Conference Paper


An empirical investigation of the link between indoor environment and workplace productivity in a UK office building

Abstract

Most studies on indoor environments and productivity have been conducted in controlled, static conditions often not representative of the real world. This paper uses a case study-based, real-world approach to empirically investigate the relationship between the indoor environment and workplace productivity in a mechanically-ventilated office environment in southern England. Evidence gathered during a baseline period is used to implement an intervention (limiting peak temperature) with the aim of improving productivity. Environmental parameters (temperature, relative humidity and CO₂) were monitored continuously. Transverse and longitudinal surveys recorded occupant perceptions of their working environments, thermal comfort and self-reported productivity, while performance tasks objectively measured productivity. Although the building was operating within narrow temperature, RH and CO₂ bands, workplace productivity was perceived to decrease when occupants were thermally uncomfortable and when they perceived the air as stuffy. Correlations with perceived changes in productivity were stronger for the perceived environment than for the measured environmental conditions. In addition, median scores were 16% lower for tests conducted when CO₂ levels were in the 1000-1200ppm range compared to those conducted below 800ppm. Insights from the study can be used to optimise indoor office environments to improve staff productivity.

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Authors

Gupta, Rajat
Howard, Alastair

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Architecture

Dates

Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-09-19


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


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