1.0 Chapter Introduction
This chapter gives a general overview on the subject matter, which entails; the background to the study, statement of the problem, research questions, aim and objectives of the research, rationale and motivation behind the research, the significance of the study, justification of the study, the scope of the study and limitations of the study.
1.1 Background of the Study
According to Loos (Signs of Change: Premodern – Modern – Postmodern – International Association for Philosophy and Literature. Meeting – Google Books, no date), The beauty of the building should be on the inside rather than the outside and therefore should be silent on the outside and reveal its real wealth only on the inside.
This may be because users of a building spend more time in the interior space than the exterior. The Environmental Protection Agency (2017) reported that, the average American spends 93% of their life in indoor spaces: 87% of their life is indoors and 6% in automobiles. That’s only 7% of your entire life outdoors. International research has shown that averagely 60%–70% of each day is spent in interior spaces in all countries (Khajehzadeh and Vale, 2017), and it is therefore obvious that, it is no different situation when it comes to how much working staff spend indoors during working hours. Research has shown that, in our modern world, people spend more time indoors than that of the outdoor space, but more especially in office spaces or the workplace than the home (Banks et al., 2016). On the average, a day’s cycle is usually 8 hours of sleep (30% of the day) which is indoor, 8 hours of work (30% of the day) in the work environment which is also indoor, and 8 hours of leisure (30% of the day) which is either in the indoor or outdoor environment.
The interior of every space contributes to our wellbeing as Rohn 2011 describes.
“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” (Rohn, 2011)
“The building should be dumb on the outside and reveal its wealth only on the inside.”– Loos (Signs of Change: Premodern – Modern – Postmodern – International Association for Philosophy and Literature. Meeting – Google Books, n d). Culkin (2016) indicated that, we shape our tools, in other words our working tools and after that these tools end up shaping us. Therefore, the way we design our spaces would impact us either positively or negatively.
Interior design is the art of designing the interior of a space. (Oxford Dictionary, 2017)
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Interior design is the art of planning the decoration of the interior of a space. (Cambridge Dictionary, 2017)
On the other hand, Merriam-Webster defines interior design as the art or practice of planning the design and executing the architectural interiors. (Merriam-Webster, 2017).
Performance according to the Cambridge English Dictionary (Cambridge Dictionary, 2017) describes how efficient a person, machine, or a system does a piece of work. Merriam-Webster defines performance as efficiency and the manner of reacting to stimuli; which is linked to behavior. (Merriam-Webster, 2017). Performance is how successful people are or how well they undertake a task. Performance is the act of executing, accomplishing, and fulfilling a task. (Collins Dictionary, 2017).
The following theories and quotes that have been propounded by various authors on interior designs and architecture:
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” (Judd, 2008)
The Indoor environment according to various research is known to have an impact on health, mood, comfort, behavior, productivity and performance of users. The interior design constitutes, furniture layout, the colors of the space, lighting, air quality, ventilation, humidity levels, house appliances, room temperature, noise, materials and finishes which may be affected by some other factors like building orientation, with other natural or and artificial factors and considering how they affect people.
A workspace is a space set aside for work. (Collins Dictionary, 2017). The main focus of this research is based on a sample of the KNUST population taking into consideration those who lecture since they move in and out of lecture halls, and those who sit in the space over a period of time; example administrative staff, students, lecturers (classrooms, offices, studios, labs and so on). The Interior design of their working spaces is therefore important and needs attention to help improve the comfort and productivity of the users.
1.2 Problem Statement
The significance of the workplace environment and its impact on users have not been given much attention. Nationwide reports of the research carried out in 2006 relating to workspace designs, work satisfaction and productivity stated that, about 90% of workers revealed that effective workspace design is important for the increase in work productivity. (Hameed, 2009). These circumstances affect employee’s productivity which may cause delay in work, absenteeism, frustrations and some other factors. Since people spend more time indoors it has a part to play in their mental status, actions abilities and performance. Less attention is given to the documentation of interior design in Ghana, hence designers are not able to come up with user friendly spaces. There is the need to understand the components of design and how it either enhances or reduce workplace performance in the Ghanaian context using KNUST as a case study.
1.3 Research Questions
1. What is the relationship between the indoor workspace environment and staff productivity in the workplace?
2. How does the design of the interior workspace affect the staff during working period?
3. What can be done to improve the interior workspace environment in general in KNUST- Kumasi?
1.4 Research Aim
The aim to this research is to understand the impact the interior workspace environment has on staff within their work environment and how it affects their work output or performance and to devise appropriate strategies to ensure high productivity at the work space through interior design for KNUST offices.
1.5 Research Objectives
The research objectives were to:
1. Determine the relationship between the indoor workspace environment and interior design for offices/work spaces and productivity.
2. Determine how the design of interior workspace affects the staff productivity during working periods at KNUST.
3. Identify factors to improve the interior workspace environment to increase productivity.
1.6 Significance of The Study
The study at its completion should identify the significance of workspace interior and how it affects the staff performance to devise various strategies to improve workspace performance through interior design and also to add to the body of knowledge. At the end of this research, this study will serve as a material for other researchers to use. It also serves as background information for promoting and advocating for good environment and improved performance of staff and employees.
1.7 Justification of The Study
The significance of the workplace environment and its impact on users have not been given much attention, therefore there is a need to research on its significance and how it affects the staff performance to devise various strategies to improve workspace performance through interior design and also to add to the body of knowledge.
Since interior design has an influence on employee’s productivity which may cause delay in work, absenteeism, frustrations and other negative effects it is important to undertake this research to help create a good and comfortable atmosphere, which will improve these negative effects and improve staff comfort, encourage the staff to work more with for longer hours, enjoy their work and be more productive.
1.8 Scope of The Study
Geographically this research will be undertaken in the Ghanaian context specifically in KNUST- Kumasi which is located in the Ashanti region.
For in-depth understanding on how natural and artificial aspects of the environment affects productivity, this research focuses on Artificial environment (furniture, fittings and finishes in a given space).
1.9 Limitation of The Study
The study will not bring out responses from all the staff in the category because the research will not target all the staff but a number of them.
1.10 Chapter Summary
This chapter gave a general overview and an introductory study on the subject matter. Including; the background to the study, statement of the problem, research questions, research objectives, the aim of the research, rationale and motivation behind the research, the significance of the study, justification of the study, the scope of the study and limitations of the study. The next chapter analyzes various literature available to assist in the study.
