The influence of work-group numbers and demographic characteristics on frequency of interruptions and perceived productivity of building users.

  • YEAR
    Rasheed, Eziaku Onyeizu
    Khoshbakht, Maryam
    Baird, George
    2020 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Practice Based & Interdisciplinary Design & Research


Considerable effort has been expended over recent decades to understand how the physical environment of commercial and academic buildings influences the comfort, health and productivity of the occupants. Somewhat less attention has been given to the study of the effects of distractions and interruptions on the productivity of individual occupants. In the course of their surveys of some 68 buildings worldwide and their 5149 occupants using the Building Use Studies Methodology, the authors have amassed a database which, as well as containing information on the occupants’ perceptions of physical and environmental parameters, included unmined data on frequency of interruptions. In this paper, the authors detail evidence of clear correlations between frequency of interruptions and perceived productivity in different settings from an individual user point of view. The significant differences found between differently sized work-groups, between males and females, and between younger and older workers, are explored in detail. It is anticipated that these findings will add useful information to the growing literature on this comparatively neglected aspect as designers strive towards that elusive holy grail of office design.

Keywords: work-groups; demographics; interruptions; productivity.


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