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Open University of Malaysia

WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT AND ITS IMPACT ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

A study submitted to Project Management Department in Saudi Aramco

BY

Nowier Mohammed Al-Anzi

Open University of Malaysia 2009

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Open University of Malaysia

WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT AND ITS IMPACT ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

A study submitted to Project Management Department in Saudi Aramco

Nowier Mohammed Al-Anzi 51060418

Project Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Business Administration

Open University of Malaysia 2009

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DECLARATION

Name Student's Number

: Nowier Mohammed Al-Anzi : 51060418

I hereby declare that this project paper is the result of my own work, except for quotations and summaries which have been duly acknowledged.

I hereby verify this research has not been submitted in substance for any other degree.

Signature:

Date:

Supervisor Name: Mr. Iqbal Singh Kaundali

Signature:

Date:

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APPLICATION TO CONDUCT RESEARCH PAPER

PART A: STUDENT PARTICULAR

1. Name Student's Number

:

Nowier Mohammed Al-Anzi

: 51060418

PART B: PARTICULARS ABOUT THE PROJECT

1. Title of the project

: Workplace Environment and Its Impact on Employee Performance : To determine the impact of work environment on employees' productivity

2. Research Objective

3. Proposed Research Method Research Design

: Questionnaire

PART C: FUCULITY'S INPUTS

1. Topic chosen: Acceptable/Not acceptable: 2. Suggested supervisor for the student: Mr. Iqbal Singh

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Kaundali

RESEARCH PROPOSAL SUBMISSION FORM

Project Paper Title: Workplace Environment and Its Impact on Employee Performance

Director Open University of Malaysia (OUM) Bahrain Branch Dear Sir, Attached are the following documents for evaluation and approval: Chapter1 : Chapter2 : Chapter3 : Chapter4 : Chapter5 : References Appendix Introduction Literature Review Research Methodology Results and Data Analysis. Discussion and Implication of the Study.

I have thoroughly checked my work and I am confident that it is free from major grammatical errors, weaknesses in sentence construction, spelling mistakes, referencing mistakes and others, I have checked with OUM MBA program guidelines for writing project paper and I am satisfied that the project paper proposal satisfied its requirements. Thank you, Student Signature: ___________________ Date: __________________

I have read the student research proposal and I am satisfied that it is in line with the OUM MBA program guidelines for writing project proposal. It is also free from major grammatical errors, sentence construction weaknesses, citation and others.

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Supervisor's Signature: _________________

Date: __________________

DEDICATION

This dissertation is dedicated in memory of my beloved father, Mohammed AlAnzi, who frequently told me as a young child and growing woman that "with hard work you can accomplish anything and become what you desire."

Also, I dedicate this work to my beloved Mother, Moheia Al-Anzi. Her valuable support, sincere advice, and prayers carried me through and helped me succeed.

And last but not least I would like to dedicate this work to my brothers and sisters. Also to me dear friend Faten Azer Al-Balawi, who accompany me in my studying journey and support me a lot. I would not have been able to complete my Master degree without support of my family. Their confidence in my abilities has been driving me to successes and accomplishes the goals that I set.

Nowier Mohammed Al-Anzi

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First and foremost, all praise is due to Allah Subhana-wa-ta'ala for bestowing me with health, knowledge and patience to complete this work. The almighty, who alone made this accomplishment possible. I seek his mercy, favor and forgiveness. I wish to begin by thanking my advisor, Dr. Iqbal Singh Kaundali, thank you for the wisdom, understanding, and compassion that you have imparted to me and my ideas. I have been blessed to have such a brilliant mentor to help me navigate the dissertation process. You have offered guidance, support, and unwavering patience throughout this process.

I am grateful to my parents, brothers and sisters for their extreme moral support, encouragement and patience during the course of studies as well as throughout my academic career. No personal development can ever take place without the proper guidance of parents.

This work is dedicated to my parents for their constant prayer and never ending love.

.

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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS.....................................................viii ABSTRACT............................................................. .1

CHAPTER 1:

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background.................................................................................3 1.2ProblemStatement........................................................................ ...7 1.3 Objectives of the Study...................................................................18 1.4 Significance of the Study................................................................25 1.5 Definition of Terms.......................................................................28 1.6 Limitations of the Study.................................................................30

CHAPTER 2:

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Personality, Work Environment, and Performance ..............................31

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2.2 Theory and Hypotheses.................................................................34 2.3 The Key Factors of Employee's Health That Effect Their Productivity......37 2.4) Relationship between Office Design work environment and Productivity ..41

CHAPTER 3:

RESEARCHMETHODOLOGY

3.1 Research Design..........................................................................50 3.2 Study Population ..........................................................................50 3.3 Sampling Procedure:.....................................................................51 3.4 Data Collection Procedures............................................................52 3.5 Instrumentation...........................................................................61 3.6 Scale Validity and Reliability .........................................................62

CHAPTER 4:

RESULT AND DATA ANALYSIS

4.1 Data Analysis.........................................................................63

CHAPTER 5:

5.1 Discussion and Conclusion .........................................................67

LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................71 APPENDIX...................................................................78 QUESTIONAIRE...........................................................79

List of Figures

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Figure 1: workplace Environment and its Impact on employee's Performance.5 Figure 2: Employees' Performance& Productivity.....................................6 Figure 3: Employees' Wellbeing and Work Environment............................6 Figure 4: Office design and Productivity.................................................7 Figure 5: Quality of work Environment & Productivity..............................16 Figure 6: The effect of sky on workplace................................................47 Figure 7: The effect of five basic elements on productivity.........................55

List of Tables

Table 1: Work Environment Factors Affecting Performance....................21 Table 2: Costs of occupational accidents and illhealth.............................38 Table 3: Mean of factors...............................................................56 Table 4: Overall Responses according to Gender...................................57 Table 5: Correlation between Elements of Office Design and Employee Productivity.59 Table 6: Regression Results of Model...........................................................60 Table 7: Example of questionnaire........................................................62

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Abstract

Management's new challenge is to create a work environment that attracts, keeps, and motivates its workforce. The responsibility lies with managers and supervisors at all levels of the organization. Businesses must step outside their traditional roles and comfort zones to look at new ways of working. They have to create a work environment where people enjoy what they do, feel like they have a purpose, have pride in what they do, and can reach their potential. Today's workplace is different, diverse, and constantly changing. The typical employer/employee relationship of old has been turned upside down. Workers are living in a growing economy and have almost limitless job opportunities. This combination of factors has created an environment where the business needs its employees more than the employees need the business.

The project is discussing the quality of the employee's workplace environment that most impacts on the level of employee's motivation and subsequent performance. The main objective of this study is to find out the relationship between office design and productivity I develop hypotheses for and test the model presented. In developing my model, I begin with a discussion of the relationship between personality, work environment and performance, followed by a literature review of the relationships between Big Five personality factors, health, work environment, and employee performance and commitment. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between personality, work environment preferences, and the outcome variables, performance and commitment. Also to discuss the key factors in the employee's workplace environment that impact greatly on their level of motivation and performance. Also to assess the effect of employees' health on their work performance Five Factors That Affect Employee's Productivity Managers and supervisors will need to be comfortable with working with the whole gamut of workplace factors that influence employee motivation. Attitude, Boss, Health, Tech Tools and Downsizing and Outsourcing

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The underlying thread is management has started to realize if its employees are dissatisfied, they can easily find employment elsewhere. So the smart managers and businesses have started to create a positive work environment to be the winners of tomorrow's workplace. Business leaders are urged to take more account of the links between good workplace design and improved business performance when planning and designing new buildings, and overhauling old ones.