2.0 Chapter Overview
This chapter entails the all-embracing review of literature and provides a basis based on past studies and literature on how interior workspace affects work performance of the staff in a given office space. The chapter focuses on the definition of theories, ideologies, developments and components related to how interior environment affects work performance.
2.1 History of Interior Design
According to Radovanovic (2012} Issues pertaining the birth of interior design was mostly given to the Egyptians who decorated mud huts with simple furniture improved by animal hide or textiles, murals, sculptures, and painted vases. Ornaments unveiled the essence of more lavish decoration for these Egyptians.
The Roman and Greek civilizations developed on Egyptian art of interior decoration. Similar in both cultures there was celebration of civic pride through their development of domed-roof public buildings. In the home, Ivory and silver ornamentations were found on Greek furniture. Romans combed beauty and comfort, and home interiors reflected wealth and status. Roman furniture was made of stone, wood, or bronze which was decorated with cushions and tapestries. Romans and Greeks made use of vases, mosaic floors, and wall paintings or frescoes to beautify interior spaces.
From ornamentation, there was a movement to austerity, introduced by the constant wars of Medieval Europe. The Dark Ages were a time of wood paneling, minimal furniture, and stone-slab floors. Wealthy people, included decorative elements like wall fabrics and stone carvings.
From the Dark Ages, Europeans also included color and ornamentation to their homes. In the 12th century, Gothic style made very good use of open interiors and windows on facades to capture natural light.
The French Renaissance (rebirth) around the time of the 15th and 16th centuries brought a renewed focus on art and beauty in interior design. Elements like marble floors, woodwork, paintings, and furniture made of woods were used by architects to design. Great examples of Renaissance interior design are found in the royal palaces, villas, and chapels of Europe.
From the early 18th century on, various forms of designs like; Art Deco, Art Nouveau, the minimalist look, and the industrial Bauhaus style were being experienced.
In the 2000s, the presence of appliances such as stoves, washing machines, computers, televisions, and telephones brought into existence a new challenge for interior designers, who had to plan spaces for both aesthetic and functionality to arrangement of these appliances.
Interior design has transitioned gradually from mud and brick days of the ancient Egyptians to an era where there are man-made and synthetic materials, electronics, with more new design trends emerging.
2.2 Historical Perspectives
Starting from the 20th century till date, office design has transitioned because of economic and social changes. Frederick Winslow Taylor developed the concept of scientific management, which influenced offices and their layouts (Napier, 2016). He was of the view that, an efficient way to utilize the workplaces was to place as many people as possible into an open office (Napier, 2016. This was termed Taylorism, which became the norm for office design throughout the beginning of the previous century. In the early 1900s the first major invention was the use of steel frame in construction which by reducing the need for load-bearing walls and allowing for larger spans of space within a building paved the way for the open-office plan (Human Spaces, n.d.). Taylorisim introduced elements as natural light and air conditioning which changed the workplace design. There were private offices that lined the exterior walls, making good use of windows which is still found in some offices today. A new generation of people joined the workforce in the 1940s. Teamwork, collaboration, and technology were their key considerations. Taylorisim was finally dropped in the 1960s as Eberhard and Wolfgang Schnelle developed a new planning system. Their system which was referred to as “Burolandschaft” or “office landscape” was based on research in communication patterns offering a more natural option to office layout (Napier, 2016). Similar previous workplace, desks were arranged to ensure the efficient transfer of information, focusing on the comfort and happiness of the workers. The placement of plants, screens, and other items was to break up the office space and ensure privacy for workers. Burolandschaft in addition came up with the idea of furnishings and partitions being movable, and different furniture systems which was eventually lost (Ábalos and Herreros, 2003). Similar to the Taylorist workplace, focused on efficient transfer of information, focusing on the comfort and happiness of the worker. Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers experienced events which made them a “protest-againstpower” attitude like breaking from the past-oriented and risk-averse manner common amongst the Previous Generation (Tolbize, 2008). They had in mind hard work for success, which made them work for long hours in order to receive a reward. Robert Propst and the Herman Miller Research Corporation started a research and introduced a new furniture system that would give the workers over their work environment. This system allowed desks to have varying heights to allow the user assume the best position suitable for every task. However, the system was expensive and not suited to large offices thus faded away gradually (Sisson, 2013). A new focus on economic conservation, returned to real-estate where maximum number of workers were housed in the smallest amount of space possible (Sisson, 2013). This caused the more rigid, square shaped cubicles. A new system of open office furniture was meant to increase efficiency of workers.
A new generation (Gen X) rose up with different technologies in the 1990s including personal laptops, mobile phones, and the Internet which changed the workplace setting, which freed workers to work away from their desk and were allowed to work in spaces outside the office such as their homes or cafés. During this period, the cost of running a business in a city center attracted companies to adopt more flexible policies, giving workers the option to work on different flexible schedules. (Hickey, 2015). Some companies introduced the idea of creating office spaces with modular furniture, bright colors, and various types of spaces. Places including phone booths, quiet rooms, open dining cafés, and casual meeting rooms were eventually replaced. From the early 2000s this approach has become the new standard for office design of various workplaces.
2.3 Office Interior Design
According to various literature office interior design have remained influential on how a person works and respond in a space. (BNet business Dictionary, 2008) as cited in Pitarma, 2014; defines Office design as an arrangement of office furniture and accessories to enhance work performance and efficiency. However, National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) (as cited in Pitarma, 2014) describes interior design as an art and science of arranging space functionally per the requirement of people’s behaviour. Furthermore, Banks et al. (2016) agrees that office design is the way in which space is arranged to enhance efficiency and that, conducive office design improves productivity.
The better the interior environment the more individuals become productive in the space. In the words of Hameed (2009), lifestyle enhances work performance and decreases absenteeism.
A field survey conducted by Banks (2016) revealed how physical office environment affects productivity. Out of 60 respondents, 50 agreed that their office layout reflects in how much work is done at the end of the day. These respondents affirm the views of Hameed ; Amjad, (2009). It may therefore be concluded that office design affects productivity.
2.3 Office Ergonomics
This aspect of ergonomic ensures on how the key workplace elements such as, computers, furniture, fittings, room temperature and others could be incoperated to fit and enhance workers’ health, safety and performance.
