Gender-related differences in perceived productivity and indoor environmental quality acceptance. Results of a questionnaire survey in university workplaces

Abstract

Improving occupant's satisfaction represents an important target oriented both towards the increment of productivity and towards the reduction of operational costs related to health and safety of employees. These considerations are the bases of an interdisciplinary cross-country survey on the human-building interaction in office buildings. The proposed study presents findings from the survey conducted at the University of Calabria (Italy). In particular, both demographic characteristics of the sample and data regarding comfort, satisfaction, and productivity are processed and investigated. Descriptive statistical analysis is developed with the aim of highlighting the influence of indoor comfort conditions on the perceived productivity of employees. Particular attention is dedicated to the study of gender-related differences in internal environment perception. Indoor temperature, quality of indoor air, and acoustics are the most selected causes of dissatisfaction and low perceived productivity both for women and men. The responses regarding satisfaction level and perceived productivity are also combined by defining a quantitative indicator named Office Productivity and Satisfaction index (OPSi) that is the ratio between the perceived productivity and the satisfaction level of the considered comfort condition. Causes of discomfort are also analyzed and demonstrated gender-related differences in workplaces quality evaluation.