Why offices are a key asset for performance ?
Several studies highlight the link between office design and employee performance.
YouGov the market research company conducted a study on behalf of Oktra, a London-based interior designer. This study consists in highlighting the correlation between employee performance/wellbeing and office aesthetics and layout. It was conducted with 2,000 British employees.
4 important figures emerge from this study:
- 43% think that office design encourages innovation and creativity
- 36% would be less likely to take sick leave in a stimulating work environment
- 85% of respondents indicated that the workplace can be a source of judgment about a company
- 79% that office design is a criteria for choosing a job
This is not the first time that a study has demonstrated the importance of office design. Indeed, according to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and the British Council for Offices have published a study along these lines. Even if their research shows that quantifying the correlation is difficult, it indicates that:
- The workplace contributes 24% of job satisfaction
- It improves individual performance by 5% and collective performance by 11%.
- Reduces turnover and absenteeism at work design and employee performance.
Finally, it should be noted that obviously the layout or aesthetics of offices is not the only factor determining the turnover, performance, concentration or general well-being of employees. Indeed, other factors (always related to offices themselves) contribute greatly such as:
Indoor air quality
Many studies focus on reducing the reported symptoms attributed to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) as a result of improved outdoor air supply. SBS is a syndrome describing a combination of medically unexplained symptoms or diseases associated with a built environment. According to research conducted by Wargocki and Wyonfor each reduction in reported symptoms of SBS, a 1.1% increase in productivity can follow. Meanwhile, a study of schoolchildren in classrooms with operable windows found results 7 to 8% higher than those obtained with fixed windows, indicating the effect of fresh air on performance.
In schools, it was found that students in well-lit classes scored 15% higher on average than those in classes with little or no daylight. The design of daylighting has also been linked to a 15% reduction in office absenteeism and improved school attendance. Other studies have also reported an increase in productivity from 2.8% to 20% due to increased lighting levels.
Extreme temperatures have been found to have a negative impact on productivity. According to an analysis by David Wyon, there is a 46% reduction in speed and accuracy at temperatures above 24ºC.
There are strong indications that underline the importance of ensuring appropriate noise levels in the workplace. A study by Loewen and Suedfeld reported improvements of 38% in the execution/performance of simple tasks and 27% for complex tasks in a white noise environment (background noise), compared to tasks in unmasked noise conditions.
Obviously this list of factors is not exhaustive, but they contribute greatly to employee performance. That is why office design cannot be a decision taken lightly.
You can consult this study here.