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Increased Productivity from Green Workplaces

written by: Jayant R Row•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/3/2010

Increasing productivity is the aim of every business as this can help to increase turnover and profits. There has been a trend in recent office and workplace design to greening it so that better working conditions are created, which in turn can lead to increased productivity.

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    Essentials of a Green Workplace

    office Increased productivity from green workplaces can be assured if some essentials are kept in mind.

    Gardens and views of nature have the ability to relax minds. So for a workplace that has any pretensions of going green it is essential that the workers in it are able to view greenery and nature whenever they look up from their workstations. This helps them to relax and could therefore assist in increased productivity from green workplaces. The momentary glance away from computers that cause a lot of eye strain can also prove medically beneficial.

    As a corollary to these nature views it has now become the norm to provide bigger windows that in turn allow a lot of natural light to come into the workplace. Certain countries have even built into their building codes standards for distance from a window to every workstation. This natural light enhancement has led to less dependence on artificial light and thus allowed the workplace to go green by reducing its carbon footprint through less dependence on power. The effect of this nearness to windows further relaxes workers and can lead to better working conditions.

    Interior designers have realized the need to create visual stimulation in a workplace by avoiding designing of workstations that are uniform in appearance and height. They vary the heights of partitions and create different shapes and colors and lighting levels so that the monotony is avoided. This visual stimulation can add to productivity.

    It has nowadays become also quite common for temperature control to be left to each individual by providing devices below each desk or just above it. This allows each person to decide his own comfort level and this can help increase productivity. It can also lead to savings in use of electricity and thus create a greener workplace.

    Providing exercise rooms and separate areas for smoking can help to green a workplace, by allowing workers to use rest breaks to their liking. It is said that exercise automatically increases productivity. This need for exercise has also led green designers to design staircase so that they are inviting enough for workers to use them and thus get needed exercise.

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    Other Factors That Can Affect Productivity in Workplaces

    Air quality is something that can make a lot of difference to workplaces and their productivity. By ensuring that the air within a workplace is constantly replaced by fresh, unpolluted air workers breathe better.

    The noise factor is another ambient that can make a lot of difference to productivity. Depending on the level of concentration required for a job, noise can be distracting though however this differs from person to person. Some people may be quite comfortable with quiet conversation around them as also some music. There are others who find both of these distracting. A green work place would be designed in such a way that echoes and noise level are muted with the use of sound absorbing building material. Other organizations may provide their workers with a set of headphones that are noise cancelling.

    Visual distractions play a large part in affecting productivity and architects are now alive to this fact. They therefore design workstations that reduce this visual distraction by either increasing the height of partitions or positioning work stations so that visual distractions are to a minimum.