Abstract: Previous research has documented the negative impacts of open-place office layout on occupants’ overall satisfaction, perceived health and productivity. However the open-plan layouts have evolved significantly over the last decade with innovative concepts such as activity-based and/or agile workspaces have become more attractive to companies because they yield significant financial savings from reduced office footprint, increased flexibility in office layout, etc. Activity-based workspaces (ABW) by definition require the creation of a variety of spaces for the occupants to select from, depending on requirements of the task at hand. This paper examines the impact of different workspace layouts on occupants’ overall satisfaction on key IEQ dimensions, perceived productivity and perceived health. Post-occupancy evaluation results from 5,114 questionnaires from the Building Occupant Survey System Australia – BOSSA – database were used for this analysis. Floor plans from 27 open-plan sealed-facade air-conditioned buildings were analysed and classified into three broad categories: (1) conventional open plan workspace (hive), (2) multi-space workspace layout (ABW) and (3) private workspace (cell). Results indicate that buildings occupants were more satisfied overall in ABW layouts, especially on collaboration with other colleagues, air movement, air quality and temperature for winter and summer. Occupants also rated ABW layouts as having a more positive impact on their productivity compared to the other spatial configurations under investigation. Not surprisingly, cell layouts were more successful in producing higher satisfaction scores on sound privacy and work interruptions. Cell layouts also provided better than average results on access to daylight. All workspaces performed similarly on the perceived health dimension.
Abstract: The concept of non-territorial workplace has been adopted by a growing number of organisations. It is clear that the main driver for desk sharing practices is the tangible economic benefits guaranteed by reducing the amount of office space per person. However, the question of whether or not occupant comfort or productivity are compromised in the pursuit of space efficiency has never been investigated. This paper draws on a database from Australian building occupant survey to investigate how desk arrangements (whether or not one has a pre-allocated desk) can affect occupant satisfaction, self-reported productivity or health at workplaces. Our statistical model indicates a fall in occupant self-assessed productivity as spatial factors (such as the office layout allowing easiness of interaction with colleagues, the ability to adjust/personalise workspace, and the amount of storage space provided) perform below occupant expectations. Analysis of the results also show that the association of spatial factors with occupants' self-assessed productivity (quantified by odds ratios) was more pronounced among those in non-territorial workplaces, compared to those who are assigned with a pre-allocated desk. With respect to self-assessed health, the comfort of furnishing was identified as the strongest predictor for shared-desk users. Our findings suggest that these spatial factors, rather than the desk ownership itself, play a more significant role in the non-territorial work arrangement, affecting occupant attitude towards their building.
Abstract: Research findings point to three methodological shortcomings of current post-occupancy evaluation (POE) tools: (1) contextualizing results, (2) adding instrumental data side by side to survey results and (3) producing meaningful feedback to its key stakeholders. This paper introduces the holistic BOSSA (Building Occupants Survey System Australia) and tools developed under this project's scope in close collaboration with industry. It aims to present and discuss the statistical analysis used in the BOSSA tool, distilling the survey results down to nine indoor environmental quality (IEQ) dimensions and their association with four overall indices. Principal component analysis (PCA) extracted nine IEQ dimensions that were uncorrelated with each other: spatial comfort, indoor air quality, personal control, noise distraction and privacy, connection to the outdoor environment, building image and maintenance, individual space, thermal comfort, and visual comfort. Four separate multiple regression analyses were conducted, one for each global evaluation item as an independent variable: work area comfort, building satisfaction, productivity and health. This statistical analysis provided the rational basis of BOSSA's scoring system, designed to simplify how occupant survey results are communicated to key stakeholders from the property industry and researchers.