve productivity of workers.
Why are workplaces going green?
Ecological issues such as pollution and the effects of climate change, coupled with an expanding global population, continue to put pressure on the availability of valuable natural resources around the world. In response, many societies have begun adopting the philosophy of sustainable design, in which living spaces, commercial buildings, and other built-up areas are designed around the principles of low energy consumption, reduced environmental impact, and low material cost, all without compromising comfort and quality of life.
“Going green” at work—or adopting environmentally friendly business practices—is not just a trend, but also a way for socially responsible companies to benefit from a host of advantages. From attracting an ever-increasing number of customers who are adopting sustainable lifestyles, to improving brand reputation—more and more companies are discovering the benefits of being an environmentally-friendly business. It’s now apparent corporate social responsibility can also have positive effects on an organisation’s bottom line. This could include legal and tax advantages, such as tax credits, exemptions and incentives, while reduced waste and increased efficiency not only reduces pollution, but could extend energy expenses as well. Sustainable workplaces are ultimately contributing to the health of the planet in the long run and proving to be healthier workplaces for people as well.
How green technology boosts productivity in the workplace
Eco-friendly technologies are revolutionising the workplace. Green technology does more for the business dynamic than merely helping the environment. While this may be an honourable cause, eco-friendly technology could also be used to enhance the workplace and boost productivity of workers. For example, by moving to a digital platform, it’s much easier to find digital documents on the Cloud than to sift through a filing cabinet. Mobile devices, messaging systems and even appliances that improve air quality can make an impact in how people perform their jobs. Enhancements in workplace lightening are also closely tied with the improved performance of employees. Proper lighting is key for productivity and comfort in office environments and often determines the perception, mood, and performance of employees. Research shows that LED lighting has a positive impact on employees’ physical, physiological, and psychological well-being, which affects their overall performance and even attendance in the workplace.
Overall, as buildings become smarter and more connected, it’s easier than ever for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
Sustainable coworking spaces
The growing phenomenon of co-working spaces – places where individuals can rent a desk of their own while sharing a range of other facilities with their co-tenants – are proving to be a more sustainable and cost effective workspaces for many freelancers, small businesses and corporations. Often, the secret to a smart office interior design lies in its sustainability. There is a growing trend in coworking spaces towards using more sustainable and locally sourced building materials and up cycling products for use in the open plan workplace. This not only creates a healthy work environment, but often a more modern, minimalist and aesthetically pleasing work environment too. Making some simple yet attainable choices in terms of office decor and essentials can transform a normal workspace into a highly sustainable one. At the same time, getting some air and nature into the office, designing the office space in an artful manner to accommodate all the essentials, while elimination clutter and using aesthetically pleasing yet eco-friendly lighting and furniture – helps boost morale and productivity of workers.
Over recent years, businesses have been increasingly keen to demonstrate their green credentials, for a variety of reasons, and as companies continue to experience many advantages from making their workplaces more sustainable and environmentally-friendly, this trend is only likely to grow further. In particular, research has repeatedly demonstrated value of greener office buildings in terms of increasing productivity. Coworking spaces are increasingly growing in popularity – and many of these types of spaces now place a major focus on sustainable design, which allows different people the flexibility to come and go, in these often open-plan, eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing environments.
Studies have shown that improvements to ventilation, the inclusion of natural elements like plants, and the sufficient provision of natural light in place of artificial light can help to make employees feel happier, more comfortable, better able to process information and less likely to take sick days, all of which results in increased productivity.
Written by guest writer Fiona Murray.
Fiona Murray is a MSc Digital Marketing graduate and writer based in Scotland. An enthusiast for all things digital and travel related, Fiona has experience living and working in the UK, USA and Asia, and has travelled extensively in order to further her experiences of other cultures. Found out more about her on.