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Improve working conditions to increase profitability

A strong link between profitability and working conditions, such as light, air, noise, health, culture, design, movement and office furniture, is revealed in a new study by Sapio Research for BDG architecture +design, Bisley, FUTURE Designs, Hoare Lea, Humanscale and Woven Image.

The Wellness Together report suggests that in order to achieve ‘Wellness’, organisations must address every component that can impact mental and physical health, from building structures and company culture to furniture and fittings. Key findings are:

Average gross profit margin in companies where employees have a high sense of mental wellbeing is 3% higher than in those where employees have an average/neutral wellbeing rating and 7% higher than in those where employees rate themselves as mentally unfit.

Organisations with physically fit employees enjoy an 8% higher average gross profit margin than those with unfit staff.

Companies with a high level of agility and flexibility in working practices have 6% higher gross profit margins, on average, than those with low flexibility and agility.

Companies that demonstrate greater innovation and creativity are more profitable, with the most innovative organisations achieving 8% more average gross profit than less innovative counterparts.

Higher performing companies are more likely to have facilities that promote wellbeing, such as showers, cycle parking, personal lockers, plants, quiet working spaces, variable lighting control, height adjustable workstations and social spaces, and are more likely to give staff the freedom to choose how and where they work.

People think it’s important to have breakout and collaborative spaces (27%) and the opportunity to find a quiet private space (43%) when they need it. A quarter would like the option of being able to stand or sit when they work.

Companies that enable employees to adjust their working conditions have a 3% higher average gross profit than those that don’t. Currently, only 53% of employees feel they have adequate control over their comfort.

Almost half (48%) say workplace design has a notable influence on their decision whether or not to stay with an employer.

Better ventilation is the number one environmental improvement factor identified by respondents. Others include the ability to control temperature, open windows and have more natural light.

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