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Do Facilities matter? - The influence of facilities satisfaction on perceived labour productivity of office employees

Mei 2008 | Ronald Batenburg, Theo van der Voordt

Companies spend a lot of money to provide facilities such as a nice, effective and efficient building, well designed ergonomic furniture, sophisticated IT, cleaning services, catering, and safety services. Both from a theoretical perspective as well as from a managerial point of view, it is important to know if and how strongly facilities do affect employee satisfaction and labour productivity. This paper for EFMC 2008 discusses the results of research on this issue.


A brief review of literature and statistical analyses of a database of the Delft Center for People and Buildings, with 2197 respondents from 17 different office environments. The database includes data from Diagnostic Post-Occupancy Evaluations on user satisfaction with regard to the organization, working processes, the office concept and a number of facilities.  


Most annual and biannual surveys among Dutch office employees use questionnaires with hardly any questions about the physical environment. Statistical analyses of the Delft database showed a significant but weak correlation between user satisfaction on facilities and self estimated percentage of time that one is being productive. Much stronger correlations came up when satisfaction about facilities is linked to users’ perceptions of the supporting impact of the working environment on ones own productivity.  


The  results  showed  statistical  support  for  the  added  value  of  facility  provisions.  But  other  variables  have  their  impact,  too.  A  more  intensive  co-operation  between  scholars,  facility managers and Human Resource managers may help to improve our understanding of the complex relationships between the working environment and perceived labour productivity.


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