Improving air quality could increase worker performance by 20%

Employers could increase worker performance by 20% simply by increasing the fresh air supply in offices and meeting rooms, according to a new report from Sharp which reviews the role of indoor air quality, temperature and lighting on office work performance and wellness in meetings.

With the average UK office worker spending 17 hours a month in meetings, its key that businesses get them right. The new report, developed by Sharp and workplace psychologist Dr Nigel Oseland, highlights the importance of creating the right conditions for meetings in order to boost productivity.

The report identifies temperature as another key environmental factor that has an impact on memory recall, attention span, and creativity, which all affect performance. Gradually decreasing the temperature to 18°C one hour before the end of the working day was found to boost productivity and increase employee performance by 4.1%, beneficial for lengthy meetings and combatting the end of day productivity lull.

Office and meeting room lighting was also found to have a significant impact on concentration and productivity, with the latest research revealing good lighting can improve performance by 15%. Good lighting and daylight are essential to employee’s wellness and mood, with findings showing that workers in offices with windows had 46 minutes more sleep a night compared to workers without them. This provides reason for businesses to consider the design of their workspaces to include lighting that delivers the optimal place for employees to think and collaborate.

“Studies have repeatedly shown that uncomfortable environmental conditions can negatively affect performance in the general office space and meeting rooms. This provides a strong business case to control and adapt these conditions in order to boost productivity and worker performance in meetings,” commented Oseland.

Chris Parker, senior product manager at Sharp, added: “Advancements in collaboration technologies, together with the capabilities offered by IoT and cloud platforms mean it’s now easier than ever for businesses to get better value from their meetings.

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“When you know the temperature of a meeting room and you can send that data to the cloud, and from the cloud, communicate this to your heating and cooling system to take an action, you have a system that adapts to how your meeting spaces are used. We believe this is the start of a revolution in smart spaces.”

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