A while ago, we asked you via LinkedIn about the most important aspects of a healthy building. The reactions poured in and it’s time to present the findings. Demi Alders, a WELL expert at CFP, went to work on the results of the poll and has come up with four tips for a healthier workplace, also at home.
The results of the poll
During this COVID-19 pandemic, it won’t surprise anyone: 56% of voters consider air quality the most important factor for a healthy building. Temperature comes in second with 18% of the votes, closely followed by light quality. And 9% of those who voted consider acoustics to be the most important indicator of a healthy building. But what do the figures say about these different aspects? And how do they affect your productivity? We list a number of tips for healthy working, both at the office and at home.
1. Fresh air increases productivity and reduces absence through illness
Working in a well-ventilated space can increase productivity by up to 29%. Conversely, a lack of fresh air accounts for 35% of absenteeism. These figures are telling. So always make sure you work in a well-ventilated area.
Demi: “By measuring the carbon level in the room where you work, for example, you get a good insight into the air quality. You often see that there is insufficient ventilation in a room and you also notice it (because you have a headache or feel tired). But often you are not aware that this is because the air quality is not good.”
2. A workplace that is too hot or too cold makes you less active
We’re all familiar with it: working in a hot room and your thoughts keep wandering. People often think that only heat makes you less productive, but this is also true when it’s too cold. When the temperature is too warm, you become 15% less productive and when it’s cold that percentage is around 14%. So experiment with what the ideal temperature is for you to work in and adjust your thermostat accordingly.
These are all numbers on paper, but the feeling of course also plays a role. You notice that working from home becomes mentally more difficult for many people as time goes on. That’s why it’s important to at least provide an ideal working climate for your own home office.
– Demi Alders, consultant at CFP
3. Working near a window makes you sleep better
In the poll, fluorescent tube lights are explicitly named as a disturbance. And it does make quite a difference whether you are sitting by a window (in daylight) or not. People who work close to a window – and therefore natural light – sleep an average of 46 minutes a day longer than people who sit further away from a window. That in turn has a positive effect on productivity. So place your desk near to a window.
4. Good acoustics improve concentration
Nothing is as irritating as disturbing sounds. It affects your concentration, but the figures also show that there is a link between acoustics and stress. Noise-cancelling headphones can help with this, for example, and for others background music helps. Spotify, for example, has several playlists available that increase concentration.