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CHAPTER 1:

Introduction

1.1Background of the Study:

It is the quality of the employee's workplace environment that most impacts on the level of employee's motivation and subsequent performance. How well they engage with the organization, especially with their immediate environment, influences to a great extent their error rate, level of innovation and collaboration with other employees, absenteeism and, ultimately, how long they stay in the job. The main objective of this study is to find out the relationship between office design and productivity .For this purpose, 200 employees of Project Management were contacted and studied. The findings of this study show that office design is very vital in terms of increasing employees' productivity. Comfortable and ergonomic office design motivates the employees and increases their performance substantially.

Most people spend fifty percent of their lives within indoor environments, which greatly influence their mental status, actions, abilities and performance (Sundstrom, 1994). Better outcomes and increased productivity is assumed to be the result of better workplace environment. Better physical environment of office will boosts the employees and ultimately improve their productivity. Various literature pertain to the study of multiple offices and office buildings indicated that the factors such as dissatisfaction, cluttered workplaces and the physical environment are playing a major role in the loss of employees' productivity (Carnevale 1992, Clements-Croome 1997).

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Figure 1: workplace Environment and its Impact on employee's Performance

Hughes (2007) surveyed 2000 employees pertain to various organizations and industries in multiple levels. The reported results of these survey showed that nine out of ten believed that a workspace quality affects the attitude of employees and increases their productivity. Employees in different organizations have different office designs. Every office has unique furniture and spatial arrangements, lighting and heating arrangements and different levels of noise. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of the office design factors on employees' productivity. The literature reveals that good office design has a positive affect on employees' productivity and the same assumption is being tested in this study for the offices of Saudi Aramco, Project Management in Saudi Arabia. This study will try to find out the effects of office design on employees' productivity. The area chosen in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. The study will be based on primary data collected through a structured questionnaire (Appendix 1).

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Many managers do not have much flexibility in their staffing patterns in the short-term, and managers must "deal with the hand they are dealt." In such situations, controlling the work environment is often the most feasible short-term option, beyond skill training, for improving outcomes. There are other factors that when combined provide a more powerful determinant of employee performance. When these other factors are missing or diluted, the employee does come to work only for a paycheck. In this case, the employee is present at work in body only, leaving their mind outside the gate. Health, office design and work environment have become common topics in the mainstream media, in practitioner-oriented magazines and journals and, increasingly, in scholarly research journals. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between personality, work environment preferences, and the outcome variables, performance and commitment. In this research, first I review the literature that serves to define health and well-being in the workplace, favorable work environment and ideal office design. I then discussed the primary factors associated with productivity and performance, the consequences of low levels of health and well-being, advanced strategies to adapt right office design and workplace factors that effect performance. Finally, I highlight important future directions for future theory, research, and practice regarding environment and working ability from an organizational perspective. I develop hypotheses for and test the model presented. In developing my model, I begin with a discussion of the relationship between personality, work environment and performance, followed by a literature review of the relationships between Big Five personality factors, health, work environment, and employee performance and commitment. Increased personal control and comfort needs of employees triggered the concern among organizations to provide them with an environment and office design, which fulfills the employees' needs and helps to boost their productivity. The main objective of this study is to find out the relationship between work environment, office design and productivity. For this purpose employee working in offices of different designs are contacted and studied. The findings of this study will show how office design is very vital in terms of increasing employees' productivity. Comfortable office design motivates the employees and increases their performance substantially. Most people spend fifty percent of their lives within indoor environments, which greatly influence their mental status, actions, abilities and performance (Sundstrom, 1994). Better outcomes and increased productivity is assumed to be the result of better workplace environment. Better physical environment of office will boosts the employees and ultimately improve their productivity. Various literature pertain to the study of multiple offices and office buildings indicated that the factors such as dissatisfaction, cluttered workplaces and the physical environment are playing a major role in the loss of employees' productivity (Carnevale 1992, Clements- Croome 1997).

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The key factors that effect employees' productivity and performance fall into two categories: Those that are driven by procedures, protocols and management requirements (work environment) The factors that arise from premises, office or factory design (office design )

Employees' Performance & Productivity

Employees' Wellbeing and Work Environment

Office Design

Figure 2: Employees' Performance& Productivity

Figure 3: Employees' Wellbeing and Work Environment

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Office Design and Productivity

Furniture

Noise

Flexibility

Comfort

Communication Lighting

Temperature

Air Quality

Figure 4: Office design and Productivity

1.2 Problem Statement

1) The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between personality, work environment preferences, and the outcome variables, performance and commitment. 2) To discuss the key factors in the employee's workplace environment that impact greatly on their level of motivation and performance. 3) To assess whether office design is one of the factors in affecting employees' productivity. 4) To assess the effect of employees' health on their work performance

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Explanation: 1) The relationship between personality, work environment preferences, and the outcome variables, performance and commitment: Management's new challenge is to create a work environment that attracts, keeps, and motivates its workforce. The responsibility lies with managers and supervisors at all levels of the organization. Businesses must step outside their traditional roles and comfort zones to look at new ways of working. They have to create a work environment where people enjoy what they do, feel like they have a purpose, have pride in what they do, and can reach their potential. Today's workplace is different, diverse, and constantly changing. The typical employer/employee relationship of old has been turned upside down. Workers are living in a growing economy and have almost limitless job opportunities. This combination of factors has created an environment where the business needs its employees more than the employees need the business. What is the connection between work environment and performance? Research has shown that environment has a direct impact on the organization's financial and non-financial performance. There are two components to this environment; one is the organization's culture 1, the other is the climate within individual teams or work groups 2. Organizational culture ­ loosely defined as "the way we do things around here" ­ is comprised of formal and informal factors that are constantly in tension. For example ­ the need to do things differently and the need for consistent processes and procedures; the need to pay attention to the external environment when making decisions and at the same time to attend to the organizations internal needs. Organizations that understand and can balance such "creative tension" effectively are more able to achieve performance goals in ­ Profitability ­ Quality ­ Innovation ­ Market share ­ Sales growth ­ Employee satisfaction

