No matter whether big or small, businesses see innovation among the top strategic vehicles for success.
Innovation is the implementation of new or significantly improved products (physical goods or service), processes, new marketing methods or new organizational methods in business practice.
According to a 2016 Deloitte Innovation Survey, 96% of executives consider innovation to be among the top five strategic priorities, with more than a fifth of companies classifying innovation as their top priority.
The more your employees like the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of their work with you, the better off your company gets.
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to their organization and its goals. It leads to higher employee productivity, especially in service and product oriented companies. Organizations with highly engaged employees outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%, a 2010 Gallup study reveals.
Art & inspiration
Interaction supporting workplace
People are your key asset – make sure you attract the best and keep them.
On average, it costs from 16% to 213% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them. Talent attraction is an organization’s ability to attract talented and qualified individuals in order to recruit the best employees. Retention is the ability of an organization to retain its employees.
Family support / WLB
Leisure & fun
Interruptions & distractions damage your team’s real productivity.
A key to our efficiency is how we use resources – our time, the time of other people and our capabilities, such as brain power. Interruptions due to distractions or a lack of resources consume 28% of knowledge workers' work time.
Make sure your office building does not make your employees sick.
Absenteeism is the level of absence from work and presenteeism stands for presence at work despite sickness. These two are strong indicators of employee health.
According to a 2010 EurWork study, the average rates of working time absence across Europe are between 3% and 6%, or 53 to 106 hours per employee per year, a 2015 OECD study explains. Moreover, 39% of employees and as much as 57% of managers in Europe go to work even when they do not feel healthy.
An innovation ecosystem provides all the resources needed to learn, be creative, prototype, and test new solutions.
An innovation ecosystem creates the physical proximity of various actors, mixing different ideas and expertise. The best innovation ecosystems are based on a bottom-up approach to innovation. In order to achieve radical innovation, a “coral-reef” ecosystem is needed. It is a system which provides for the needs of its empowered participants and creates a pro-innovation environment without regulating it from the top. An innovation-driven approach means bringing a diverse network of participants and institutions physically close: employees, freelancers, start-ups, scale-ups, corporations, universities, venture funds and NGOs. This extended group should have opportunities to mix together in productive ways. Hold regular meetings, events, and talks where innovators from across an organization can get together and share their experiences.
Employee growth and development covers many ways of learning. Having good learning tools and sufficient mentoring in the workplace helps employees improve their performance and productivity.
Out of all generations, Millennials care the most about advancement and personal development opportunities. According to a Gallup research study, more than 60% of them look for opportunities to learn and grow when applying for a job. When companies invest heavily in the personal development of their employees, it results in long-term loyalty. Thus, employee development acts both as an attraction and a retention tool. Research shows that corporate expenditure for internal training bolsters interpersonal and organizational learning practices, which, in turn, increases innovative performance.
In interaction-supporting workspaces, employees communicate easily and can thus share and learn from one another. This also happens in non-planned ways through so-called collisions, leading to disruption.
High levels of interaction and communication are linked to innovation and reduced time in completing projects. The most valuable knowledge-sharing and learning takes place whilst talking to colleagues. Knowledge is transferred within and across organizations through informal networks that form spontaneously around common work-related interests. These interactions only happen when people meet face to face. Visual contact and proximity matter. The MIT 30-metre rule says the frequency of one person’s interaction with another sitting more than 30 metres (about 99 feet) away is about the same as if the two were in different buildings.
Art in the workplace serves not only as decoration, but also reduces stress, increases creativity, promotes a calming environment, encourages openness in expressing opinions and improves productivity.
Integration of artwork in workplaces increases visual complexity that serves as a stimulant to human cognition. Also, certain design elements can be used for navigation, orientation and offer spatial familiarity. For this purpose, artwork has to be distinct in shape and colour, and clearly divide spaces into zones. Adding artwork to staircases increases their usage. Employees who work in spaces decorated with art or plants (biophilia) are 17% more productive than those who work in bare and functional spaces. Moreover, empowering employees to have control over the design and layout of their workspace can boost their productivity by 32%.
Community activation requires being externally open, offering activities, amenities, and public space to the entire community, making the building’s location recognized and welcome in the neighbourhood.
A sense of workplace community and belonging is significantly connected to personal well-being, satisfaction, and employee retention. Such communities form organically; they cannot be imposed. A stimulating environment to help them develop can be created, though. Providing opportunities for social interaction, mixing, and inclusion: events, sport and dining facilities and well-organized public spaces are all tools to facilitate community development. The process encompasses involving the existing wider local community and active groups by addressing their needs and concerns as well as letting them enjoy the spaces and amenities on site.
