Environmentally friendly office space makes employees happier and more productive, according to a broad range of studies that have examined temperature, sunlight, personal interaction, plants, and a workplace's proximity to home. 

Temperature: Having an office that is too cold or too warm makes people uncomfortable, reducing their productivity by four and six percent, respectively. Blasting the air conditioning during the summer, so people wear sweaters to work in July, or heating the office to a balmy tropical temperature also wastes energy, costing the company more money. Similar studies say ventilation also increases productivity as moving air helps keep people awake and alert. 

Sunlight: Natural sunlight not only makes people happier and more productive during the day, it also helps them sleep better at night. "Office workers with windows get 173% more exposure to white light during the work day, and sleep an average of 46 extra minutes a night." And more sleep at night means better concentration during the day.

Plants: Studies have consistently shown that when employees have an immediate connection to nature at their desk, they are more patient, healthier, and more focused on their work. 

In fact, most things employers could do to make their workers happier would pay real dividends, as happiness expert Shawn Anchor explains in his Big Think interview:

Read more at Fast Company

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