Ergonomics are the biggest part of physical working environment and it has an affect irrespective of what one does and where he is. It can be classified as functional comfort which is measurable and established whether it is working or it is failing. Functionally uncomfortable workspaces take energy out of the worker’s productivity and hence out of the work at hand. All aspects of the physical working environment can have an effect on stress and work performance and so furniture together with equipment should be ergonomic to preserve workers from nerve injury due to a low muscle use. (Vischer, 2007.
Ergonomics. A recent survey of 350 major corporations, both professional services and small businesses, found that 82.5% believe that good ergonomics makes employees more productive (Danner, 2001). Miles (2000) adds that ergonomics is becoming a very important issue in the work place. Ergonomics involves adapting jobs and workspaces to the worker. By applying ergonomic principles, the employer can reduce medical costs, decrease absenteeism, and positively affect the employees, both physically and psychologically. Ergonomics reduces strains such as physical discomfort, fatigue, and tension. As a result, employees’ stress can be reduced. Promoting good posture, for example, can play an important role in reducing worker fatigue and improving productivity. Poor posture, stress on the muscles, unnatural setting of hands and arms, static loading of the neck, and pressure on the upper back and lower body all contribute to pain and illness. These symptoms not only reduce productivity, but they increase medical costs and absenteeism (Shihadeh-Gomaa, 1998).
According to the Kensington Stress Survey, 60% of American workers experience various pains on a regular basis. Experts indicate that this is because workers do not get the support they need from their office environment (design). Miles (2000) adds that ergonomic designs that allows and provide such things as adjustable chairs, wall color, and work area design have displayed positive effects on stress reduction. For example, the city of Portland, studied this issue and installed new adjustable furniture. The results showed that, 85% of the employees reported an increase in their comfort levels, 64% reported decreased fatigue, 72% reported an improvement in their ability to focus on work, and 66% reported a reduction in pain associated with their work (Shihadeh-Gomaa, 1998). Karen (2004) concluded that ergonomic chairs continue to be in demand due to its contribution to reduction in stress and injury, as well as enhanced comfort and good posture, which can appreciably affect productivity.
In considering to enhance performance, health and safety of office workers, some aspects we look at are as follows;
Eyes and neck: Improper positioning of computer screens can cause neck and eye strain, which may also lead to poor seat positioning, which creates pressure on the back. Costello, an ergonomics consultant, tells us that the top of the computer screen must be placed just above your eye level when seated. When screens are far from people, they tend to lean forward in order to see well. A rule of thumb: one must be able to extend his hand and touch the screen with his fingertips (Moran, 2010).
Wrists and arms: The arms should be positioned well to reduce the risk of repetitive-motion injuries, the keyboard and mouse must be at the same level as the elbows when seated. Since in some cases office desks are higher for this position, Moran (2010) recommends that a fix for this may be an adjustable keyboard tray that attaches to the underside of the desk.
Back and hips: The office chair must be between 17 inches and 19 inches deep, and should be able to support the lower-back. According to Moran (2010)., if one finds himself leaning forward to see computer screen, or reach the keyboard, he should move them toward to prevent any injury. (Moran 2010).
Legs and knees: Office users should make sure to stretch and walk a few steps at least once an hour and move about more frequently if you have diagnosed circulation problems (Moran 2010).
Feet: The feet should be firmly planted on the floor. However, if the chair positioning does not allow the feet to reach the floor, some type of footrest should be used to support the feet. Also, make sure that the height of the support keeps the knees at a right angle, says Costello (Moran 2010).
2.4 Performance and Productivity.
The Performance (Productivity or Efficiency) of an individual is measured by the output exhibited at the end of a day or within a given period of time (Asante, 2012). Sehgal (2012) described productivity as the end product and outcome individuals generate with the effort per hour. Campbell (1990) (as cited in El-Zeiny, 2012) defined performance as behavior, and therefore something done by an individual. On the other hand, Productivity is the least effort with which people produce work (Rollos,1997) (as cited in Hameed and Amjad 2009).
In some cases, productivity is considered as performance and efficiency. However, according to Hameed and Amjad (2009) productivity is the ratio of how well an individual transforms input into finished goods and services. According to Lighting, there are various factors that offices look at to measure increase in productivity. These factors include
1. Better quality of work
2. Fewer errors
3. Creativity and Innovation
4. Faster completion of tasks (speed).
5. Increased production or sales per worker
6. More effective work teams
7. Less absenteeism
8. Fewer days lost to injury or illness attributable to the work environment
9. Reduced employee turnover
10. Improved satisfaction with the work environment
11. Greater customer satisfaction
These measurements of productivity may vary with that of the factory setting and at workplace (office) setting.
Performance in a factory is measured by the amount of units produced per worker per hour. While in the workplace setting performance is measured by when there is less absenteeism, and less breaks.
In such a case, performance and productivity is measured by the individuals’ subjective assessment rather than quantitative operational information which is known as subjective productivity measure. This subjective productivity measure (as cited in Hameed and Amjad 2009) serves as indicators used to assess the individuals’ attitudes toward a particular work or the service he or she provides. This information and data is collected by means of survey questions and interviews.
Generally, some performance indicators are; the speed at which work is done, the ease at which work is done, the quality of work produced, the quantity of work at the end of the day, Creativity, Fatigue, the mood of the person, Absenteeism.
According to Leblebici (2012) the two main variables that affect office performance are the Physical Components of the Environment; and Behavioral Component of the Environment. He further explains the physical component of the environment to includes; Comfort level, ventilation, heating, natural lighting, artificial lighting, decor, overall comfort, physical security. As he also makes it clear that, the behavioral components of the environment to include: Level of interaction and distraction: social interaction, work interaction, creative physical environment, overall atmosphere, position relative to colleagues, position relative to equipment, overall office layout and refreshments.
The Environment in the opinion of (Merriam-Webster, 2017) is conditions which surrounds an individual. The basic conditions that make up our everyday life.
They are the conditions in which we work in which may influence our mood, performance, and how we do our things (Cambridge dictionaries, 2017).
The environment therefore for the purpose of this research will be classified into two main parts; the natural environment which are influenced by natural factors and the artificial environment influenced by artificial factors.
2.5.1 Workplace Environment
Work place environment are both the tangible and intangible items or situations within which people work.
Statt (1994) as cited by Leblebici (2012) states that, the modern work physical environment is made up of technology; computers and machines as well as general furniture and furnishings and so therefore to enhance and improve work performance, it is important to provide furniture that will motivate workers to work and provide the level of comfort required to work.
