Creating the Productive Workplace

By Derek Clements-Croome | Go to book overview

Chapter 10

Assessment and measurement of productivity

Derek Clements-CroomeandYamuna Kaluarachchi

Productivity depends on good concentration, technical competence, effective organisation and management, a responsive environment and a good sense of well-being. The economic assessment of environment in terms of both health (medical treatment, hospitalisation) and decreases in productivity (absenteeism) has received very little attention by researchers as yet. However, this assessment is absolutely necessary in order to assess the effectiveness of improved design and management protocols (Barbatano, 1994). Until now there have been no standard procedures to measure productivity, therefore it has been difficult to persuade clients to accept the concept of a relationship between economic productivity benefits and indoor environment. The challenge is to investigate productivity and develop a methodology to assess the link between indoor environment and productivity using scientific principles and the experiences of occupational psychologists.

The direct beneficiaries of productivity research are clients who commission buildings and employers who hope to achieve high productivity, as well as construction managers and contractors who want to achieve a high quality of production; planners; architects, designers and engineers who are involved in a building project from its genesis; and building and facilities management consultants who are involved in the day-to-day running and maintenance of the building and who wish to provide a high level of well-being to its occupants. Most importantly it will be beneficial to building users who wish to work in, and enjoy being in, healthy buildings. It is also relevant to academics and researchers in a variety of fields due to its multidisciplinary nature covering health, well-being and comfort.

Thorndike (1949) described four criteria for performance measures: validity, reliability, freedom from bias, and practicality. The inclusion of validity and reliability implies that the standards for performance measures are similar to those of the tests. Bias most frequently originates from rater bias: in this case, those who use the rating may systematically rate the performance of particular individuals either higher or lower across a number of dimensions than is justifiable from the rated performance. Finally, the concern for

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