Meetings play a central role in day-to-day office life – Sharp’s research conservatively estimates that European workers spend an average of 25 hours per month in meetings so it’s important that we get them right. Sharp worked with environmental psychologist Nigel Oseland to explore just how much workplace conditions affect employee performance.
Temperature is one of the most important factors to consider when measuring workplace performance as it affects thermal comfort, which in turn affects performance. The perfect temperature range is shown to be between 20C and 25C with performance declining by 2 per cent for each degree above 25C and by 4.7 per cent for each degree below 21C. Deploying the right technology that can measure and control room temperature can be well worth the investment.
Air quality plays a pivotal role in impacting productivity levels – polluted areas are at a much higher risk of having an office environment with higher carbon dioxide. Air quality can be improved by ventilation that circulates fresh, oxygen-rich air through a workspace. Our research found that improved ventilation can increase productivity by up to 11 per cent, demonstrating the clear value of improving air quality.
Lighting is an extremely important part of an office space. Good lighting was found to improve performance by 15 per cent, with 500 to 1,000 lux identified as the ideal light level. Access to daylight is especially important for productivity as it directly affects human health, performance and mood. While the importance of natural light is widely acknowledged, few businesses have measures in place to automatically monitor and control conditions.
Our research clearly shows that monitoring environmental conditions, alongside room usage and employee activity, can not only help businesses to boost productivity but also save money and resources through turning off lighting or air conditioning when not in use.
New developments in internet of things (IoT) technology are making it even easier to manage these conditions. For example, the Windows collaboration display from Sharp features an IoT sensor unit that monitors a range of different meeting room parameters and can help to improve the management of heating, cooling and room booking systems. This allows organisations to foster a better meeting environment and ultimately increase focus and productivity.
An optimised indoor environment provides a host of benefits. It is now up to business leaders to embrace new IoT technologies and help employees and customers to understand how these products can be used to create a more productive workplace.
Chris Parker is senior product manager at Sharp
This article was originally published in the Spring 2020 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issues delivered directly to your inbox.
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