ROI: Attracting and retaining talent

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Building design choices can have major effects on health (Frumkin 2002). The World Health Organization constitution from 1946 defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Losing a good employee can cost a business between $50,000 to $150,000. With turnover typically averaging 10%–20% per year, even a 5% reduction could justify the cost of green building features (Yudelson 2010). Green labels and high-performance design features help attract and retain staff. Green labels signal a company’s values, while high-performance design delivers compelling, safe places to show up for work each day.

Literature review completed by University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab for AIA in 2020.

Productivity and wellness

In light of COVID-19, individuals are more attuned to their safety, health, and happiness in indoor spaces. High-performance design strategies reduce absenteeism and promote wellbeing, which can help employers recruit and retain employees.

Key productivity and wellness talking points:

  • A study found that improving the health and well-being of building occupants was one of the top reasons to build green, and the benefits to health can be used to recruit and retain employees (Dodge Data & Analytics 2018).
  • By improving the indoor air quality, acoustics, and other green building environmental qualities in a London office building, employee turnover fell by 27% and absenteeism decreased by 58%. Together, these two elements saved the company approximately £200,000 a year (WGBC 2018).
  • A post-occupancy survey at the Plantronics office in the Netherlands found that the new high performing office space improved employee perception   of the health and productivity of their workplace, including ability to focus, reduction of noise and improved indoor air quality,  by 6.6 points compared to the previous space (WGBC 2018).

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