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The second connection between environment and performance is at the team or work group level. This is where the majority of work occurs in information-driven or knowledge-driven organizations. Much more than individuals, groups are responsible for innovation and for processes and practices that have the ability to move the organization forward. Recent global research has shown that there are only three things that have a material impact on the ability of groups of qualified people to perform at high levels. All are related to the environment or culture in which the team operates. With these components teams can perform at unexpected levels. Without them, even the brightest, most energetic people lose focus and energy. Chalmers (1997) asks the following questions about consciousness How can a human subject discriminate sensory stimuli and react to them appropriately? How does the brain integrate information from many different sources and use this information to control behavior? How it that subject is can verbalize their internal states? How do physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experience? As we try to refine our approach to understanding the relationships between individuals and their performance outcomes in organizations, the context of such interactions will be highlighted. Although examination of direct linkages between employee personality dimensions and performance outcomes is receiving increasing support (Hurtz and Donovan, 2000; Motowidlo and Van Scotter, 1994; Van Scotter and Motowidlo, 1996), what remains less clear is the interaction and influence of the context or place on this relationship. Are dimensions of personality directly responsible for employee success in organizations, or do preferences employees have for factors in their work environment play a more significant role in the relationship? Although selecting employees on the basis of individual dispositions may have a positive impact on employee attitudes and performance, personality-based employee selection processes are notoriously inaccurate (Arthur et ai, 2001). And considering the increasingly large spans of control and reduced contact between employees and managers in work situations (De Meuse et al., 2001; Hendricks, 2001), an over-reliance on employee selection processes as a means of improving performance and commitment may be a less effective approach than effectively managing work environments. In addition, many managers do not have much flexibility in their staffing

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patterns in the short-term, and managers must "deal with the hand they are dealt." In such situations, controlling the work environment is often the most feasible short-term option, beyond skill training, for improving outcomes.

2) To discuss the key factors in the employee's workplace environment that impact greatly on their level of productivity and performance To keep employees satisfied today, it takes an entirely different approach than it did just a few years ago. Indeed, one-third of the executives surveyed by Robert Half International Inc. have changed their opinions and now say the work environment is the most critical factor in keeping an employee satisfied in today's business world. In 1993, only 9% said that the work environment was an important factor in keeping employees satisfied. Other critical factors include the importance of praise and recognition, and compensation each cited by 28% of those surveyed. Six years ago praise and recognition was at the top of the list, cited by 47% of those surveyed. Other significant changes include concern over promotions. Only 4% of executives say that promotions are a big factor in keeping employees satisfied today, compared with 26% who said that in 1993. Furthermore, the importance of compensation and benefits has risen to 28% from just 7% in the 1993 survey. An employee's workplace environment is a key determinant of their level of productivity. How well the workplace engages an employee impacts their level of motivation to perform. This then influences that employee's: Error rate Level of innovation Collaboration with other employees Absenteeism and, ultimately, how long they stay in the job. In any workplace, consistent employee absenteeism can be a potential problem. Consistent absenteeism can be a result of a combination of many factors: Lack of incentives, including employee insurance and performance bonuses or recognition, can cause employees to become apathetic and lose motivation. No performance or attendance policies mean that employees don't have to take responsibility for their own actions, including absenteeism and productivity.

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Unproductive working conditions can arise from any number of factors, including workers who are negative or disruptive. Unproductive working conditions can also result from a failure to equip employees with the right tools, training, software and supplies. Any of these may lead to stress and a noticeable slowdown in productivity, which affects a company's bottom line. Money is not a sufficient motivator in encouraging the superior workplace performance required in today's competitive business environment. Managers and supervisors will need to be comfortable with working with the whole gamut of workplace factors that influence employee motivation. Five Factors That Affect Employee's Productivity Attitude, Boss, Health, Tech Tools and Downsizing and Outsourcing 1.Boss A recent poll found that, among other things, an employee's productivity is determined by their relationship with their immediate supervisor. When the bad boss fails to keep promises, never gives credit when due, makes negative comments, or blames others for their mistakes, the productivity level of their employees is significantly impacted. "A poor supervisor is definitely the No. 1 factor that causes low productivity," said Barry L. Brown, President of a Florida-based consulting group. "It's been my experience that a good supervisor will motivate, inspire, encourage and reward good performance. A poor supervisor, of course, is just the opposite, only in multiples. Employees who do not have a direct connection with the company begin to lose all the reasons for wanting to do that little bit extra and take the additional time to make something right."

2.Health Health concerns, naturally, are a big drain on an employee's ability to be productive, and companies know it. At the SHRM Conference and Exposition last June in Washington, D.C., a survey showed that 85 percent of U.S. employers said they were interested in services to increase employee productivity, minimize absences and enhance the health of their employees.

3.Up to date Technology and Tools All the feel-good, psychological methods of improving employee productivity are great, but they're useless without the right tools. And the right tools mean the right technology. For an employee to be efficient and productive in today's job environment means equipping

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employees with the right gear. Companies that don't upgrade or ignore the necessity for tech tools like PCs, Blackberries, cell phones and other 21st century tools, run the risk of diminished employee productivity. Intel, the world's largest semi-conductor maker, found that wireless notebook PC users increased their productivity by 100 hours per year. They studied the work habits and productivity of more than 100 Intel employees who were upgraded to wireless notebooks and found a gain of more than two hours per week, more than paying for the cost of the upgrades in the first year. They also found that when workers were able to control more of their time, that productivity increased as well.

4.Downsizing and Outsourcing Ever vigilant of saving a buck and satisfying Wall Street, corporate America has turned to cutting corners by downsizing and outsourcing. Simply put, downsizing expensive labor while outsourcing a cheaper version. For employees remaining in those offices and factories, their morale and motivation can take a big hit. Translation: Will the moves to save money be contradicted by a loss in productivity from disgruntled employees? In most cases, employers fail to recognize that if they downsize or outsource, they need to provide support to the employees that remain. The psychological impact on employees can directly impact productivity, forcing many to focus on their second careers instead of the job at hand.

5.Attitude : Happy employees are productive employees. "An employee with a positive attitude usually enjoys the work that they do and feels empowered and recognized for their contributions," said Henning. "An employee that is complacent and does not really enjoy their work, but is simply there for a paycheck usually does not produce at a high level, develops a bad attitude and generally drags a team down." TD Industries in Dallas, Tex., has a unique way of making its employees feel valued and involved. One wall in the company has the photographs of all employees who have been with the company more than five years. Maybe that's why TD Industries was listed last year by Fortune magazine as one of the Top 100 Best Companies. To help create a more positive work environment follows my Hold, Keep, Seek and Review strategy.

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Keys to Increasing Employee Performance Based on recent employee surveys, several strategies were recommended, but this strategy alone accomplished several goals. First, the root cause was addressed by encouraging feedback and upward communication across the entire organization. Secondly, this strategy became the cornerstone of a recognition program that, while open to all, is awarded only to those who earn it. And thirdly, the company's investment in the program - the bonus - is derived from additional monies that the program itself generates. Strategy: "Great Ideas" Program 1. Employees submit ideas on how to make the company more efficient, cut costs, or increase revenue. 2. Can be done by paper, email, or via the company's intranet. Intranet is recommended, as it provides a documentation of the person and time the idea is submitted, eliminating potential conflicts. 3. All ideas will be evaluated. 4. There will be no limit to the number of ideas selected for merit. 5. An idea is selected for merit if, in management's sole opinion, it should be implemented. All employees who submit ideas of merit that are implemented will receive company-wide recognition and a bonus related to the financial impact of the idea on the company. The underlying thread is management has started to realize if its employees are dissatisfied, they can easily find employment elsewhere. So the smart managers and businesses have started to create a positive work environment to be the winners of tomorrow's workplace.

