The following issues are covered in this chapter.
- Productivity in the workplace is a focus of attention for most organizations. If productivity is to be maintained or enhanced, the balance between the demands of work and the well-being of the individual is paramount.
- Realizing that people engage in different activities, and how they do so, then matching the space and facility to the activity is a critical element of an integrated workplace strategy.
- People are generally flexible in most societies and can, within reason, accommodate change. There will, however, be limits to how much flexibility and change can be tolerated. Obsessive organizations will, by definition, find that attempts to raise productivity can push it in the opposite direction. Ground that might have been gained over months or years can be easily lost.
- There are essentially two ways in which the work environment can impact on productivity – enabling it or hindering it. Identifying factors and characteristics that are favourable or detrimental to productivity is essential if progress is to be made.
- Internal environmental factors affect productivity and include air quality, noise control, thermal comfort, privacy, lighting and spatial comfort. Not all of them are entirely negative in their impact.
- Environmental characteristics that influence work at the individual level include architectural properties – size of office, number of walls, ergonomic factors, heating ...