Green roofs boost work performance

An Australian research team has discovered that looking at green roof for less than one minute helps tired minds refocus on work tasks, boosting worker productivity. The study helps build an economic case for green roofs.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne gave 150 participants a sustained working task that required focus and mental stamina, after which they were given a 40-second break. Half the participants were given a stimulated view of a concrete roof while the other half saw a picture of a green roof. After the break, the participants returned to a working task and the researchers analysed response consistency and error rate to see if the micro-break view impacted performance, according to an article on CityLab.

The researchers found that those who spent their micro-break looking at the green roof demonstrated a “more consistent pattern of responding, suggesting higher sustained attention” when they returned to the task. They also made fewer omission errors, reports CityLab.

“Our results have particular implications for the workplace where sustained attention is vital for performance. They provide a preliminary indication that micro-break views of a green roof could help employees top-up their attention resources as they become depleted in the workplace,” wrote the researchers in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

As CityLab writes, the study helps build an economic case for green roofs and provides a business incentive alongside the already well-established environmental ones.

 

Photo credit: Arlington County, flickr/Creative Commons

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