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An evaluation of the impact of the office environment on productivity

Barry P. Haynes (Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to develop a validated theoretical framework for the evaluation of office productivity, which includes components to represent both the physical and the behavioural environment. It is proposed that by adopting such an approach, insights into the dynamic nature, or connectivity, of office environments can be established. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the effects of the office environment on its occupants' perceived productivity.


The study's strength is that it is based on two sizable data sets. The data collected consists of data about the physical characteristics of the office environment and data pertaining to the behavioural environment.


Results are analysed for specific work patterns, to establish meaning and relationships. In all of the four work patterns evaluated it was found that interaction was perceived to be the component to have the most positive affect on productivity and distraction was perceived to have the most negative. It is proposed that the results in this paper will provide support for the hypothesis that it is the behavioural components of the office environment that have the greatest impact on office productivity.

Research limitations/implications

This research establishes that to truly appreciate office productivity there is a need to further understand the behavioural environment. Whilst this research evaluates different work styles and office productivity, there is a possibility to extend this to investigate personality and team role types.


This study establishes that it is the behavioural environment that has the greatest impact on office productivity. It demonstrates that it is the dynamic elements of the office environment, interaction and distraction that are perceived as having the greatest positive and negative influences on self assessed productivity.



Haynes, B.P. (2008), "An evaluation of the impact of the office environment on productivity", Facilities, Vol. 26 No. 5/6, pp. 178-195.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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