The conversation around next generation workspaces and what the next wave movement will look like is capturing the attention of innovative organisations the world over. But just how industry will respond to the ever-changing landscape, the needs of their employees and the impact this has on their business, is something that is, more and more, seeing a green twist.

One example of this is United Technologies’ recent research, entitled The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function. The research delves into the pitfalls businesses find themselves up against when it comes to the physical environment they create for their employees. Despite a surge of interest in health and wellbeing in recent years, the positives and negatives of the physical environment of a workspace appears to be lacking attention.

In a new study from the Havard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University, the question being asked is, ‘what if indoor air quality could improve decision-making?’

It might seem a strange factor to consider, but the study found that when taking cognitive function tests, occupants who sat their tests in an indoor environment of improved quality, saw scores doubled. 

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“Now, consider the fact that most of us spend about 90 per cent of our time indoors and 90 per cent of the costs associated with a building are due to the people inside it – and you can see why focusing on the air you breathe could turn your building into your business’ strongest human resource tool.”

WorldGBC is another organisation that recently did some work around the future of workspaces, featuring an article based on a study by the UK Green Building Council. The study took a slightly different stance, looking at how improved green workspaces could not only offer benefits for employees, but also enhance the experience of the customer – and in term benefit the profit of the company.

Terri Willis, CEO of the WorldGBC, said “The days of ‘grey box retailers’ are numbered. A new breed of businesses is emerging which understands that better shopping environments lead to better experiences for consumers which, in turn, lead to better economics for retailers.

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“This report is about empowering retailers to look within their own properties to understand and monetize how better; more sustainable physical environments can potentially drive profit, and in doing so, ultimately strengthens the business case for greener, healthier buildings.”

This work is part of a global campaign run by WorldGBC, ‘Better Places for People’ which focuses solely on how increasing green buildings is the key to supporting people’s health, wellbeing and productivity.

These however, are just two examples of many. Have you come across any other organisations carrying out ground-breaking work in the field of next generation workspaces? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments box below. You can read the full reports here

This piece is one of a series of content looking at next generation workspaces so be sure to visit the In Focus homepage for more content around the topic.

 

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