Working Environment Important Predictor of Productivity

The Nordic Council of Ministers has initiated a project aiming at clarifying the impact on productivity of work environment and well-being in companies. The final report concludes that:

Working environment/work wellbeing is positively correlated to productivity
The authors show that physical working environment is an important, statistically significant predictor of productivity. This result is robust to various empirical specifications in Denmark and Sweden where data is available on an individual basis. In Finland and Norway results are similar but on a sector level.

Working environment/work wellbeing may interact with the level of education in affecting company productivity
In Sweden, a strong interaction is found between the level of education and physical working environment. However, this is not found in the other Nordic countries.

Psychosocial working environment does not seem to be strongly related to productivity
The authors find this to be a somewhat surprising result, and can not provide a credible explaination for this.

Sickness absence is negatively correlated with company-level productivity
The authors found a strong negative correlation between sickness absence and company-level productivity in a robust analysis. If lowering sickness absence will have a positive impact on productivity is however unknown, since they did not test for causality.

Read the full report:

Lars Foldspang, Michael Mark, Laurits Rømer Hjorth, et. al – Working environment and productivity : A register-based analysis of Nordic enterprises. Copenhagen: Nordisk ministerråd, 2014. [Link pdf]




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