Most business owners have a keen interest in employee productivity. Investing in an environment that increases workers’ efficiency and enhances their comfort is a win-win for everyone. Increased employee productivity reflects a stronger bottom line. And what business owner doesn’t want to improve their profit margin?
Understandably, many business owners feel that as a tenant they should never pay for building improvements. However, there are circumstances in which a tenant would benefit greatly from paying for certain building improvements themselves. Let’s discover how some building improvements, including improving sunlight, can boost employee productivity.
There was a study 20 years ago that was so impactful, it has stood on its own without contradiction. In other words, there hasn’t been another on the subject since. That typically happens when the general consensus is that the conclusions are true.
The California Energy Commission compiled a report regarding the influences an office environment has on employee productivity. The title is “Windows and Offices: A Study of Office Worker Performance and the Indoor Environment.” Two different studies were conducted at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to compile data for this report. It was based on two main studies, one with a call center having 100 employees, and the other with 200 employees in a general office environment.
The greatest impact on employee productivity was sunlight and views from windows. Consequently, building architects may incorporate more windows into buildings to ensure worker comfort and output. But windows can come with their own set of challenges.
This study was most conclusive regarding the impact of sunlight on employee productivity. In addition, ventilation, desktop glare, and thermal comfort were studied. Other variables related to views were also found significant.
The research found that in the Call Center higher cubicle partitions were associated with slower performance. In the desktop study, the glare from windows was found to have a significant negative effect on performance. It was concluded that the greater the glare potential from primary view windows, the worse the office worker performance, decreasing by 15% to 21%.
Ultimately, it was determined that there is a 20% variance in worker daily performance and 8% in hourly performance due to environmental factors within an office space. Moreover, it was concluded that the physical environment was responsible for a 2%-5% variation in worker performance overall.
Additionally, the increased indoor air temperature was found to reduce worker performance in two out of eight outcomes. Employees with higher air temperatures tested 8 % lower for every 2 degrees of increase. Furthermore, workers near windows suffered the most with a greater reduction in thermal comfort. Finding a happy medium that allows light in while reducing heat within is a priority for employees.
Simply stated, the research concluded that employee productivity is often affected – negatively if they do not have enough sunlight, nature views, outdoor air circulation or general ventilation, and thermal comfort. Finally, sunlight and nature views, resulting from windows held the greatest impact on employees’ overall well-being and productivity.
Ultimately, financial benefits due to increased employee productivity can be 100X the savings from reduced energy consumption. This benefits the tenant business owner first and foremost and is the reason tenants should consider improving the workspace whether or not the building owner is willing to foot the bill. It is worth the investment.
The Call Center in particular was most revealing regarding lighting’s impact on employee productivity. The areas of the call center with higher partitions and less lighting had slower employee performance overall.
Consequently, it was concluded that higher daylight levels without creating excessive glare. Moreover, it increased workers’ attention span and short-term memory. By implementing skylights that provide additional daylight, the top floor of the general office space was able to improve the productivity of those employees, even if they were in the center of the room with a limited view or no view at all.
The study also affirmed what many of us already know: that daylight is constantly varying, throughout the day and seasonally. As a result, maintaining a healthy amount of daylight throughout the day, as well as year-round, can be a challenge.
Ensuring that you are receiving the maximum amount of lighting within your office space while ensuring heat reduction within can be a challenge. But it isn’t impossible. Solar window film is available in numerous options that can benefit a building no matter the location, height, or orientation toward the sun.
The cost of installing window film on a commercial building may be more cost-effective than you think. Furthermore, it can be tax deductible as an expense. As a result of implementing this window film solution, employers can enhance both office comfort, as well as employee productivity.
Now imagine that you have a call center in Manhattan. As there are already greenhouse gas emissions mandates for that building as required in NYC Law 97, it’s plausible that your building owner would split the expense of installation. In turn, he or she would be meeting carbon emission requirements for his building.
Meanwhile, the business owner would incur a reduced electric cost, as well as increased employee performance. Both of these benefits will improve your bottom line. It’s plausible that the employer could see a return on investment in mere months.
As you can see, implementing solar window film in your building can yield positive monetary results for your business. By improving employee productivity, a business can yield a greater profit margin overall. Sometimes it does pay to invest in a building you don’t own.
If you have further questions on the right solar window film for your building, we are here to help. We offer complimentary energy efficiency building modeling analysis. This utilizes government-approved software that analyzes your building’s requirements to obtain the strongest energy efficiency possible. Get started today by scheduling here.
Feature Photo by Dylan Gillis