3) To assess whether office design is one of the factors in affecting employees' productivity It may not come as a complete surprise but the work we do in our office week out and week in is far more productive if the work takes place in a well designed office. A well designed office signals the values and objectives of the company and the use of design in office interiors communicates a company's values and identity. So why is it that so many companies still stuck with boring, unattractive and ultimately unproductive office designs? In most cases as always it comes down to two factors, office design cost both money and time. But these are short sighted costs.

Good workplace design can make a big difference in staff satisfaction, attraction, motivation and retention.

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It can also affect the level of knowledge and skills of workers, how innovative and creating they are, how they respond to business and technological change and how effective the organization is at attracting and retaining customers. The study by the Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment and the British Council for Offices has found even simple things such as good lighting and having adequate daylight can reduce absenteeism by 15 per cent and increase productivity by between 2.8 per cent and 20 per cent. Overall, recent statistics show absenteeism rates average 3 percent across all reporting industries and professions. While three percent may seem an insignificant number, it does not reflect the residual loss of performance, production or the financial impact on businesses.

In order for employees to be productive, they have to be comfortable in their work environment. Proper lighting plays a huge role in the visual comfort of employees, customers and other occupants. Systems that provide proper light distribution with reduced glare and dimmable capabilities gives users ultimate customization and control.

Business leaders are urged to take more account of the links between good workplace design and improved business performance when planning and designing new buildings, and overhauling old ones.

The report, Impact of Office Design on Business Performance, has also argued that how workplaces are design is going to become more important in the future as more and more workers work remotely or outside a formal workplace.

By next year, it has estimated, some 30 per cent of the world's top companies will have adopted a highly mobile work style model, with 35 per cent having a workforce located outside the boundaries of the conventional workplace.

In past, every employee was housed in a cubicle or individual office. These days, there are fewer permanent addresses; not every employee needs a personal work station in a digital workplace. The average office space used to be 70 percent cubicles and 30 percent collaborative or shared space. Today, that equation is 55 percent cubicles and 45 percent shared space. In the agile office, a hybrid solution often works best: small private rooms for concentrated work,

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personal work stations in open office settings for team work, and a variety of formal and informal meeting spaces.

Work spaces are simultaneously shrinking from a standard unit of 8 by 10 feet to one as small as 6 by 6 feet in an open office plan. Work station walls are coming down, to open up views and allow occupants to enjoy natural light. Companies are striving to make offices a healthy and comfortable workplace, using ergonomic furniture and accessories, proper lighting, and a functional design to minimize discomfort and distraction and consequently making employees work more productively.

Studies show that comfort and productivity are interrelated, and most experts agree that almost every office can benefit from a few changes in layout and organization.

Finding answers to following questions can help improve the comfort level of an office to increase the productivity of its people:

Who works in offices and what do they do all day? Where and how people work effectively? What is the best energy-efficient lighting that will increase employee productivity? Insufficient light will impact on visual inspection activities. So what are the requirements for light intensity and what type of light should be ideal to enhance productivity? Can vibration affect an individual's performance or safety? Is it a requirement to wear ear protection? Could this adversely affect performance? Does the work environment contain poor quality air that could cause fatigue or a reduction in performance?

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Figure 5: Quality of work Environment & Productivity

4) To find out if employees' health can directly or indirectly interrupt their work performance or productivity: Employee health and morale are often interrelated when it comes to productivity in the workplace. Unhealthy, ill, stressed employees will miss more days of work than their healthy counterparts, which can have a negative affect on morale and overall workplace performance. Many factors contribute to poor employee performance, including stress and a lack of communication. While business owners and corporate managers can find ways to boost worker morale, employees should also take some measures to discover methods of stress relief. Some professional environments are naturally stressful; it is particularly important for employees in these environments understand how to understand and manage stress.

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Our working environment affects our sense of well-being, health and motivation to go in to work at all. It is both an employer's responsibility, and in her interest, to ensure that employees work in a positive atmosphere because conditions at work can either maximize or minimize productivity and cause or prevent stress and fatigue. Poor seating, ventilation and lighting are detrimental to everyone's health. Interior designer Victor Nikiforov of Trio notes that color is also important and that light tones are best; that pale green is good for calming nerves, and that blue is soporific. He says that, ideally, a workplace should have a gym, a masseur and a lounge, because people are not robots and should be given the opportunity to rest in pleasant surroundings. This seems a good idea, because contemporary businesses are often idea-driven and employees need spaces where they can relax, be creative, share ideas and think privately when necessary. Elena Klimenko, in charge of HR at Accenture, said her company has project rooms where staff can work in groups if necessary, that offices have large windows and that the furniture is ergonomically designed. She mentioned that a corporate designer even came to Moscow to ensure the office met company standards, and added that as a result of good office design, staff is generally pleased to be back in the office on returning from meetings. In conclusion, given that we spend more waking hours in the office than in our own apartments, it seems essential that offices become a home away from home and even something better-- most of us cannot afford private gyms! As employers explore ways to improve the health, wellness and productivity of the workforce, incentives have emerged as an attractive tool. But employers remain concerned that incentives not become money Frivolously spent.

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1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are as follows: 1) To analyze work place physical design in Aramco offices in, Saudi Arabia. 2) To determine the impact of work environment on employees' productivity. 3) To analyze the impact of office design if any on gender of employees' performance 4) To assess the effect of employees' health on their work performance

Explanation:

1. To analyze work place physical design in Aramco offices in, Saudi Arabia.

"In the coming years, companies will succeed or fail depending on their ability to recruit and retain top skilled workers," said Hoskins. "Therefore, the office environment is taking on an increased responsibility to connect people and support strong corporate cultures that engage workers hearts and minds." Companies have come to realize the importance of comfort in the workplace environment, improving on functional ergonomic elements in order to retain quality personnel, increase productivity, and maintain a competitive edge. People spend hours making their home an environment that is not only secure, but also inviting. With the average American spending more than 40 hours a week nowadays at work, it has become all the more vital to have their work environment feel like home away from home.² Employees want more control over how their work environment looks and functions. Office design trends continue to meet the comfort needs of end-users. As the technology boom has no end in sight, designers and suppliers are forced to provide new concepts that facilitate these growing demands. In addition, as a more versatile and diverse work force emerges, evolving trends such as unlikely color combinations are expected to surface, satisfying a wide range of tastes. As the work force increases and space becomes less affordable, more offices will be designed around total space efficiency, flexibility, and comfort.

