Roast Addresses Nationwide Need for “Workplace Comfort” Feedback
Workplace Comfort Survey Provides Channel for Employee Feedback, Increasing Satisfaction, Productivity, and Retention
Philadelphia, PA – December 17, 2019 – KT Innovations, an affiliate of Philadelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimberlake, today announced that it has launched Roast, a workplace comfort survey that enables human resources professionals, building owners, and facility managers to assess, manage, and improve comfort inside the workplace.
Studies show that comfort, influenced by personal, psychosocial, and building-related indicators, directly impacts employee health, happiness, and productivity. However, to date, few companies have implemented a channel to receive employee feedback about environmental conditions. The workforce has shifted towards a newer generation that demands superlative workplace experiences; in fact, millennials are reportedly the most challenging generation for human resources to engage with, creating a nationwide need to address workplace comfort with a streamlined channel for employee feedback.
Roast, created by a team of architects, software engineers, and occupant comfort experts, is a subscription-based tool that creates custom surveys from a curated list of questions and answers influenced by ASHRAE and other standards, covering topics from temperature and humidity to air quality, light and noise levels, cleanliness, and productivity. It automatically maps employee responses onto a workplace’s custom floorplan, painting a complete picture of how people experience a building and what adjustments owners and facility managers should prioritize to address areas of discomfort.
This unique web application, which has been featured in The New York Times, Architect Magazine, Fast Company, and Archinect, has already proven to increase employee satisfaction and employee focus, activity, and cognitive function by as much as 44%. Other data supporting the power of employee comfort include:
- Uncomfortable environments decrease employees’ ability to focus and produce deliverables 30%.1
- Absences from illness are 34% lower when employees have control over the thermal environment.2
- Comfortable workers can be up to 10% more efficient in terms of output per hour.3
Roast has quickly evolved to produce building benefits as well, providing facility managers and building owners with insights that allow them to make structural or cooling and heating adjustments that can lower their carbon footprint and costs by as much as 10%.
Roderick Bates, Principal at KieranTimberlake explains, “Roast is a practical, everyday tool that addresses an important need for employee engagement. Employees are most productive when satisfaction with their building environment is highest, but creating these conditions requires changing the way employers and building managers do their jobs. Roast fills the gap for a tool designed to engage building inhabitants through the concept of employee comfort.”
The architects and researchers at KieranTimberlake initially developed Roast as an experiment for their 1940s industrial building. As a former beer bottling plant, the building maintained architectural features that kept the plant’s beer bottles and bottlers cool during Philadelphia’s hot and humid summers before air conditioning was common. The Company launched a no-air-conditioning experiment that required daily surveys of its 100-person firm with questions regarding their locations and comfort levels in the office. With no survey tool available in the marketplace that provided time- and location-based comfort data, the Company’s team developed their own survey.
Archinect, an online publication for architects, commented on the success of the experiment stating, “This kind of post-occupancy evaluation focuses on how people are experiencing a space. Together with metric data and employee experience feedback, the firm was able to produce an overall better design.”
When the value of the tool became apparent, KieranTimberlake developed a proof-of-concept web app and broadened the survey’s use case to aspects of employee comfort beyond thermal satisfaction. Today, Roast exists to help human resources professionals, building owners, and facility managers assess, manage, and improve conditions inside the workplace while meeting a nationwide need for greater employee engagement surrounding comfort.
Roast is a workplace comfort survey that lets you assess, manage, and improve comfort inside the workplace to maximize building performance and employee productivity. Developed by a team of architects and researchers from KT Innovations, an affiliate of Philadelphia-based architecture firm, KieranTimberlake, Roast is a subscription-based survey that maps insights onto your building’s own floorplan, letting you view, analyze, and share results directly in the app. Visit roastsurvey.com.
1 D.J. Clements-Croome, “Environmental
Quality and the Productive Workplace”
2 David P. Wyon, “Indoor Environmental Effects on Productivity”
3 Piers MacNaughton, Usha Satish, Jose Guillermo, Cedeno Laurent, Skye Flanigan, Jose Vallarino, Brent Coull, John D. Spengler, and Joseph G. Allen, “The impact of working in a green certified building on cognitive function and health”