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An experience sampling approach to the workplace environment survey

Michael Roskams (Department of Natural and Built Environment, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Barry Haynes (Department of Real Estate, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 6 August 2019

Issue publication date: 17 January 2020



The purpose of this study is to pilot test the effectiveness of the experience sampling approach for measuring employee satisfaction with the workplace environment. Additionally, the authors also aimed to explore, which aspects of environmental comfort have the strongest impact on momentary well-being and productivity.


In total, 15 knowledge workers in an open-plan office environment were sent a brief survey (measuring environmental comfort, momentary well-being and perceived productivity) each day over an 11-day study period and provided 78 individual survey responses in total.


All but one of the measures on the survey had low test-retest reliability, indicating that employees’ experiences of environmental comfort varied significantly each time they completed the survey. Additionally, higher environmental comfort was associated with improved well-being and productivity.

Practical implications

The results suggest that an experience sampling approach to the workplace occupant survey is justified to better capture the temporal variability in experiences of environmental comfort. The results also suggest that improving environmental comfort, particularly by reducing the level of distractions, will enable employees to work more productively.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first field study which has attempted to directly address limitations in traditional occupant surveys by using an experience sampling approach rather than a one-time-only questionnaire.



The primary author for this paper is used as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) associate on a project funded by the UK Government’s agency for innovation, Innovate UK.


Roskams, M. and Haynes, B. (2020), "An experience sampling approach to the workplace environment survey", Facilities, Vol. 38 No. 1/2, pp. 72-85.



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