economic Value
Human Resources

The costs or returns associated with people working in and around a building or project

While smart design can help clients save money by lowering operating costs on leases and utilities, often these “hard” costs account for only about 10% of a company’s annual expenses. The remainder—over 90%—goes to personnel.1 Therefore, a 1% savings in productivity can be the equivalent of a 10% savings in maintaining and operating the physical space.

Abundant research shows that the design of the physical environment can yield significant savings in personnel costs. For example, 10% of absenteeism can be attributed to employees having no view of the outdoors.2 Payroll costs due to absenteeism can cost up approximately $3,000-5,000 per person per year, 3 an annual loss of $15-25 million for a company with a 5,000 employees, so simply providing windows could save that company $1.5-2.5 million every year.

Building a healthier workspace, with ample daylight, fresh air, and connection to the outdoors, can improve comfort and well-being among occupants, resulting in higher productivity (up to 23%) and lower absenteeism (up to 15%).4

According to surveys, 93% of companies with “green” workplaces report a greater ability to attract talent, and 81% report greater employee retention. Other benefits include higher employee satisfaction (75% in some cases), lower absenteeism (up to 50%) or more), and lower turnover (up to 60%).5 Workspace improvements can be worth as much as $3,000 per person in added productivity.6

Smart design can lower costs, aid recruitment, and improve productivity, absenteeism, and morale. Creating better places for people can be a powerful economic strategy.