2.6 Factors Affecting Productivity in a Space
According to Hameed and Amjad (2009) the prime factor that affects productivity are
1. lighting; both natural and artificial
2. Spatial arrangement
5. Furniture layout.
Saleem et al, (2012) also suggested that, productivity is dependent on variables like furniture, room temperature, noise, lighting and other.
For the purpose of this research the various components which affect productivity will be categorized into Furniture, fittings and finishes.
2.8 Artificial Factors
2.7.2 Temperature (affected by air condition)
The temperature mainly could be affected by the level of the air condition provided in the space. It contributes to how comfortable people feel in a space. This is dependent on the individual needs. Scientifically it is proven that the average temperature comfortable for the inhabitant of man is approximately 20 to 23.5 degrees Celsius (°C), 528 to 537 degrees Rankine (°R), or 293 to 296 kelvins (K), with an average of 21 °C, about 72.8 degrees Fahrenheit (°F). (Norback,1995). According to literature, Temperature affects productivity the most.
Various studies have shown that the indoor climate affects health and performance, which in at the long run affect productivity. Research has shown that if a task is to last at least 60 minutes, performance of that work is affected by (Lan et al., 2010). An experiment by Lan et al. (2010), conducted to investigate the impact of three different indoor temperatures (17°C, 21°C and 28°C) on productivity revealed that, workers were slightly uncomfortable in both the coolest and warmest of these climates, which eventually declined their productivity level. Another result from an experiment by Niemela et al. (2002), showed that any temperature which was higher than 25°C affected productivity negatively.
It could be therefore concluded that, the temperature of office environment would affect the actions of workers (Saleem, 2012).
A field survey conducted by Banks (2016) revealed how physical office environment affects productivity. Out of 60 respondents, 75% agreed that the temperature of their offices reflects in how much work is done at the end of the day.
2.8.1 Spatial Arrangement and Furniture
Another major aspect of the interior which affects productivity of the workers is the spatial arrangement of the space which includes the furniture layout and the type of furniture. If workers are uncomfortable it affects their productivity (Freeman, 2010). Rantanen (2013) indicated that if workers are uncomfortable with furniture and others which contribute to spatial arrangement, and furniture layout, it affects them in various ways including health, efficiency and productivity. The choice of workplace furniture is important, due to its need to function effectively in the office (Schriefer, 2005). Akhtar et al. (2014) also identified a correlation between office layout and productivity, and that the more conducive layout is, the higher the level of productivity.
2.8.3 THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOUR
Colour affects the mood of the individuals of a given space. Even though productivity is rarely correlated with colour, it affects the mood of individuals which eventually affects productivity. Appropriate colours chosen to ensure the mood of the individuals is good in order to improve performance. The colour scheme plays a key role in the office environment (Kamarulzaman, 2011). Every colour has its own effects on the human body. Different people have different experiences with different colours depending on their culture, education, genetics and socio-economic level. Some colours provide calmness, some provide comfort, some are stimulating and others have an impact in different ways.
A field survey conducted by Banks (2016) revealed how the colour of their offices affects their productivity. Out of 60 respondents, 12% agreed that the colour of the office space affects productivity.
Color. Color plays an important role in emotional and physiological responses. Color can be soothing, and as well induce stress. Red, for example is said to stimulate a sympathetic response and has also been shown to increase stress in comparison to blue, which is more relaxing and tends to reduce stress (Pelegrin-Genel, 1996). Rooms that are painted in cool hues tend to look large, and time is often underestimated in these rooms. People may also feel cooler. In today’s offices it is important to select colors based on the activity or activities that will take place in a given room (Hower, 1995).
Ward (1995) determined that colors provide a dependable, predictable, and economical approach for employers to deal with stress: 24 • Violet is considered to be the most restful color, since it causes a decrease in blood pressure. However, it is not viewed favorably by most people as a wall color, so an employer might use it as an accent color to reduce employee stress. • Blue is the best color for break areas since it promotes relaxation, and it is also a favorite color of most people. A blue environment can also help reduce headaches and hypertension. • Green is considered to be in the middle of the spectrum of stress reduction colors. One of the problems with green, however, is that it is used frequently in hospitals, schools, and government buildings, which hold unpleasant associations for many people. • Using yellow on walls and floors might increase overall frustration. It tends to conflict with people’s natural inclination for earth tones and forest tones. • Orange and red colors can increase the heart rate. Therefore, these colors should not be used in break rooms and relaxation areas.
Paints, coatings, and adhesives.
Most paints, coatings, and adhesives for finishes, among others may negatively affect the builders as well as the building’s occupants (RSMeans, 2002). Therefore, it is important to specify products that help in defending the odds.
The best wall coverings from environmental and air quality standpoints are non-toxic gas-emitting paints or textiles that are installed with no adhesives. Vinyl wall covering poses the environmental problems associated with chlorine compounds and it also poses an additional health hazard if it is subjected to high temperatures, as it releases toxic gases (RSMeans, 2002).
Traditional synthetic carpets emit hundreds of chemicals, and as they age, they become prime breeding ground for microorganisms (Ulness, 1997). Carpet made out of wool is a safer natural choice, along with area rugs made from wool, only for residential applications, which can be removed for cleaning and airing (RSMeans, 2002). Resilient flooring. Like all other vinyl products, vinyl flooring is an environmentally sound choice.
Ceramic and porcelain tile.
There are many manufacturers that offer products with up to 70% recycled content. Adding recycled glass makes use of a post-consumer product and can also add an interesting texture and colors to the tile (RSMeans, 2002).
Certified wood should be specified, and locally or regionally grown and processed products are preferable to those that require transportation in excess of 500 miles (USGBC, 2006). Rare species of tropical woods should be avoided, to protect tropical rain forests, unless certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Bamboo is becoming a popular flooring option. It is exceptionally strong and rapidly renewable (RSMeans, 2002). According to Ulness (1997), health-conscious builders prefer wood, preferably raw wood that is nailed, not glued, to the subfloor and protected with water-based, polyurethane finishes that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Much of the dust and dirt in a typical building comes from pedestrian traffic. The simple provision of a walk-off matt in the building entryway can improve indoor air quality by greatly reducing dust and dirt (RSMeans, 2002).