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Today's design community is also moving toward being environmentally friendly, or green. This focus strives to create healthier conditions for end-users and the environment through the use of recycled materials. As a result, workplace design now is largely influenced not only by trends in color, materials, furniture, lighting, and space planning, but also by environmental concerns. For today's designers, setting the mood and image is what corporate interior design is all about--open spaces, being colorful, not having a closed-door policy and using glass doors. In terms of keeping people, that builds community. Space drives function. One of the biggest trends is consolidation--bringing people together in less space and still making it an efficient process. Some companies are consolidating by taking employees from rental space in other parts of the country and bringing them together in one place so that communication and idea generating can happen easily. "Bringing everyone together into an owned building rather than using rental space outside of company headquarters is catching on fast," Rymshaw said. "Which means that companies get into a process of figuring out what kind of space their people really need to work in. Do they need an 8x10-foot work station, or is a 6x8-foot with the right storage and right counter space enough? How can they downsize? How can they get rid of the levels? The way businesses save space today is by efficient space planning, actually building in flexibility for change by not over stratifying the company. " Along these same lines, video conferencing has become popular. "This is also an important trend because it means that a meeting can now handle a lot more people," added Rymshaw. "But there's also the perception that a company is saving money on real estate and travel time, even though these rooms cost a fortune to build. Companies aren't disrupting an employee's day by asking him or her to fly into headquarters for a meeting. With many firms, the flexibility issue is in bringing everyone together." "We're creating telecommunication rooms that can do sophisticated presentations through video conferencing," said Rymshaw. "The idea of an employee being able to hook up his or her laptop anywhere and do desktop presentations on the screen in the front of the room has become attractive to many companies." Some companies are more up on this than others. The more technology driven a company is in what they make or what they do, the more technology has become a part of its life. Saudi Aramco is just getting into this. For Saudi Aramco it's a natural.

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Joan Heilly, vice president for facilities at GMAC, notes that if it weren't for their new modular workstations, her job would be twice as hard. "The new systems are helping us cope with overcapacity," she said. "Because of all the flexibility that was built into the design, we can take a manager's station and divided it into two analysts' workstations in a matter of minutes." Offices in Aramco are a good example of such modern trends of work designs. They build modules, depending on furniture system, that are more efficient for circulation. Depending on the furniture system they use, they have created more privacy and encourage more communication by how they set up those modules. So the other trend reflects in using systems furniture which is becoming more universal, more flexible and more technology driven. Every department in the company has a different way of working, and the company's system allows for flexibility. The company's office design encourages employees to work a certain way by the way their workstations are built. In doing so, the company is answering the firm's business plan while making sure their employees have everything they need to work. But, at the same time, the company also facilities group the ability to maintain inventory. The ongoing trend is open environment. It used to be that everyone had their own cubicle in Aramco offices but now it's more common to work in twos or fours with a shared conference table. Many of departments hold a quarter of a round table for each of four persons, which can be pushed together to make a round conference table. Individual lockers are provided to the employees as permanent storage space for their belongings. Workspaces are designed to allow for flexibility and efficiency, while incorporating the overall comfort factor. Modular workstations are set as a dominant alternative to a facility comprised of hallways and private offices. Employee common areas such as lunchrooms and outside seating are pretty larger and more accommodating than in the past. Also, reception areas are very spacious in order to present a bolder first impression. Reception desks reflect a very high-end element in the overall office design in Aramco, acting as a secondary source of branding for the company 2. To assess the impact of work environment on employees' productivity and performance: It is felt in general that improving the work environment increases productivity. Any quantitative proof of this statement is sparse and controversial. There are a number of interacting factors which affect productivity, including privacy, communications, social relationships, office system organization, management, as well as environmental issues. It is a much higher cost to employ people who work than it is to maintain and operate the building, hence spending money on improving the work environment may be the most cost effective way of improving productivity.

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Work Environment Factors Affecting Performance

Source paper

Factors affecting motivation , job satisfaction and performance

Aronoff and Kaplan

Physical setting, motivation, camaraderie, respect, satisfaction with goals, trade-offs expectations and equity. Locus of control, neuroticism, affectivity related to job satisfaction, education, age, cognitive ability, socio-economic status, career goals, task identity, autonomy, skill variety, feedback, congruence between personality and work environment. Job specification and requirements, communication system, status, reward, pay, organizational charter, identity, knowing job, initiatives, job security, control, pride and self-respect.

Arvey et al

Bakke

Blackler and Williams Identity, meaning of work, social interaction, responsibility to peer group, goal setting, equity, expectancy, group cohesiveness, peer pressure Relationship with management, relationship with co-workers, responsibility, pride of craft, self-respect, status, sense of usefulness and control over work. Responsibility and autonomy, pay, job security, relationship with coworkers, promotion prospects, company policy, supervision, the work itself and physical environment.

Brown

Sundstrom

Table 1: Work Environment Factors Affecting Performance The mind and body need to be in a state of health and well-being for work and concentration. This is a prime prerequisite for productivity. High productivity brings a sense of achievement for the individual as well as increased profits for the work organization.

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Past Surveys overwhelmingly point to the importance of good workplace environment for employee satisfaction. Over 90% say the quality of their working environment affects their mood and attitude about their work. Almost as many (89%) believe that the quality of their working environment is very important to their sense of job satisfaction. Given that roughly one in six employees considers his/her workplace unhealthy, it is worth examining specific job characteristics to determine the extent to which they correlate with employees' perceptions of healthy work environments. A clear and consistent picture emerges: trust, respect, a safe work environment, good co-worker communication, workfamily balance, job security, good supervision, job autonomy, and friendly and helpful coworkers correlate highly with perceptions of a healthy work environment. In the absence of any of these conditions, a workplace will be perceived by employees to be less healthy.

Stress in the Workplace Stress tops the list of employee complaints and is a major cause of many attendant health issues. It's proven that a high-stress environment, whether personal or work-related, creates significant health risks. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one such problem and may increase the incidence of heart attacks. Stress in the workplace is a leading cause of employee health issues and absenteeism. This can arise for any number of reasons, including a too-rigid or too-lax work environment. Worries about job security are on the rise in today's volatile market, which may be another cause of employee stress. Stress Statistics Our immune systems are affected by the strains of stress. Over time, stress can significantly weaken our immune systems, making us more susceptible to common colds and viruses. Some statisticians estimate that as many as 80 percent of illnesses are stressrelated.

Previous researches suggest that both work environmental and individual characteristics should be taken into account in order to capture sources of stress in modern working life . Granted, individual workers who perceive their workplace to be healthy still need to take responsibility for reducing their personal health risks, and employers can support them through a range of health promotion programs. The biggest sustainable gains in employee health and productivity result not from these programs, however, but from changing the overall work environment.

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3. To analyze the impact of office design if any on gender of employees' performance Workplace design may promote organizational success by creating environments that support work quantity, quality, and style, while improving turnover and absentee rates (Becker, 1981). When it comes to office design, function often follows form. When an office is configured to maximize employee interaction then collaboration becomes an integral part of every workday. Office designs based on setting up work areas wherever they are needed in the building can raise satisfaction while boosting density. Multi-purpose spaces, central placed common areas are examples of strategic office designs. Today's office design is led by the realization that collaboration is an increasingly critical ingredient the success of basically any business. But giving up the individual space, which cubicles and private offices give employees, on behalf of cooperation and collaboration of course doesn't fit all companies. As in most contexts the "one-size-fits-all" approach hardly ever works out. E.g. web programmers spitting out code need more privacy than salespeople using the telephone. Companies of today need to meet the business needs of today, most companies have a remote or mobile workforce, have diverse employee demographics, specific corporate and branding objectives and have an international workforce and global clients. Office design has to reflect this. Companies need to rethink the very fundamentals of office design. Gone is the 1960's legacy of workplaces dominated by cubicles and private offices. Office design founded on employee privacy and individuality is no longer.

