A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review of ventilation levels affecting cognitive function measured the quality of office environments and found that typical building conditions lead to low levels of productivity. Indoor air quality often suffers from poor ventilation, chemical exposure to cleaners, dry erase markers, perfume, and dry cleaned clothes, and high levels of carbon dioxide.
Breathing better air led to better strategic decisions, planning, preparation, and strategy, which was consistent with the science on higher ventilation rates.
The impact of noisy environments and poor lighting was not measured, though it is known to be harmful to productivity.
Though the cost of doubling ventilation rates is less than $40 per person per year, the benefits are estimated at $6500.
Until owners realize that crowding workers into unpleasantly tight spaces makes everyone miserable and unproductive, dystopian workplaces will continue to be the norm.