The furniture should provide adjustable ergonomic features and be made without toxic gas emitting dyes, finishes, foams, or adhesives. Upholstery fabrics should be composed of natural, organic fibers or recycled materials and should be recyclable. Metals should be recycled with powder-coated paint finishes. Woods should be FSC certified to avoid unsustainably harvested woods, such as those from clear-cut rainforests (RSMeans, 2002). The furniture should be extremely durable to avoid early replacement. Solid wood, rather than veneer, which can be refinished if necessary, is another option, although this requires more wood than does veneer and is less dimensionally stable. Selecting light-colored finishes reduces the lighting level required. It is important to avoid using furniture made out of endangered tropical woods, particleboard containing urea or formaldehyde glue, PVC, nylon, or other petroleum-based plastics (unless they are recycled plastic, such as PET). Office furniture should include such items as reupholstered chairs, refinished tables, office partitions made with gypsum core or recycled cellulose, recycled aluminum or steel frames, and upholstery from recycled soda bottles (RSMeans, 2002).
2.9 The Relationship Between Workplace Interior and Performance
Office design significance affects the work output of the users of the space, this environment motivates workers to work in a certain way (Amina ; Sheila, 2009) (as cited in Pitarma 2014). According to (EI-Zeiny, 2013) it enhances worker’s productivity.
A research conducted proclaims that 90 percent of participants believe better office interior design positively affect productivity of their users (Gensler, 2006) (as cited in Pitarma 2014).
Good workplace design affects staff satisfaction, attraction, motivation, and retention. It also affect the level of knowledge and skills of workers, how innovative and creating they are. According to literature, poor workplace design, by contrast, is linked to low work performance and higher level of stress experienced by employees (Amble, 2005). This trend among workers has led to a growing recognition of the importance of designing a work environment that meets the physical and emotional needs of workers, so that they may be most productive (Proper, 1998). Proper (1998) deem it very important that an effective work environment should provide positive sensory stimulation through the proper use of color, lighting, aroma, space, and furnishings. These elements are considered essential to effective work activities and workplaces, and they lead to increased productivity of employees.
Furnishings and Finishes Interior wall systems. Interior wall systems should be made from agricultural materials, such as straw. Some products use 100% agricultural waste products, avoid toxic binders, are fire resistant (with a fire rating from one-to two hours), and do not require structural studs. If gypsum board needs to be used, recycled content product should be specified. Using locally available materials avoids use of carbon-based fuels for transportation of materials (RSMeans, 2002).
FLEXIBILITY of space, adaptability to change. Humans get tired of stereotypes and require change routinely. How well a space permits change is an advantage.
3.0 Chapter Overview
This chapter explains the procedures and methods by which this research was to be undertaken. The research process, research design, research approach, research strategies and methods, population and sampling, design of instrument adopted for the study, validity and reliability is detailed out in this chapter. The data collection process as well as how the data collected was analyzed and interpreted is also highlighted.
3.1 Research Process
The step by step process of research involved introduction to the study, background of the study, identifying the aims, questions and objectives of the research, finding literature and reviewing it and carrying out data collection and analysis as described by Creswell (2009). Reasonable questions were formulated followed by data collected through survey and questionnaires, which was later analyzed through descriptive analysis and also by the help of SPSS and Microsoft Excel.
3.2 Research Design
The design of the research was to give the course of action of all the phases of the research (Okehielem, 2011). Research design involves the outlined the systematic approach that was used in carrying out the study. There are three types of research design in carrying out research, namely; qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research design. Saunders et al. (2009) and Creswell (2009) both are of the view that qualitative data makes use of words, whiles quantitative research involve the use of numbers. The mixed methods of research combine both quantitative and qualitative research design principles (Creswell,2009). The type of research design is based on the research problem (De Vaus 2001; Trochim 2006). In response to this,Vogt et.al., (2012) states that it allows the evidence obtained to address the problem
3.3 Research Approach
According to Saunders et al. (2009) research approach gives clarity to the theory backing the research. The two main research approaches are the deductive and inductive approaches. In the deductive approach, the research strategy is designed to test a theory and hypothesis which you have developed. On the other hand, the inductive approach, theory is developed from the analysis of the data collected (Saunders et al, 2009). In this study, the inductive approach was employed using analysis from data collected from a sample of offices.
3.4 Research Strategies and Methods
According to Saunders et al (2009) research approach gives clarity to the theory behind a research. As stated already there are three main research strategies which includes; the qualitative, quantitative and mixed method.
According to Creswell (2009) examples of qualitative research strategies are in the form of narrative, phenomenological, ethnographic, grounded theory or case study.
Quantitative research strategies as explained by Creswell (2009) are either experimental or non-experimental. Survey, which was used in this study, is an example of non-experimental quantitative research strategies. As recommended by Dawson (2002), questionnaires were used as instrument to conduct the survey as they help to give a general opinion of a population based on data collected from the sample group. Due to the benefits of obtaining quick responses, questionnaires were specifically used to cover a wide range of offices sampled on KNUST campus.
The study employed the mixed method approach where both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed.
A survey with the help of structured questionnaires, a case study and review of literature were the various research designs used in data collection. The mixed method research design was used to conduct this research by the help of structures questionnaires and case studies of various offices spaces. Observations were also used under the case study approach. Random sampling was used in selecting respondents for the study.
3.5 Research Techniques
According to Kothari (2004) research methods are the techniques used to conduct research. There is however a difference between research techniques and research methods. Research techniques involve the actions and instruments used to conduct a research. Some examples of research techniques include observation, data recording and processing. Table 3.1 makes it clear that research techniques are derived from the research method as described by Kothari (2004).
Figure 3.1 Differences between research methods and techniques (Kothari, 2004).
The use of Likert scales was used in designing the instrument which had numeric range of 1-5 For example: 1-Strongly agree, 2-Agree 3-Neutral, 4- Disagree and 5-Strongly Disagree.
3.6 Data Source
The Source of data for this research was derived from the respondent population of the sample including office users on KNUST campus. A random selection of old and new offices on KNUST campus in 4 departments namely: Architecture, building technology, English, agriculture, and the main administration, main school library, finance office, school of business, graduate school, Arts departments (new Block) including Industrial arts, communication design, rural arts and development office.
