Improving Office Productivity: A Guide for Business and Facilities Managers

Work Study

ISSN: 0043-8022

Article publication date: 1 June 2000

Keywords

Citation

(2000), "Improving Office Productivity: A Guide for Business and Facilities Managers", Work Study, Vol. 49 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ws.2000.07949cae.003

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited


Improving Office Productivity: A Guide for Business and Facilities Managers

Improving Office Productivity: A Guide for Business and Facilities Managers

Nigel Oseland and Paul BartlettLongmanISBN 0-582-35748-9

Keywords: Productivity, Office management, Improvement

It is accepted that while manufacturing productivity has increased dramatically, the performance of those who work in offices has not shown similar gains. This book is the result of a DETR-sponsored research project, "designed to explore the links between human productivity and the quality of the indoor environment".

The book is not intended to be an academic treatise. The authors have set out to provide "practical guidance which can be readily understood by managers in the field". The bulk of the book comprises a series of "action recommendations", covering everything from workstation design to acoustics. Each section includes an explanation of why the topic is important, a checklist to help in assessing your own office and guidance on best practice. An accompanying disk provides Excel worksheets which can be used to record priorities, identify options and estimate costs.

This book also offers a simple "cost-benefit framework" to help readers present and justify a case for expenditure. The authors admit that it is difficult to provide credible estimates of "soft" business benefits such as improved performance and increased output. They suggest using an estimate of the percentage productivity improvement expected, though whether "hard-nosed" senior managers will accept such estimates is debatable. That the working environment has a direct impact on performance should not need proving, but unless it is accepted, space saving and other cost issues will continue to determine spending priorities.