Category Archives: Workplace Productivity

Coffee: the must-have office perk

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If there is one perk that employees really appreciate it’s free, or even subsidized, coffee. The fact that many workers spend $1,000 or more a year on coffee suggests that the motivation to drink coffee must be very strong. Providing employees with access to coffee in the office — either free or for a modest price — is an easy and inexpensive way to make them feel valued and appreciated. A survey by Green Mountain Coffee found that 37 percent of employees would prefer free or subsidized coffee over an annual office party.

Coffee is a simple pleasure that many people depend on, and which improves productivity. A survey of U.S. workers and their coffee habits conducted by Alterra Coffee Roasters found that:

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Enhancing the human experience: algorithms to drive individual workplace comfort

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When it comes to workplace comfort, researchers at Purdue University are proving the theory that one size doesn’t fit all.

An ongoing study at the Purdue University Center for High Performance Buildings (CHPB), in partnership with JLL, is looking at the effect of customizable indoor environment conditions on employee productivity and satisfaction and building energy consumption. The goal of the two-year project, “Development of self-tuned indoor environments,” is to use measures of individual preferences to come up with smart building technology solutions.

“Essentially we are developing algorithms that can learn occupant preferences accurately and efficiently,” said Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Panagiota Karava, one of the researchers on the project.

Founded in 2013, the CHPB has quickly emerged as a leader in the smart building innovation space. Supported by partnerships with industry leaders, the CHPB takes a multi-disciplinary approach to its research projects, by bringing in experts in mechanical, civil and electrical engineering, as well as specialists in psychology and human behavior.

JLL has partnered with the CHPB on 13 research projects, including this one. The study is collecting data from over 200 participants in private and open-plan offices in an on-campus building that is a living laboratory. Each private office is equipped with dimmable electric lights, motorized shades and a Variable Air Volume system. In one sub-study, sensors measured temperature, light levels and occupant actions as participants were asked to engage in a regular 8-hour workday and interact with the customizable control systems from their desks. … Read More

Measurable productivity benefits of enhanced indoor air quality

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Every few years, a groundbreaking study propels our understanding of the impact indoor environments have on employee wellness and productivity. Old-timers will recall one of the first and most famous studies – a lighting retrofit at the Reno, Nevada U.S. Post Office letter-sorting department in 1986, which was merely intended to save energy. An unexpected surprise was that not only did it reduce energy use but the improved quality of lighting also increased the speed of sorting by 10 percent, decreased errors, and achieved a measurable half-million dollars in productivity gains per year.

Since then, our understanding of wellness in the workplace has greatly expanded. Recently, another trailblazing finding has been causing a stir in the wellness industry. It’s a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, which shows a remarkable correlation between carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and productivity.

The experiment consisted of participants playing a computer simulation game in three different office environments in turn: one ‘bad’ environment that had 1,400 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 (such as is often found in offices and schools); another with a moderate level of 945 ppm of CO2 (a typical industry standard); and a third, which had an exceptionally good level of CO2 at 550 ppm. The game was designed to measure nine cognitive functions, including information processing, decision-making and recall.… Read More

Breathe a little deeper for productivity

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OpenOfficePlanMany businesses today are making large investments in workplace renovations and sustainable upgrades in order to increase employee satisfaction, wellness and productivity. Yet, a Harvard study has discovered one factor to productivity that has been overlooked: air quality.

In October 2015, the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment published a study that found that the quality of the air we breathe has… Read More

5 steps to create a happier – and more productive – workplace

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There’s no doubt that creating a happier, healthier workplace can pay dividends – especially when it comes to driving productivity (not to mention, attracting and retaining top talent). But where should your organization start on your journey to build a happier work environment by inspiring mindfulness and gratitude? While opportunities to inspire a happier workforce abound, the below suggestions are a useful starting point.

While it’s impossible to build a happier work environment overnight, there are a number of simple steps that you can take as you start your journey to a happier, more productive workplace:… Read More