3.7 Population Selection
Saunders et al. (2009) defined a population as the entire set from which a sample (subset) is taken from. Dawson (2002) stresses on the fact speaking to each person constituting your research population is a vigorous task. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) in their research, identified the use of the law of large numbers where unbiased large absolute samples served as good representation of the population as compared to when samples of smaller size are used. For sample sizes of less than thirty (30) participants (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2009, Kothari, 2004), require that the entire population be used as participants to reduce error margins. Ideally, sample sizes larger than thirty (30) participants should be used to represent large populations, hence the sample size for this study targeted above 30 offices (workspaces) on campus, in all 60 respondents were targeted.
3.8 Sampling Technique and Sample Size Determination
Sampling refers to the selection of participants for a study to provide a representative opinion of the whole population. The main types of sampling are probability and purposive sampling. Dawson (2002) and Creswell (2009) agree that probability sampling may be used to achieve a general opinion of the entire population. Purposive sampling on the other hand is non-probable and describes the views of a section of the population.
Figure 3.2 Sampling Techniques (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2009)
Participants were sampled using the structured random sampling technique. A random selection of old and new offices on KNUST campus in some selected departments, the administrative offices, main school library, the graduate school, and development office. This was then followed by a selection of participants from the lists of persons identified (Creswell, 2009). This deliberate means of sampling is convenient because it allows for available respondents to be chosen based on the available sample in relation to the purpose of the research. (Kothari, 2004, Creswell, 2009). A 99% confidence level of sampling is said to be acceptable in most research works, a confidence interval of 18 was used. Hence, for a population of 4000 persons (staff), a sample of size of 60 persons was calculated for and needed to represent the total population. It is also assumed that all 60 participants responded to in the data collection procedure. (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2009).
3.7 DATA COLLECTION
The survey was used in relation to achieve the objective of the research by use of structured questionnaires which was administered randomly in selected areas on campus. This data was collected at 13 locations on campus namely:
1. Department of Architecture,
2. Building Technology,
3. Department of English,
4. Department of Agriculture,
5. The Main Administration,
6. The Main School Library,
7. The schools’ Finance office, all close to the residential area of the school
8. The KNUST School of Business,
9. The Graduate School,
Selected area in the new arts departments namely;
10. The Industrial Arts department,
11. The department of Communication Design,
12. The Rural Arts department and all at the academic area of the school
13. The Development office located at the commercial area
The case study approach was used in relation to knowing the spatial conditions to be able to compare it to the responses received during the survey, this was done by taking photographs and measurements of the existing offices with the help of a surveyor’s tape, in both new and old offices. It was also achieved by observing workspaces, and noting down some points. An observational schedule was used as a tool for these observations. The variables for the observational schedule were space sizes, function, how tight spaces were, architectural elements such as type of walls, floor finishes type of furniture, type of ceiling, placement of fittings, ceiling finishes, colour scheme of spaces, furniture layout and type of curtains.
3.8 DATA ANALYSIS
The data obtained from the questionnaire was validated through vetting for consistency and completeness. Subsequently, the responses were partitioned into homogeneous sub-groups to facilitate analysis. The data was analyzed quantitatively using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel, and results presented through graphs, pie charts, and tables. Where qualitative data was converted into quantitative data. Pictures of unique offices were taken to show office arrangement, seating arrangement, furniture etc., and to aid the case study aspect of the research.
3.9 Ethical Considerations
The questionnaires were screened before they were approved by the supervisor to be administered. The design of the questionnaires was to keep all information given out by participants as confidential. The full consent of participants was obtained before participation, whereas this involved all information needed concerning the research to be provided and made known to participants. Anonymity of participants was also ensured for participants who did not want some personal information disclosed, therefore personal data was withheld in the study findings.
Findings were accurately presented, and the interpretation of results were not based on any personal interests.
3.10 Design of Research Instrument
Research instruments are the tools used to collect data for a study. As mentioned earlier, questionnaires were used as research instruments for this study together with case study and reviewed literature. Yin (2003) and Creswell (2009) encourage that questionnaires be kept simple for convenience to the respondent and to save time on data collection period. The questionnaire contained two sections: The scope the questions included work performance, workspace comfort, temperature, work output, furniture arrangement and satisfaction to interior decor.
Validity and reliability of the instrument were important in its design. In terms of validity, the questionnaire was designed to measure the data that the researcher needed using knowledge from the literature review. Reliability and consistency of data was very important because different focus groups were expected to give different meanings to a particular question. (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2009)
3.11 Chapter Summary
The chapter helps to identify the research approach and research design, strategy, methods and techniques that was suitable for the research. The sample population, Sources of data and analysis were labelled with the research techniques employed. Ethical considerations undertaken in this research have been explained as well. Both data collection methods of questionnaires, survey approach were used were also explained in depth. The chapter ends with a brief outline of the research objectives, with its corresponding research methodology.
Table 3.2: Overview of research methodology
Collection Data Analysis
1 Determine the relationship between the indoor workspace environment and staff productivity in the workplace. Qualitative and Quantitative Survey Research Archival Analysis
Case Study Qualitative and Quantitative
2 Determine how the design of interior workspace affects the staff during working. Qualitative and Quantitative Survey Research Archival Analysis
3 Identify what can be done to improve the interior workspace environment.
Qualitative and Quantitative Survey Research Archival Analysis
(Source: Author, 2017)?
officetype Percent Frequency Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Old Valid Male 36.7 11 36.7 36.7
Female 63.3 19 63.3 100.0
Total 100.0 30 100.0
New Valid Male 60.0 18 60.0 60.0
Female 40.0 12 40.0 100.0
Total 100.0 30 100.0
Design Discussion Evaluation of existing building
Space plan evaluation
4.2 DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RESPONDENTS A total of 100 questionnaires were administered to staff of GNPC who operate from the Petroleum House. Out of this, 88 questionnaires representing 88 percent were completed and returned. Over 80 percent of the respondents were less than 50 years old indicating the youthful nature of GNPC employees at the Petroleum House. Indeed 76.1 percent of the total respondents were males whiles 23.9 percent were females.
The respondents who were drawn spanned the various job levels with the majority of the respondents being junior and middle level staff, accounting for 92.0 percent of the total respondents. Senior management accounted for only 8 percent of the respondents. The respondents were drawn from the various divisions, departments and units at GNPC to ensure adequate and fair representation of views of employees on the subject. Those from the 32 Administration Division were however in the majority accounting for 17.5 percent of the total, followed by the Finance Division with 14.77 percent of the total. Besides the respondents of the questionnaires, the views of 10 senior managers on the subject were elicited through an unstructured interviewed and incorporated in the study.
