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Working in this type of office could make you less sleepy and improve your cognitive abilities according to a new Harvard and SUNY study

Francesca Washtell
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Picture taken on October 29, 2010 in Par
Workers whose offices were in green certified buildings slept six per cent better than those whose offices were not (Source: Getty)

If you feel sleepy or your brain feels foggy when you're at work, take solace in the fact that you might not have yourself to blame.

A new study from Harvard University has found people who whose offices were located in green certified buildings had 30 per cent fewer "sick building symptoms", which include headaches, nausea, fatigue and poor concentration.

The latest research adds growing weight to the idea that a healthy office environment is key to productivity and success.

Read more: The office of the future? More traditional thank you might think

Respondents who worked in "green" buildings with enhanced ventilation compared to a typical building also reported six per cent higher quality sleep scores, suggesting that the benefits of a healthier office environment can extend beyond the bounds of a normal working day.

Participants in the study, conducted by Harvard researchers, SUNY Upstate Medical University and supported by United Technologies, also tested 26.4 per cent higher in a cognitive function score.

Read more: £554 lost per worker for ignoring workplace wellbeing

When broken down, green building workers had a 73 per cent higher crisis response rate, a 44 per cent higher score in "applied activity levels" (which reflect ability to gear decision-making towards overall goals) and 38 per cent higher "focused activity level" score (which reflects capacity to pay attention to situations at hand).

"Based on their latest findings, the research team believes a holistic approach is needed. We're advocating for what we call 'buildingnomics' – a new approach that examines the totality of factors in the building-related environment," said the study's principal investigator and assistant professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Healthy, Dr Joseph Allen.

If all else fails and even working in a green office building doesn't tickle your fancy, there are some persuasive arguments to be made to ditch it all and become an artist.

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