As per a recent study, poor air quality, uncomfortable temperatures, poor lighting, and high noise levels are hampering the happiness of workers. It has been proven time and again that the environment at the workplace has a direct impact on employee productivity. And it is about time HR starts paying special attention to the field.
An HR advisory company Future Workplace carried out a survey of 1600 employees in North America. It was surprising to find that most of the workers expressed dissatisfaction when it came to workplace environments. About a third of them revealed losing out on more than an hour every day because of discomfort.
At many places, real estate and facilities managers look into the concerns of office environments. But in most of the cases, the HR department is the one responsible. Here, the role of HR managers becomes vital. As they are involved in facilities management, they need to work towards improving employee productivity by investing well in technology.
Marina Eller Vance is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and environmental engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is also a researcher on these issues. She shed light on the impact of the environment on productivity.
Vance told that improving indoor environmental quality, including air, temperatures, relative humidity, lighting, and ventilation, will improve productivity at large. She clarified that improving indoor environmental conditions will lead to a positive impact on the physical and mental well-being of the employees. Ultimately, these positive outcomes will enhance the productivity of the entire workplace.
Air Quality Holds the Pole Position!
Many companies lay too much emphasis on certain employee benefits like gym facilities and healthy foods. But they miss out on an important component. The air quality at any workplace matters most. It has the capability to enrich the employee experience. So, why not concentrate on that?
Vance revealed that understanding the difference between perceived air quality and actual air quality is also important. The use of air fresheners and other scents bring workers joy and also improve perceived air quality. But, in reality, the volatile organic compounds they emit as actually air pollutants to a bunch of scientists.
There are various other ways to provide a better work environment for the employees. To Wayne Sumner, founder, and chairman of Jackson Sumner & Associates, creating an environmentally healthy place was a top priority when his company built new set-ups in Boone, NC. As per him, the employees are the most important assets to the company and they need to be provided with a healthy environment at work. That was the reason he used environmentally-friendly products while building the 18,000-square-foot office. The paints used contained no or very less volatile organic compounds and the lights used high Color Rendering Index (CRI). Also, bottled water was completely done away with and replaced with a large filtering system with copper pipes in place of plastic.
Investing in a healthy workplace environment sends out a message that the workforce is important to the company. In addition, improvement in employee experience also leads to better retentions and reduced employee burnout.