Employees require a solid variety of food and prefer healthy eating options. Eating is one of the most natural social activities and increases interactions among employees and thus supports collaboration.
Eating habits and diets can even affect the productivity of workers. Research shows that well-targeted and efficiently implemented diet-related worksite health-promotion interventions may improve labour productivity. 49% of office workers agreed that they are better able to work after they left their workspace for lunch. This indicates that the widely present decline in productivity after lunch can be prevented efficiently by diet, eating patterns, and related interventions. Additionally, 60% of office workers believe that regular chats with colleagues over lunch helps build a stronger team.
Flexibility is about making changes to where, when, and for how long work is performed. Increased flexibility is also one of the main advantages of a shared economy.
Flexible, mobile, and remote work options help retain key employees. Reduced work hours and teleworking help retain talent. Surprisingly, flexible working conditions would convince 71% of employees to stay with the company. Workers with choices of when and where to work are 12% more satisfied with their jobs, a Gartner and Plantronics study says. The possibility to control the workspace and the physical environment also increases job satisfaction and engagement. Adaptable workspaces support collaborative work and enable employees to cope with dynamic changes.
Research shows that activities such as daytime workouts, spending some time away from the office and longer, more frequent vacations boost productivity, job performance and, of course, health.
Employees who engaged in a creative hobby performed between 15-30% better at work. Taking time to indulge in favourite creative pursuits might help recharge employees before they head back to work, or could also serve as a means to learning more about their strengths and weaknesses, i.e. knowledge that will benefit employees even professionally. Another study shows that gamification in the workplace leads to increased motivation, improves memory, increases efficiency and empathy.
Work-life balance is the separation of one’s time and focus between work and family. It is guided through employer policies, procedures, and support that help employees achieve a more balanced life.
Employees with time-flexible policies show lower levels of stress, especially for employees with family responsibilities. Employee happiness was found to correlate with a 12% increase in productivity. Additional benefits include fewer incidents of burnout, absenteeism, and higher levels of employee engagement. Having on-site childcare not only acts as an attraction tool for employees planning to become parents, but also as a retention tool for those who are already parenting. Research shows that when an employee leaves, usually for a company that offers better benefits, companies spend 20% of the employee’s salary in productivity loss on the time that is spent finding and training someone new.
The process of becoming free from tension and anxiety. The most natural way is sleep but there are other ways to put our minds at rest, such as meditation, relaxing activities, breaks, and changing activities.
Even a short nap helps. When night shift air traffic controllers were given 40 minutes to nap — and slept an average of 19 minutes — they performed much better on tests that measured vigilance and reaction time. Relaxation helps fight stress in the workplace. Stress has a massive impact on our bodies. It can cause serious conditions, such as anxiety, depression, digestive issues, and even heart disease. Moreover, it is a huge issue when it comes to productivity as it shuts down our ability to make thoughtful decisions or create ideas. Long-term stress can lead to burn-out, loss of motivation, and a growing sense of emotional depletion.
Thermal comfort is a state of mind that expresses satisfaction with the temperature of the surrounding environment.
Thermal comfort affects mood, performance, job satisfaction, and productivity. An office that is too warm makes people feel tired but an office that is too cold makes it difficult to maintain attention and focus. If the temperature is too low, performance is reduced by 4%, if it is too high, it is reduced by 10%. At a temperature of 30°C, performance is decreased by 8.9%, according to research. The ideal temperature for office workers is 22°C, scholars say. Thermal comfort is one of the key reasons for the dissatisfaction of office users mainly due to draughts or the inability to control their thermal environment.
Audio comfort in the workplace supports employee productivity and well-being through the reduction of sources of noise that distract, irritate and disrupt work or relaxation.
Employee surveys show that one of the leading sources of dissatisfaction of all office conditions are acoustic issues. 99% of people say that their concentration is impaired by office noise, such as unanswered phones and background speech. Not only does such noise make it difficult to concentrate, but it also disrupts social interaction and thus reduces overall productivity.
This refers to ergonomic support measures in the workplace. It addresses how well users perceive their tasks and activities to be supported or unsupported by their physical environment.
Functional comfort increases the effective use of time and thus improves the overall productivity of employees and the operational efficiency of organizations. Moreover, problems with navigation, difficulty performing activities because of the wrong office setting, a lack of ergonomics in the furniture, etc. makes people feel frustrated and stressed. Things being easier to understand and use may also reduce training and support costs.
The human brain is made of 95% water, blood contains 82% water and the lungs 90%. Water transports valuable nutrients, removes harmful toxins and regulates body temperature. Mild dehydration is one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue.
