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The Impact of Workplace Design

The Impact of Workplace Design

ASID Headquarters Releases Findings on Benefits of Innovative Office Design
by Chris Abbate



The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) completed a full spectrum of pre- and post-occupancy research on its new Washington, D.C. headquarters, designed by Perkins+Will. The research shows how workplace design positively influences health, well-being, employee satisfaction, and performance.

“We’re proud to share all aspects of this journey with the design community and the world at large,” explains ASID CEO Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID. “The overall design of this space was driven by the research and data collected during pre-occupancy and its success is demonstrated through the post-occupancy data. ASID is committed to sharing updated evaluations as we continue to enhance our employee experience and improve workplace utilization.”

In partnership with Cornell University, Delos, and the Innovative Workplace Institute, ASID researched the impact of innovative workplace design on health and well-being. Research was conducted through a series of in-depth interviews and employee surveys, sociometric data culled from badges worn voluntarily by employees, and environmental metrics from the building and measured within the office. Research highlights include improvements to environmental quality, environmental satisfaction, employee health and wellness, employee retention, employee performance, and resource efficiency.

Design Improves Environmental Quality: As the world’s first space to achieve both LEED Platinum (v.3) and WELL Platinum (v.1) certifications, the office is not only validated by third-party institutions as a healthy and sustainable office, but supporting data from pre- and post-occupancy research projects further confirms improved environmental quality.

Design Achieves Results: Thoughtful design can support organizational priorities such as employee health, productivity, and financial return. By incorporating multiple innovative features, design has positively affected the health and well-being of employees while boosting resource efficiency. Office design, especially when job demands or the office culture supports the messages communicated through the design, results in cost savings. Findings from the Cornell study confirm that perceived environmental quality has a significant effect on turnover intention.

Design Impacts Experience: Design impacts the experience people have in the space. ASID employees’ experiences in the office are influenced by multiple factors including the individual design components (e.g., lighting, acoustics, color, texture, etc.), the space in its collective form, and the social environment generated by the occupants. Referring to human-centered design, ASID first examined their corporate identity, team roles, individual responsibilities, work processes, and work behaviors to ensure that their office was an extension of their organizational culture.

Some statistical highlights include:

25 percent of employees attributed circadian lighting at the new office space for enhanced sleep quality
The new office reported a 42 percent increase in facilitating communication among employees & in supporting the sharing + exchanging of ideas (44 percent increase)

2 percent improvement in physical health scores within a year
Employees feel they are working at 90 percent of their possible job performance, which is a 16 percent increase than what was reported in the previous office
ASID HQ has saved over 76 MWh in lighting energy over the first fifteen months of occupancy, equal to $7,636 in cost savings, 38.2 ton of coal not burned and 72.9 ton of CO2 not emitted into the atmosphere
In May 2016, ASID moved into their new corporate headquarters, a living laboratory for the design community. The new 8,500 square foot office is the first space in the world to achieve both Platinum Level Certification for the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™) under WELL v1 and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), under the LEED ID+C rating system – the highest recognition awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™). The office space incorporates the most innovative health and wellness design features, and has sustainability as a central philosophy.

(Thrive Global)

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