An employee's workplace is responsible for 24 per cent of their job satisfaction level and this can affect staff performance by five per cent for individuals and 11 per cent for teams. In one major UK Company, staff turnover at a call centre reduced by 11per cent after a move to new well-designed offices and output doubled during the same period. Paul Morrell, CABE commissioner and president of the BCO, said: "As the pressures of competition place new demands on differentiation through quality of knowledge management and creative thought, new environments are needed to encourage interaction and teamwork. "Those employers who ignore the evidence of office design as an enabler of staff satisfaction and performance risk the loss of key staff and ultimately business success," he added.

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Richard Kauntze, chief executive of the British Council for Offices, said: "No part of the BCO's work is more important than developing a greater understanding of the relationship between an office building and the effectiveness of the people who work in it. "The workforce is by far the most valuable asset of any business, and almost always the biggest cost. A business that gives serious attention to the physical environment of the office is far more likely to increase staff productivity than one which ignores the building," he added. Poor workplace design, by contrast, is linked to lower business performance and higher level of stress experienced by employees. Poor workplace design (e.g., privacy needs not met, inefficient and inflexible workspace, communication barriers due to unshared space, and being located too far for direct reports) was considered the leading organizational factor hindering individual's physical, psychological, and social well-being and consequently work performance.

The costs of unhealthy and unsafe workplaces have been well documented and are calculated in terms of absenteeism

4. To assess the effect of employees' health on their work performance: According to the 2001 World Health Organization report, one person in four will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in their life1. And a 2006 report commissioned by five leading mental health charities states that at least one million adults in the UK are out of work with mental health problems2. Work-related stress is the root cause of a significant degree of mental ill health. Stress can manifest itself in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased staff turnover. Excessive stress can lead to fatigue, impaired judgment and decision-making and the onset of both mental and physical health problems. For more information on this aspect of mental health, see our fact sheet on dealing with workplace stress.

The impact of health on performance is demonstrated by a study of employees at the US banking giant Wachovia, which found that employees put through an energy renewal program outperformed a control group by 15% to 20% in achieving bottom line targets for sales and business growth (Schwartz & McCarthy 2006). The energy renewal

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program used simple, practical activities that helped reduce stress and improve energy levels.

Dealing with mental health in the workplace People with mental health problems are not a uniform or homogenous group. Individuals face challenges specific to themselves and many may need little or no support at work. However, discrimination against people who declare any mental health problems is still widespread - even though a significant proportion of the workforce faces mental health difficulties during their working life. Employers who wish to create a healthy work environment recognize the need to establish policies and procedures in the area of mental health that set out a tangible programme with measurable targets and an effective auditing process. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommend that a mental health policy should be an integral part of any organization's health and safety at work policy. Such an initiative demonstrates that the organization recognizes and accepts that mental health is an important issue and emphasizes the organization's commitment to promoting the mental health of its workforce. Seventy-five percent of the responding companies offer health management to their employees. Of the companies with health management, two-thirds use employee incentives with those programs.

As employers explore ways to improve the health, wellness and productivity of the workforce, incentives have emerged as an attractive tool. But employers remain concerned that incentives not become money frivolously spent. By and large, major companies represented in this survey are "on board" in offering health management, and most believe that incentives are cost-effective. A better understanding of positive effects of a good working environment would support the implementation of effective health and safety policy at company level. It would complement the set of rules and regulations with a significant parameter that is directly linked to the intrinsic motivation of a company.

1.4 Significance of the Study:

Innovation is the major driving force in organizations today. With the rise of truly global markets and the intensifying competition for customers, employees and other critical resources, the ability to continuously develop successful innovative products, services, processes and strategies is essential. While creativity is the starting point for any kind of

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innovation, design is the process through which a creative idea or concept is translated into reality. Many organizations still do not give much importance to workplace design. As many as 40percent of the employees believe that their companies want to keep their costs low that is why their workplaces have bad designs; and 46 percent of employees think that the priority list of their company does not have workplace design on top. When data was summarized, almost one out of every five employees rated their workplace environment from, `fair to poor'. 90 percent admitted that their attitude about work is adversely affected by the quality of their workplace environment. Yet again 89 percent blamed their working environment for their job dissatisfaction (Gensler, 2006). It is evident that there is less importance to office design, incentives and assisting facilities and also it is not available to the employees. The situation is that they cannot even complain about them. These circumstances are affecting the performance of the employees greatly, in the form of delay in work completion, frustration, effect on personal growth etc. This study will try to find out the effects of office design in terms of furniture, noise, lighting, temperature and spatial arrangement on employees' productivity. The aim of the research project is to see how important is the architectural design of an office, with focus on the plan layout, and how it influences the work satisfaction among the co-workers and their self-rated health. Their individual perception of the work environment is also going to be compared with the work satisfaction and the self-rated health. The main hypothesis for the research is that there is a relation between the co-workers\' self-rated health, work satisfaction and the design of the office layout. The project is based on a large case study of the four main types of offices that can be identified, the \'cell office\', the \'flex office\', the \'combi office\' and the office landscape. The office landscape itself is divided into three groups - the larger landscape (around 100 co-workers), the medium large office landscape (20-50 co-workers) and the smaller landscape (7 -15 people). Around 50 different offices are taking part in the study and they all are within the \'knowledge-based\' sector. Business line and different sizes of offices are represented in the study. Research concerning the influence of the physical environment on the individual has ranged over a broad spectrum. In environmental psychology, researchers have studied individual environmental factors, such as sound, to see how it affects the subjective perception of stress. The study shows that noise gives rise to dissatisfaction with the physical working environment. In management research there are studies which have attempted to chart the effect of the physical working environment on performance and efficiency. The results indicate that a highly rated physical working environment results in greater job satisfaction.

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In the area, architecture, that has a direct influence on the physical environment, there are few studies that show how design affects the end users. The impact and significance of work environment on employees' productivity is addressed in this study. Human resource professionals in the organizations are well aware of the importance of this issue. In the context of Saudi Arabia, this is a relatively new topic. Very few researches can be found in the field of Human Resource Management, this huge gap needs to be filled by new research scholars. In recent studies, Lighting was found to be the major factor, which is affecting the daily and overall productivity of employees in offices. Therefore, it is recommended to have proper and adequate artificial as well as natural light to improve the office design for better performance. Most of the organizations do not give importance to office design; this study will give them ample reasons to consider office design as an important factor in increasing their employees' productivity.