Researchers in the UK conducted a study showing that even mild dehydration has a negative effect on the brain's performance. Drinking water can improve the brain's ability to complete tasks that require a rapid response. Providing a glass of water immediately before the participants took an exam boosted mental reflexes, specifically reaction time, by 14%.
People spend almost 90% of their time in enclosed environments, therefore the quality of indoor air has a strong impact on our health.
The CO2 content in the office environment is a great indicator of air quality and freshness. According to a Harvard research study, the CO2 level is directly related to brain productivity. If the CO2 levels go from 600 ppm to 1000 ppm, the ability to make decisions and solve problems decreases by 11% - 23%. Moreover, air transmitted infections result in an average of 1 to 5.9 lost working days. Research shows that people in healthy environments take 6% - 9% less sick days than those who are exposed to air pollutants.
Humans and animals have internal clocks that synchronize physiological functions on roughly a 24-hour cycle called circadian rhythm. Given that people spend much of their waking days indoors, insufficient or improper illumination design can disrupt or move the circadian phase.
According to a Cornell University study, workers who spent their days in natural light exercise more, report fewer physical ailments and sleep for an average of 46 minutes longer each night than their colleagues with no access to daylight. Light is one of the main drivers of the circadian system, which is crucial for people’s physiological rhythms. It influences sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature, and other important bodily functions. Abnormal circadian rhythms have been associated with insomnia, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, as well as seasonal affective disorder.
Biophilic design is a way of designing spaces by incorporating elements that resemble nature. Exposure to views or images of nature have the potential to boost healing and recovery time, increase positive feelings and reduce negative ones, which supports well-being and productivity.
Plants and natural settings outside the workplace lessen mental distress and improve attention. People respond more positively to views of natural environments compared to views of urban environments. Research done by the University of Oregon revealed that people with views of nature take 16% less sick leave than employees with no views of nature. Research from call centres suggests that employees with views of nature handled calls 6% - 7% faster.
Active design principles, such as the promotion of staircases and active transport, drive physical activity and can significantly contribute to the overall fitness of office users which leads to increased productivity.
Even a little but regular physical activity can help to maintain good health. An average exercise routine of 5 minutes per working day decreases the chances of headaches, neck, shoulder, and lower back pain by 49% per year, research says. It also significantly decreases absenteeism by 7% over two years. Mental firepower is directly linked to our physical regimen. Implementation of regular exercise into one’s routine improves concentration, sharpens memory, aids faster learning, prolongs mental stamina, enhances creativity, and lowers stress. Exercise also correlates to mood elevation which seriously influences performance at work.
People spend almost 90% of their time in built environments, therefore the quality of indoor air has a strong impact on our health. Moreover, the outdoor air quality in cities is often so bad these days that the ventilation systems of buildings provide an opportunity to improve the situation. The quality of indoor air not only influences the health of employees, but also impacts their productivity and ability to complete complex cognitive tasks, which are necessary for innovative work.
Indoor air quality directly impacts our productivity. Pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dust increase CO2 levels in our blood and decrease oxygen saturation. Unfortunately, both of these factors kill our efficiency in mental work. Negative effects of poor indoor air quality impair our performance in tasks by 10%.
CO2 is emitted while we breath. In the office environment, it is a great indicator of the current air quality and freshness. According to research from Harvard, the CO2 level is directly related to the productivity of our brains - If the CO2 level goes from 600 ppm to 1000 ppm, the ability to make decisions and solve problems decreases by 11% - 23%.
Air transmitted infections result in an average of 1 to 5.9 lost working days. The rate goes even higher in older and hourly workers. Multiple different research from schools showed that people in healthy environments take 6% - 9% less sick days than their counterparts who were exposed to air pollutants.
Pollutant prevention and monitoring by controlling how much dust, VOC’s, ozone, etc. get into the internal environment. This includes material control, the protection of HVAC during the construction phase, increased air filtration, and a smoking ban inside the building.
More fresh air. Providing more fresh air while considering space density (e.g. sourcing 100% fresh air combined with an overall increased ventilation rate, or demand control ventilation based on the monitoring of CO2) reduces pollutants (VOCs, CO2) and gives more oxygen to employees.
Maintenance of HVAC. During usage, HVAC components easily get contaminated with dust, mold and bacteria which cause health problems. Maintenance such as regular replacement of filters and mold control can decrease this risk.
Prevention of disease transmission. Air transmitted diseases spread through ventilation systems if the contaminated air mixes with the fresh air and then is further distributed within HVAC systems.
Maintaining the CO2 level under 1000 ppm
Drinking at least two litres of water per day
Exercising for just five minutes a day