4.3 OFFICE DESIGN, FINISHES AND FURNISHING AT GNPC PETROLEUM HOUSE As far back as the 1980s, GNPC was operating from the Black Star Line building at Kuku Hill in Osu, Accra. GNPC moved into the then newly built Petroleum House in Community one, Tema in September 1989. According to the Chief Facilities Officer, GNPC initially moved into the Petroleum House as tenants but eventually purchased the property from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) in 1991. The Petroleum House is an eight-storey purposed built office facility which was originally let to GNPC as an open plan facility. GNPC subsequently designed the open spaces on each floor into cellular offices using polished plywood panels as the main partitioning material. The total floor area of the office complex which measures 4,789.24 square metres according to the Chief Facilities Officer was redesigned into individual cellular offices with an average floor area of 20 square metres. Surprisingly, most of the plywood partitions have remained in use for the past 23 years (since their construction in 1989). Although the layout of the Petroleum House is predominantly cellular offices, it was observed during the study that a few of the partitioned offices had been opened up to create open plan offices, ostensibly to 33 ensure efficiency in space utilization and enhance collaboration among teams. Plate 4.1 is an example of some of the open plan offices that were identified during the study. Plate 4.1: An open plan office accommodating 8 employees at GNPC Source: Field Survey, June 2012 Plate 4.2: A cellular office accommodating one staff at GNPC Source: Field Survey, June 2012 34 Similarly, Plate 4.2 displays a typical cellular office at the Petroleum House showing some of the 23 year old polished plywood partition behind the chair. All senior managers at GNPC have been allocated cellular offices. However, the rest of the job levels are made to share offices, with the number of occupants per office increasing as one goes down the job levels. On the average, between 2 to 4 employees were observed to be sharing one cellular office. The state and décor of most of the offices were observed to be unimpressive apparently due to the outdated plywood partitions which have over the years grown darker in colour creating a dull and uninspiring working environment. The situation raises serious ergonomic concerns regarding inadequate lighting of offices and uninspiring walls which have the tendency to stress employees and affect their health and overall performance.
4.4 ERGONOMIC FEATURES IN THE DESIGN, FINISHES AND FURNISHING OF THE WORKPLACE The study identified considerable ergonomic lapses in various offices at the Petroleum House. Generally, the lapses bothered mainly on poor office décor/finishes, inadequate office illumination, appreciable office noise levels, uncomfortable room temperature and in certain cases un-ergonomic office furniture. The views expressed by the respondents on the various ergonomic elements as presented on Figures 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 confirm some of the ergonomic challenges identified in offices at the Petroleum House.
4.4.1 OFFICE DESIGN AND DÉCOR GNPC’s workplace environment is generally defined by cellular offices created with polished plywood partitions. From ergonomics perspective, the plywood partitions give the offices a dull monotonous and uninspiring ambiance. The study revealed that a total of 60.2 percent of the employees surveyed are not satisfied with the office design and décor at the Petroleum House. Respondents who are dissatisfied with the office design and décor alluded to the dark partitioning walls, seemingly noisy window air-conditions and inadequate lighting. Fig, 4.1 gives an overview of the respondents’ level of satisfaction with the office design and décor at the Petroleum House. The Chief Facilities Officer and the Principal Human Resources Officer expressed similar sentiments and hinted that the Corporation was considering moving out of the Petroleum House in the near future.
Only 6.8 percent of the total respondents were very satisfied with their office design and décor, while 33.0 percent were satisfied. As much as 44.3 percent indicated they were 37 dissatisfied while 15.9 percent were very dissatisfied. As already indicated, some of the offices at the Petroleum House have over the years been given facelift in the form of floor tiling, replacement of old plywood partition and introduction of window blinds. The respondents who indicated their satisfaction with their office design and décor are most likely to be occupants of such improved offices.
In terms of the functionality and ergonomics of the office furniture, the study revealed as presented in Fig. 4.2 that, although 53.4 percent of the respondents are satisfied with their office furniture, as much as 42.1 percent are dissatisfied with their office furniture as they found them not suited enough for their comfort and work.
This level of dissatisfaction with office furniture gives cause for concern as furniture is one major source of back and neck related injuries which has the tendency to affect the health and performance of the employee. Perhaps conscious of the negative impact of un-ergonomic furniture on its employees, GNPC over the years has progressively been replacing the outdated furniture with new ones. For instance, in the year 2012, GNPC procured 181 pieces of assorted office furniture to replace outdated ones. Specifically with regard to the comfortability and flexibility of their furniture, although the larger majority indicated that they found their furniture to be comfortable, as much as 33 percent only partly agreed while 12.5 percent did not agree at all that their furniture were flexible to adjust, rearrange to offer support, comfort and functionality (Fig 4.3).
Obviously, GNPC’s effort to replace old furniture does not appear to have been effective as evidently, appreciable number of the old furniture (most of which were procured over 20 years ago) are still in use at the Petroleum House. In an interview with the managers in charge of the Geology and Geophysics Departments, they recounted that their earlier requests to the Administration Division for some old furniture to be replaced in their respective departments were yet to be met.
4.4.5 ROOM TEMPERATURE The study considered room temperature as one of the key elements of office ergonomic. It was observed that nearly all the offices at the Petroleum House have been fitted with window unit air-conditioners to afford employees comfortable working environment. As seen in Fig. 4.6, only 1.1 percent of the respondents found their office room temperature to be not conducive at all, and like office illumination, it seems this is also an area that respondents don’t have issues with.
Regardless of the appreciable ergonomic lapses prevalent at the Petroleum House, it is worthy to note that few positive ergonomic features were identified in the areas of office space allocation and equipment. The study observed that the office layout at the Petroleum House provide employees with ample room and space to conduct their work activities. It is 42 therefore not surprising that as much as 71.6 percent of the respondents are satisfied with their office spaces
Office equipment such as computers, printers, photocopiers, plotters among others have increasingly become the basic job tools for enhanced performance in the corporate world. Evidently nearly all employees at the Petroleum House have been provided with computers and other complementary office equipment to facilitate their work. Nevertheless, Fig. 4.7 shows that 18.2 percent and 11.4 percent respectively are dissatisfied and very dissatisfied with their office equipment.
