Job health and the wellbeing of employees are good for business and society. Healthier employees take less leave, reduce the strain on public health services, and are more productive while at work.

The evidence shows that the indoor environment (just like office ergonomics) does impact the long-term health of employees. When planning an office remodelling project, it is important to consider these factors and select products that enhance the indoor climate for office workers.

Improving the indoor environment with an office remodel project

According to research, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime. Now imagine what spending 90,000 hours in a suboptimal indoor environment will do to their health and performance. High noise levels can lead to stress, concentration problems or even cardiac diseases. Similarly, a humid office can lead to respiratory issues or even asthma.

Renovating offices isn’t just a health consideration. It can also help organisations to reduce their operational costs, improve office productivity, and increase the wellbeing of workforces. Employees are a company’s most valuable resource (and often the most costly too) and ensuring a healthy and comfortable work environment will help increase productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and reduce sick leave. Similarly, a good work environment can help organisations to attract talent, improve business resilience, and support environmental sustainability.

Relevant applications

The adverse effects of noise on office workers

Improving the health and wellness of staff starts with reducing the negative effects of noise pollution in their work environment. Noise is unwanted sounds that penetrate a worker’s consciousness, creating a distraction and making them more irritable.

Improved office acoustics have been proven to increase employee performance, especially in tasks that require consistent concentration and focus. Elevated noise levels also create other adverse health effects with studies linking it to immediate performance issues, including:

  • Reduced mental acuity and cognitive ability due to constant distraction.
  • Increased error rates in tasks as the human ear never sleeps.

While long-term exposure could lead to:

  • Greater stress and anxiety in workers.
  • Increase their blood pressure and create hypertension by elevating heart rates.

Using the sound absorption qualities of stone in their building materials, developers, owners, and investors can renovate for a more desirable indoor acoustic environment. This in turns helps businesses attract better talent, retain their most valuable resources, and create a more sustainable office space.

Renovating for a comfortable indoor climate

Inefficient insulation in an office building leads to increased costs and poor indoor climate. If employees aren’t comfortable while performing tasks, the business will start seeing a decrease in their staff’s performance. With poor insulation, maintaining indoor comfort can increase energy costs.

Employee performance will suffer when the indoor climate is suboptimal. When temperatures in an office fall below 70°F (21°C), performance drops by 4 percent. Conversely, temperatures above 86°F (30°C) will reduce performance by 6 percent. Increased humidity could also lead to mould that can cause respiratory issues in employees. Providing a better indoor climate will reduce the adverse health effects while ensuring employees can operate productively.

Why natural light in an office space matters

Renovating to optimise the amount of natural light in an office space can improve the health and wellness of employees. Including ceiling tiles and wall panels with greater reflective properties and aesthetically pleasing designs like Rockfon can help maximise the use of natural light, which leads to:

  • Worker performance improvement – A 100 lux increase of artificial light can raise employee productivity by 0.8 percent while optimising daylight could lead to as much as 10 percent improvement.
  • Rest and recuperation – Office employees who work near windows get better rest at night, making them more productive and alert during the day.
  • Less illness – A study showed that employees who receive more natural light take 6.5 percent less sick leave on average.
  • Greater satisfaction – Plants, natural light, and a pleasing interior design is a major contributor to workplace and job satisfaction.

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