While the rating system of the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) sets the standard for greener buildings, something basic to any workers’ heart needs just as much attention. What good is a LEED-compliant office if the chairs could use better designs for back comfort? Workplace comfort and turnover rate have an indirect—and linear relationship. Discomfort leads to pain, which, in turn, leads to loss of focus and low productivity—and in the end, concludes in job termination or resignation.
Design and building experts, in fact, agree on this relationship. Angela Loder, adjunct professor at the University of Denver, says that quality of materials form one of three key components in green building research. This not only refers to office furnishings emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but also those that break after a few twists and turns.