4.4.7 WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY Workplace safety is an integral part of office ergonomics. The study therefore required respondents to make an assessment of their workplace safety and security. A total of 51 respondents representing 58 percent indicated that their offices were safe and secured. However, 37 respondents representing 42 percent did not feel that their offices were safe and secured enough. Table 4.1 shows the responses on how safe and secure respondents feel about their offices.
Table 4.1: Responses on safety and security of offices Frequency Percent Cumulative Percent Yes 51 58.0 58.0 No 37 42.0 100.0 Total 88 100.0 Source: Field Survey, June 2012
Observation of the Petroleum House building revealed that basic safety and security measures and installations such as emergency fire exits, fire extinguishers, emergency directional signs and guard security have been provided. However, isolated cases of poor cable management and stockpile of papers which pose safety and fire hazards respectively were identified. The responses shown in Table 4.1 above may have been informed by these considerations.
The study sought to find out whether GNPC’s workplace environment has any impact on the performance of its employees. What seems to emerge is that although nearly all the respondents conceded that workplace elements such as office space, room temperature and lighting, furniture and equipment etc. have one way or the other affected their performance, the extent of the impact varied from one employee to the other. Fig. 4.8 shows that 27.3 percent of the total respondents indicated that their office designs and décor impacted negatively on their job performance by between 70-80 percent. Cumulatively 63.6 percent of the total respondents were of the opinion that the effect of office design and décor on their job performance range from 10 – 60 percent
Fig. 4.11 and 4.12 show the extent to which room temperature and office lighting affect the performance of employees at the Petroleum House. In both cases, over 35 percent of the total respondents concluded that both room temperature and lighting impacted negatively on their performance by between 70-80 percent.
4.7 DISCUSSIONS OF FINDINGS The finding from the study to a considerable extent validates and brings to reality the widely accepted assumption presented in Leblebici (2012) that a better workplace environment motivates employees and produces better results. The study demonstrated that office ergonomics deficiencies at the Petroleum House which includes outdated office design and décor, inadequate office illumination, un-ergonomic office furniture, unsuitable office design and décor have variedly impaired the performance of an average GNPC employee by between 20 to 80 percent. According to Beautyman (2006), businesses that ignore the design and layout of their workplaces are failing to optimize the full value of their human capital. The findings from the study confirm Beautyman’s assertion in view of the fact that the office design and décor of the Petroleum House has impaired the performance of the average GNPC employee by between 20 to 80 percent. Selected senior managers interviewed were also of the opinion that GNPC’s current workplace environment does not seem to enhance employee performance. 53 “Practical Solution for a Safer Workplace (2002)” published by the Washington State Department for Labour and Industries observes that ergonomic improvements to the work environment primarily lead to a safer and more healthful work environment. The lack of ergonomic improvements is known to predispose employees to safety and health hazards. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 2007, failure to observe ergonomic principles may have serious repercussions, not only for individuals, but the whole organization. Many well-known work related accidents might have been prevented if ergonomics had been considered in designing the jobs people did and the systems within which they worked. It emerged from the study however, that 33.0 percent of the respondents felt that their office environment had impacted negatively on their health, while 15.0 percent actually confirmed having suffered an injury or illness due to the nature of their office environments. These results uphold the assertion made by the HSE that some of these injuries that reduces employee performance may have been prevented if adequate ergonomic interventions were in existence at the Petroleum House. Increasingly, open plan offices are replacing hitherto cellular office layouts due to the latter’s restrictions on employee collaboration and communication, monotonous and less inspiring attributes and overall inefficient utilization of office space. Hamilton et al. (1996) recounts how the hitherto inefficient cellular office layout of the 31- storey Alcoa Building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania characterized by 12-feet by 15-feet offices 54 has now been transformed into a modern office layout made up of executive suites of open cubicles and areas for impromptu meetings: “the communication centre,” featuring televisions, fax machines, newspapers and tables to encourage team/group meetings. The findings from the study show that the current office layout at the Petroleum House typifies Alcoa Building’s outdated and inefficient cellular office design prior to its modernization. The Alcoa Building’s experience underscores the need to design office ergonomically to ensure that the workplace environment suits employee needs, functions and enhances performance.
CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents the summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations that emerged from the study. It summarizes the key ergonomic deficiencies identified in the design and furnishing of the Petroleum House and the negative impact such deficiencies have had on the performance of GNPC employees. It presents the final conclusion of the study and goes on to suggest practical recommendations aimed at incorporating high levels of office ergonomics standards in GNPC’s workplace environment to help improve on employee performance.
5.2 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Office ergonomics is a widely acceptable means of providing an enabling environment that best facilitates employees’ performance and general productivity. The need for high office ergonomic standards is vital considering the fact that the type of employee work place environment impacts a great deal on employee collaboration, health and safety, morale, motivation and overall performance. This study sought to discover the impact of office ergonomics on employee performance using the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) as a case study. The objectives of the study were to analyze the office design, finishes and furnishing of the head office building of GNPC, identify ergonomic features in the design, finishes and furnishing in terms of their suitability and comfort of the employees, assess the impact of office ergonomics on
5.3 CONCLUSION This study has assessed the impact of office ergonomics on the performance of GNPC employees operating from the Petroleum House in Tema. The results from the study confirm that office ergonomics deficiencies at the Petroleum House are impacting negatively on the performance of the employee. From the findings of the study, which identifies substantial office ergonomic lapses such as inadequate office illumination, use of un-ergonomic furniture, appreciable noise levels and pockets of safety hazards, it is obvious that GNPC is yet to leverage on its workplace environment as a means of motivating and enhancing the performance of its employees. 5.4 RECOMMENDATIONS In view of the findings and conclusion of the study, the following recommendations are made for consideration by GNPC as a means of utilizing its workplace environment to motivate and enhance the performance of its employees. 58 The findings from the study clearly show that the design and décor of the Petroleum House is somehow deficient in ergonomics and has some negative impacts on the performance of employees. Given the state of the Petroleum House, any attempt to modernize the building will require a huge capital outlay and a considerable period of time. Against this backdrop, the study recommends the relocation of the GNPC head office to a purpose-built office facility that integrates high standards of office ergonomics, and identifies with GNPC’s real estate objectives. With the help of a market survey, GNPC can identify alternative office facilities that will be most suitable for the operations and aspirations of the Corporation.
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