Tag Archives: workplace productivity

Building integrity: Sustainability, workplace productivity and ethics

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Winston Churchill once noted, “We shape our workplaces and thereafter, they shape us.” Some 50 years after his death, Churchill’s insight has implications for the sustainability field. The design and use of commercial office space influence a host of sustainability topics, including ethics, employee well-being, engagement and worker productivity.

It comes as no surprise that a successful sustainability strategy rests in large part on the built environment. The statistic that approximately 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by buildings is a clarion call for corporate citizens to attend to their bricks and mortar. Traditionally, we have focused on how we can reduce our footprint through more efficient use of energy and disposal of waste, and the payback statistics are now irrefutable.

However, a best-in-class approach suggests there is more to be gained when you leverage the workplace as an ally. The way we design, develop and operate the workplace have profound impacts on our hand-print: the people side of the sustainability equation.

Workplace design influences ethical behavior
In a recent JLL study, 64% of respondents said that workplace surroundings influence the ethical environment, and 81% believe that open office plans generally promote improved behaviors when compared to individual office plans. … Read More

Earth Day: the interplay of sustainability and wellness

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In nearly 195 countries around the globe, Earth Day provides companies with an opportunity to merge corporate strategy, brand and reputation, environmental stewardship, community affairs and employee engagement, all in one activity, on one day – April 22.  Earth Day grew from the idea that if enough people were aware of environmental issues and vocal about their concerns, it would force environmental protection into the political agenda. It’s also a day for people to reflect on the ways the environment impacts us and why sustainability is such a priority.

shutterstock_513233866Sustainability goes well beyond saving trees and recycling. The United Nations Development Programme has identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are focused on protecting the planet and its resources in ways that are crucial to our survival as well. We need air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat – and a planet that can provide those things for us in the long term.

Beyond simple survival, humans benefit from being in a natural environment – sure, we need trees and plants for photosynthesis to clean the air and provide oxygen, but it goes even further. Consider Shinrin-Yoku, or Forest Bathing. This involves visiting a forest for relaxation and breathing in the essential oils produced by trees. These oils, called phytoncides, are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds which may provide health benefits to humans as well as trees. In a 2010 study conducted across 24 forests in Japan, the subjects who participated in forest bathing had lower blood pressure, heart rate and concentrations of salivary cortisol — a stress hormone — when compared with those who walked through a city setting.… 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

Health, meet wealth: Connecting the dots between gratitude, mindfulness and productivity

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Well-being in the workplace is a hot topic these days, especially among forward-looking organizations. There’s no question that happier employees are more productive employees, which has a positive impact on the bottom line – but where should you invest your resources to help your employees lead happier lives? The answer is deceptively simple: start by helping your employees to take time for gratitude and mindfulness.  

Creating a culture of happiness in the workplace is no small task – especially in the face of many common work-related stressors like tight deadlines or long hours. Fortunately, the business case for creating a happier workplace – starting with initiatives to inspire gratitude and mindfulness – is stronger than ever before.… Read More