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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Brian Purdey and David Leifer

The purpose of this paper is to describe the application of a new method using instruments with increased ability to objectively assess and quantify the performance…

1478

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the application of a new method using instruments with increased ability to objectively assess and quantify the performance impacts on office workers in built environment settings.

Design/methodology/approach

A Distractibility Index (DI) was calculated for sample employees, who then used a computer‐based instrument in two settings to evaluate cognitive impairment

Findings

There was measured cognitive impairment in higher distracting work environments. There is potential to use DI to predict performance detriments and aid better workplace design/management.

Research limitations/implications

The study employed only a small sample size. The level of noise and other distractions in the settings studied need to be measured objectively. There is a need to differentiate between various sources of distraction in terms of their impact on cognitive impairment.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper can help to improve workplace performance, with less reliance on physical design solutions.

Originality/value

Workplace performance evaluations typically use subjective measures and self‐assessments. Modern work is increasingly cognitive, and hence new computer‐based and more objective tools are required. The tool used in this research has been highly validated in other applications.

Details

Facilities, vol. 30 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Brian Purdey

The purpose of this paper to develop a better understanding of the behavioural challenges in workplace performance evaluation and how the issues raised regarding validity…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper to develop a better understanding of the behavioural challenges in workplace performance evaluation and how the issues raised regarding validity and reliability of Likert scales could be addressed in future occupant surveys.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature was conducted to identify some of the more important issues in occupant evaluations of built environment performance. Disparate fields of research were particularly given the changing nature of the workplace and work itself. The appropriateness of the Likert scale was then examined in some depth, with evaluation data presented by this method analysed to gauge the extent of error in reporting self‐assessed or perceived workplace productivity.

Findings

The review points to significant challenges in obtaining valid and reliable information in occupant self‐evaluations of workplace performance using linear Likert scales. When the occupant rating is negative, arithmetic means were found to be significantly lower than geometric means. The converse was found to be true for positive ratings. Magnitude estimation using a free modulus approach has been shown to be potentially free of bias and scale limitations

Research limitations/implications

The survey data available for analysis were limited, but the implications of the findings for the credibility of workplace performance evaluation are significant given the widespread use of linear Likert scales. Researchers are encouraged to pursue the questions raised and test the propositions further.

Practical implications

With modern work becoming more complex, information rich, mobile and team oriented, more sophisticated occupant performance evaluation tools and methods are needed to replace simplistic self‐assessment questionnaires.

Originality/value

This paper addresses the paucity of research into the validity and reliability of self‐assessed measures for workplace productivity. It integrates findings from disparate fields including aviation and cognitive functioning. It presents a stronger behavioural emphasis in evaluation, while encouraging the development of more effective measurement methods.

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

Craig Langston, Yu Song and Brian Purdey

Research into office design and its effect on employee satisfaction and performance has attracted considerable contemporary research interest. However, most studies have…

1809

Abstract

Purpose

Research into office design and its effect on employee satisfaction and performance has attracted considerable contemporary research interest. However, most studies have tended to concentrate on the impact of the built environment on human performance, ignoring the actual needs of employees working in different organizational settings. This paper hence aims to investigate the nature and extent of occupant satisfaction with the built environment in different organizational settings in Australia for a range of climates.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted in Australia from 2004‐2005, comprising 41 buildings, including six government buildings, 14 educational buildings and 21 commercial buildings. The Kruskal‐Wallis H test was used to explore whether there are differences in the mean ranking of office environment satisfaction amongst the three organizational settings, and the Mann‐Whitney U test was employed to further test whether there are differences in the mean ranking of office environment satisfaction between any two groups.

Findings

Significant differences were found in aspects of air, temperature, space suitability, flexibility, usability and controllability. Employees in commercial settings seem to be more satisfied with their physical work environment than employees in other organization types. Employees in educational settings showed the highest satisfaction with most variables in the workspace design and management category. Government employees showed a lower level of satisfaction with their physical work environment and workspace design and management.

Originality/value

Moreover, the government and educational groups showed more similarity with each other, while the commercial group displayed significant difference.

Details

Facilities, vol. 26 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 May 2008

Dirk A. Schwede, Hilary Davies and Brian Purdey

The aim of this paper is to investigate time‐factors in occupant‐environment relationships.

2671

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate time‐factors in occupant‐environment relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses satisfaction ratings on 12 workplace environment features collected from more than 5,000 occupants in 48 office buildings in Australia. The database is divided into seven environment categories: first occupied after construction; new occupation after major update; recent relocation into an existing environment; re‐occupying an environment after refurbishment; relocation of workspace in an existing environment; acclimatised occupation of a refurbished workspace; and continued occupation of an existing environment. Cumulative frequency profiles of the collected ratings for each of these categories are analysed qualitatively and quantitatively.

Findings

The study shows that updated environments which are occupied by the same organisation before and after refurbishment are more successful than environments which are occupied by a new organisation after update. New buildings provide the greatest number of satisfied occupants. While many workplace design aspects are successfully addressed in newly designed and updated environments, satisfaction with acoustic and visual design features is equally poor in all investigated environment categories.

Originality/value

The study develops understanding of which environment categories, defined by the duration of the occupant‐environment relationships, are most successful in providing satisfying design features. The study thereby provides advice for facility management decision making.

Details

Facilities, vol. 26 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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