According to a new study, which will be published online in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, there is a correlation between eco-friendly work place practices and employee productivity. The study found that employees who worked for a company implementing eco-friendly green practices were more productive than their counterparts.
Wondering how much more productive they were? 16 percent more, on average.
The researchers acquired and examined data from 5,220 French companies in order to conduct this study. They selected two employees from each of the 5,220 companies and quantified the average value of production per employee. They determined this quantitative data by “taking the revenue minus the cost of a company and dividing that number by the number of employees at a company.”
Magali Delmas, the co-author of the study and an environmental economist at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the UCLA Anderson School of Management, told The Huffington Post:
“Adopting green practices isn’t just good for the environment. It’s good for your employees and it’s good for your bottom line. Employees in such green firms are more motivated, receive more training and benefit from better interpersonal relationships. The employees at green companies are therefore more productive than employees in more conventional firms. It’s truly a big difference between firms that have adopted these practices and firms that haven’t. I expected a contrast, but not such a strong, robust jump in productivity.”
Naturally, the findings of this study raise one simple question: How does going green account for an increase in productivity. Delmas and Sanja Pekovic from France’s University Paris–Dauphine believe that employees see green companies as a positive work environment.
And that’s not all! The research also found that investors viewed green companies more favorably because it shows effective management practices and cost-efficient practices.
“It’s a counterpoint to people thinking that environmental practices are detrimental to the firm,” says Delmas. “Green practices make a company more attractive because so many employees want to work for a company that is green, but we also argue in this paper that it’s more than just wanting to work there — it’s working more.”
Think this study is jumping the gun? Consider this: A 2003 study by Heschong Mahone, “Windows and Offices: A Study of Office worker Performance and the Indoor Environment, found that natural day light exposure improves general mental work. What’s more, in a 2011 report by report by The Green Building Council of Australia, employees claim to feel healthier and happier working in an environment which adopts efficient and “greener” office design approaches. The study, conducted with the University of Melbourne, found that workplaces featuring green office designs had higher productivity, lower sick days and higher billable hours.