Moving EBD Beyond Health Care

  February 12, 2010

Today's tip is about how facility executives in corporate space should use evidence based design ideas to improve the productivity of their occupants.

Evidence-based design is well established in the health care industry, because of the health care culture of using research to make decisions. In the corporate world, decisions are more financially driven and therefore it's been difficult to get facility executives to study how particular facility strategies affect worker productivity.

But experts say that using evidence-based principles in the corporate world isn’t a lost cause. There are dozens of simple things facility executives can do to help quantify the effectiveness of workplace strategies. Simply tracking sick days in a new space compared to an old one is one simple way to gauge worker productivity. Obviously, absent workers aren't productive.

Other studies have tracked how long workers spend doing certain tasks in an open office plan vs. a closed one to determine which is more productive. Another possibility is tracking billable hours per client in a space before and after a particular facility strategy – like a soundmasking system or new lighting – is implemented.

Having such data available that shows how particular facility decisions affected worker productivity can be an important part of the justification process the next time a renovation or capital project comes across the desk of the CFO.


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