Does the Number of Occupants in an Office Influence Individual Perceptions of Comfort and Productivity?-New Evidence from 5000 Office Workers

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MDPI (Basel, Switzerland)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
Purpose—The purpose of this article is to present evidence of occupants’ perception of their work environment in five different office types (Solo, Duo, 2–4, 5–8 and 8Plus offices). The study examined the influence of the number of office occupants on individual perception of indoor environment quality (IEQ) in office environments. Design/methodology/approach—A dataset of 5000 respondents in 67 commercial and institutional office buildings was analysed using IBM SPSS v23. The dataset contained user response on the BUS Methodology questionnaire that is designed to retrieve occupants’ perception of their work environments. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and multiple regression analysis were conducted to calculate the impact of the office environment on occupants’ perception of comfort and productivity. Findings - This study showed that occupants in Solo and Duo offices perceived higher satisfaction with their environment (except for temperature in summer), better health and productivity; and more control over the office environment than those in 5–8 and 8Plus offices. Occupants in 8Plus offices were most satisfied with the temperature in summer. It was also noted that the IEQ factors that predicted comfort were observed to not predict productivity. Noise was the only IEQ factor that had predictive power for both comfort and productivity in all the office spaces. Originality/value—This article provides intriguing findings on occupants’ perception of various types of office environment that contributes significantly to the debate on open-plan versus cellular office environments.
perceived comfort, ieq variables, office environments, perceived productivity, personal control
BUILDINGS, 2019, 9 (3)