Across the world, there are significant investments being made in the alternative workspace sector. Sure, these massive co-working spaces are aesthetically pleasing, but it’s not so much the square-footage that matters within each facility. If anything, design and environment play the most integral roles in establishing a productive habitat for the working professionals that call these workspaces their own.
Independent professionals typically choose a co-working space because of two factors: convenience and setting. These two factors have effectively revolutionized the way we work, but have also set a standard that leaves traditional workspaces in the dust. But while the perks of working at a hand-crafted table or sipping an espresso while making a presentation are enviable, the most important means of improving the way professionals telecommute is establishing an environmentally friendly workspace.
A Holistic Approach To Professional Well-Being:
Obviously keeping clients happy is number one on any co-working space’s list. However, happiness can only take you so far without proper health and well-being strategies. Which is why going “green” in the workplace is probably the best decision an owner and a working professional could possibly make.
Some alternative workspaces have even gone as far as implementing Well Building Certification practices, a more contemporary and holistic regimen for professionals.
Well Building Certification Programs allow co-working spaces to:
▪ Foster a systematic approach to bettering well-being.
▪ Emphasize a successful formula to better workers health.
▪ Focus on improving worker productivity levels.
▪ Concentrate on worker engagement.
▪ Spotlight the necessity for successful information retention.
The Proof Is In the Numbers:
If the idea of being environmentally friendly at work seems far-fetched and maybe too good to be true, look no further than compiled observations. To some people, the idea of going green in the workplace is a fallacy, like juicing your veggies every day or having a shot of wheatgrass after lunch. But really, embracing an environmentally friendly space is a concept that can see its benefits go far beyond the confines of your co-working facility.
Just ask Havard University and Exeter University, two academic institutions that conducted studies focusing on the benefits of an environmentally friendly workspace. Harvard researchers found that green-certified workspaces provided working professionals with significant benefits that they felt even when they got home. Those involved in the study reported a boost in cognitive capability by 26%, while also experiencing 30% fewer sickness related absences at work. Even better, those same individuals reported a better night’s sleep by almost 6%. As for Exeter, their researchers found that working professionals were more productive by 15% when carrying out their work-related duties in a green-certified office.
It Wouldn’t Be Green-Certified Without the Greenery:
I mentioned that sometimes aesthetic isn’t everything, but it’s hard to deny that office spaces and co-working facilities aren’t more calming and appealing with plants present. With psychological and physiological benefits abound, wouldn’t you want to make your clients happier and healthier? I’m not just talking sick days, I’m talking about mental health.
In a study conducted by the Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, researchers found strong evidence to suggest that plants can reduce tension and anxiety by around 37%. Evidence also shows that depression and coping with rejection have been reduced by nearly 58%, while anger and hostility levels were reduced by 44%. Office spaces that did not have plants showed increases in stress and negativity levels that fluctuated between 20-40%.
However, at the end of the day the clean air that workers get to breathe is everything. If a co-working facility owner introduced a ratio of around one plant for every three employees, the overall air quality of the facility could reduce carbon dioxide levels by almost 50%. The reduction in carbon levels would also decrease the tendency for dust to form, decrease the chance of bacteria spreading and decrease the facilitation of mold spores.