Many managers and supervisors labor under the mistaken impression that the level of employee performance on the job is proportional to the size of the employee's pay packet. Although this may be true in a minority of cases, numerous employee surveys have shown by and large this to be untrue. In fact, salary increases and bonuses for performance, in many instances, have a very limited short-term effect. The extra money soon comes to be regarded not as an incentive but as an "entitlement". The significance of employee goal-orientation preferences in fully mediating the relationship between personality and workplace outcomes provides further evidence to support the contention that the relationship between personality and performance may not be divagate, and that intervening variables play a substantial role. Future research should examine the dimensionality of both personality and outcomes in the workplace to understand the complexities of the relationship. In Sweden, sickness absence has been high among the working population in recent years. Ill health has become a macroeconomic problem. Research shows that psychosocial environmental factors have a great influence on mental and physiological health, and we know that job satisfaction probably plays an important part in this context. Psychological ill health is the most common cause of sickness absence among office workers. Increasing knowledge of the economic and social benefits of good safety and health performance at company level plays an important part in raising occupational health and safety levels. However, the economic approach to health and safety at company level cannot replace the value of the human requirements. Health and safety is part of the social and ethical role of a company. A company policy cannot only be based on economic parameters. It is difficult or

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even impossible to evaluate qualitative costs such as suffering, reduction in the quality of life, family problems, decrease of lifespan, and so on, in monetary terms. Safety and health of workers is a moral responsibility within our society that cannot only depend on productivity criteria within a particular company. This responsibility fits into the broader concept of the performance of a company. The final evaluation concerns not only the short term, but is more an issue of the long term. Better understanding of positive effects of a good working environment would support the implementation of effective health and safety policy at company level. It would complement the set of rules and regulations with a significant parameter that is directly linked to the intrinsic motivation of a company. We know much less of how the physical office environment affects office workers and their job satisfaction. The relationships among form, function and health and job satisfaction are complex. It is not enough to design office environments only on the basis of practical experience and professional preconceptions. Management wishes to have more interaction and information sharing among employees, so that creativity and efficiency at the workplace may be enhanced in this way and better results may be achieved in the long run. The research issue is whether, how and in what way the physical office environment can help improve office work. In my opinion, it is important to bring together the different disciplines so that we may have an opportunity to measure and assess the influence of the physical office environment on the employees. In other words: an interdisciplinary approach is essential. It is also important to apply a holistic view to the office environment, since it is the totality of different factors that constitutes the actual office environment. We believe that, with scientific knowledge of how the physical office environment affects those working there, expensive mistakes can be avoided. Our objective therefore is to translate the knowledge generated by this research into practical guidelines for the various stakeholders who are involved in creating our offices. The practical side of the theory is its ability to give good advice. With such a research based design, we should be able to create office environments that support both those working there and the organizations.

1.5 Terms Definition

Productivity: Productivity is that which people can produce with the least effort Productivity is a ratio to measure how well an organization (or individual, industry, country) converts input resources (labor, materials, machines etc.) into goods and services

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Office Design: The arrangement of workspace so that work can be performed in the most efficient way

Work Environment: Circumstances, influences, stresses, and competitive, cultural, demographic, economic, natural, political, regulatory, and technological factors (called environmental factors) that effect the survival, operations, and growth of an organization.

Mentoring Act of providing guidance and support to another (usually younger or less-skilled) person

Protocol Method of dealing with a certain subject; draft of a treaty; rules of behavior; memorandum, original record of a document; standard for dealing with data transfer . Protocol is a set of guidelines or rules that help in governing an operation on the internet and communications over it.

Emotional stability Emotional stability Psychology Consistency of mood and affect

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1.6 Limitations of the Study

Potential limitations of this study include the relatively small sample size and the crosssectional nature of the data in this exploratory study. As a result, generalize ability of the results may be limited. This research also relied on self-report surveys to measure employees' perceptions of their personality, commitment, and work environment preferences, which raises the potential for common method variance. Although the performance outcome measure was collected from managers, future research could utilize multiple rating sources for many of the variables, such as using friends or co-workers to rate personality.

Following are a few limitations of the study: The sample size is not diverse enough to give the image of all organizations functioning in Saudi Arabia. The data collected was based on subjective productivity measurement; some other objective method of collecting data can also be used. Data was collected by employing the simple method of structured questionnaires; other methods could have been used for collecting data. The survey was conducted in English language so it limited only to English speaking employees. The survey was bound to be completed in a certain time, so time limit was a barrier from investigating more employees and acquiring more information. As the survey comprises a large number of populations, so for the sake of ease only internet based data was collected.

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CHAPTER 2:

Literature Review

A widely accepted assumption is that better workplace environment produces better results. Mostly the office is designed with due importance to the nature of job and the individuals that are going to work in that office. The performance of an employee is measured actually by the output that the individual produces and it is related to productivity. At corporate level, productivity is affected by many factors such as employees, technology and objectives of the organization. It is also dependent on the physical environment and its affect on health and employees' performance.

2.1 Personality, Health, Work Environment, and Performance

According to Schneider (1987), "the people make the place," and people are differentially attracted to, differentially selected, and differentially leave organizations. Costa, McCrae, and Holland (1984) assert that people begin this process by selecting into vocations that match their personalities. Similarity between a job applicant's values and the values of recruiters and employees within organizations has been shown to result in improved work attitudes and increased performance after organizational entry (Judge and Cable, 1997; Chatman, 1991). Research by Cable and Judge (1994) and Judge and Cable (1997) provides evidence that applicants pro-actively choose such organizational environments based on individual preferences, as they found that job candidates seek organizations with reward systems and cultures that fit their personalities. Of even greater significance is the possibility that the relationship between personality characteristics and specific work environments may influence performance (Hurtz and Donovan, 2000). The general trend in the research has been towards increased optimism regarding the utility of personality tests in personnel selection with the goal of ultimately enhancing job performance (Behling, 1998; Hogan et al, 1996; Hum and Donovan, 2000; Mount and Barrick, 1995). Personality Traits as Sources of Stress:

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Past studies have indicated the potential impact of personality traits on job stress (Goldberg, 1993; Deary and Blenkin, 1996; Snyder and Ickes, 1985). Five personality dimensions that have been identified are neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (Costa and McCrae, 1985; McCrae and Costa, 1991; Costa and McCrae, 1992; McCrae, 1992). The neuroticism domain reflects one's degree of emotional stability and adjustment. Extraversion assesses the extent to which individuals are assertive, active, and talkative. Openness measures the extent to which persons are open to new experiences, are creative and imaginative, and prefer variety. Agreeableness reflects the extent to which one is altruistic and cooperative. Conscientiousness measures one's self-control and purposefulness and is associated with academic and occupational achievement.

Of these five personality dimensions, neuroticism has been found to have a positive relationship with job stress (Deary and Blenkin, 1996; Tellegen, 1985; Birch and Kamali, 2001). The general consensus has been that personality holds utility as a predictor of job performance, specifically the conscientiousness dimension (Behling, 1998). Research has also provided evidence of linkages between personality dimensions with narrower facets of performance. Research by Motowidlo and Van Scotter (1994; Van Scotter and Motowidlo, 1996) suggests that personality has a larger impact on contextual (as opposed to taskoriented) dimensions of performance; specifically, extraversion and agreeableness were more strongly related to interpersonal facilitation. Hurtz and Donovan (2000) found that emotional stability and agreeableness were also significant predictors of interpersonal facilitation, and emotional stability was a predictor of task performance.

However, a number of different studies have begun to illustrate that the effects of personality on performance may be more indirect. Recent research indicates the intervening effects of performance expectancies, self-efficacy, and goal setting on the relationship between conscientiousness and performance (Barrick et al, 1993; Gellatly, 1996; Martocchio and Judge, 1997). These studies illuminate a significant gap in the literature-that Age research to date has disproportionately focused on the direct linkage between personality and performance, and ". . . if we are to truly understand the relationship between personality and job performance, we must move beyond this divaricated relationship and toward specifying the intervening variables that link these domains" (Hurtz and Donovan, 2000:

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877). A widely accepted assumption is that better workplace environment produces better results. Mostly the office is designed with due importance to the nature of job and the individuals that are going to work in that office. The performance of an employee is measured actually by the output that the individual produces and it is related to productivity. At corporate level, productivity is affected by many factors such as employees, technology and objectives of the organization. It is also dependent on the physical environment and its affect on health and employees' performance. The most important of workplace environment factors that either lead to engagement or disengagement are shown in the following diagram. A close consideration of each of these factors is also very useful in ensuring that employees apply the skills they learn during training programs once they return to their workplace. Tending to the structural and interpersonal aspects of each of these factors enables employees to apply the required skills in a consistent and habitual way.

According to Moos (1981), work environment preferences can be measured using three dimensions of work environment settings: system maintenance, goal orientation, and relationship dimensions. System maintenance refers to how orderly and organized the work setting is, how clear it is in its expectations, and how much control it maintains. Goal orientation assesses the degree to which an environment encourages or stifles growth through providing for participation in decision making and autonomy, maintaining a task orientation, and providing job challenge and expectations for success and accomplishment. The relationship dimension measures the degree of interpersonal interaction in a work environment, such as the social communication exchanges and cohesion among workers, and the friendship and support provided by co-workers and management. These work environment preferences have been shown to affect individuals' personal functioning at work (Billings and Moos, 1982). Examination of work environment preferences can help identify organizational factors that may be problematic, and can guide interventions aimed at reducing employee stress in a variety of work settings.

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The key factors that effect employees' productivity and performance fall into two categories: Management driven factors include the development of:

· Organization plans such as the allocation of responsibilities at all levels of the organization, definition of job descriptions and the degree of access to the management and administrative support needed to complete their tasks; ·Working patterns, shift-working, break times, absence or holiday cover; and ·Health and safety policies, including the provision of training, development of safe working practices and the adequate supply of protective clothing and equipment.

The factors that arise from premises, office or factory design : Furniture Workspace availability Light intensity Weather/temperature Ventilation/humidity Noise/vibration Premises hygiene/welfare facilities

2.2 THEORY AND HYPOTHESES

For the reasons which follow, we believe that the personality factors conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion-will work specifically through goal orientation and relationship work environment preferences on their way to influencing job performance and commitment. The personality factors openness to experience and emotional stability will manifest themselves in relationship and system maintenance work environment preferences, and through their influence on such preferences will affect job performance and commitment.

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Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion and Employee Performance: Conscientiousness is the personality trait most strongly linked to performance outcomes. Two recent meta-analyses provide strong linkages between conscientiousness and employee outcomes. Salgado (2003) found that, of the Big Five dimensions, conscientiousness was the strongest predictor of job performance. Judge and Hies (2002) also found that conscientiousness was a strong and consistent predictor of performance motivation.

However, the potential influence of the mediating effects of work environments on the conscientiousness-performance relationship has been hinted at in several recent empirical studies. Research by Witt, Burke, Barrick, and Mount (2002) and Witt and Ferris (2003) found that low levels of social skill on the part of conscientious employees removed the significant relationship with performance. This result indicates the potential importance of the interpersonal interaction-oriented relationship dimension of work environments as a mediator in the conscientiousness-performance relationship.

The importance of the goal achievement dimension and maintaining a task orientation in work environments on the conscientiousness-performance relationship has been indicated in research by Stewart, Fulmer, Barrick, and Hollenbeck (2005), whereby conscientious employees were shown to focus on task role behavior in their pursuit of team performance outcomes. The relationship between conscientiousness and increased commitment also seems to have a goal achievement mediator, as Moon (2001) found that conscientiousness operational zed through achievement-striving was associated with an escalation of commitment.

The relationship between the personality dimension of agreeableness and performance has also received some recent support. Agreeableness may lead to enhanced customer contact and interactions, and improved relationships and communication with managers. Agreeable employees may be viewed as more trustworthy, and as possessing higher levels of integrity, which can aid them in customer relationships and in access to valued information (Costa and McCrae, 1995; Sackett and DeVore, 2001).

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The work environment dimension of goal achievement may play a significant mediating role in the relationship between extraversion and employee outcomes. In examining the ratings of performance in a sales job, Barrick et aL (2002) found that an individual's striving for status and accomplishment mediated the extraversion-performance relationship. And Barry and Stewart (1997) noted that extraverts induce perceptions of their contributions to group outcomes by focusing on providing task related inputs. Such task- and accomplishmentoriented efforts indicate the importance to extraverts of goal achievement-oriented work environments.

In summary, our review of the literature suggests that the personality factors conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion manifest themselves in preferences for goal- and relationship-oriented work environments, which in turn affect employee performance and commitment.

Openness to Experience and Employee Performance: Openness to experience has been described as an employee's desire to be intellectually curious, imaginative, and open to possibilities. We often hear of business coveting employees who can "think outside the box" or can adapt and change to solve complex problems in a continuously evolving work environment (Burke and Win, 2002). It appears that the research on the openness to experience-performance relationship has reinforced the idea that dynamic work environments in which learning and adaptation are required tend to enhance the openness-performance link. Bing and Lounsbury (2000) found that openness predicted variance in job performance above and beyond all of the other dimensions of the Big Five. However, the sample consisted of employees in U.S.-based Japanese manufacturing firms, of whom a large amount of employee training, adaptability, and change were required. Generally, the research indicates strong linkages between openness to experience and enhanced performance in such learning and adaptation-oriented environments as decision making (Lepine, 2000; Colquitt et al., 2002) and training proficiency (Salgado, 1997). This may indicate a negative relationship with the mediating work environment dimension of system maintenance, which emphasizes control, order, and organization.

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Employees with high levels of openness to experience may also benefit from highly relationship-oriented work environments, as Nikolaou (2003) found that openness to experience was related to performance only for occupations involving higher levels of social interaction. The relationship between openness to experience and employee commitment may also be mediated by relationship dimensions of work environments. In a three-wave longitudinal study of employees, openness was associated with higher levels of proactive socialization behavior and relationship building, which were related to employee commitment outcomes of turnover intentions and actual turnover (Wanberg and KammeyerMueller, 2000).

2.3 The Key Factors of Employee's Health That Effect Their Productivity:

Health concerns, naturally, are a big drain on an employee's ability to be productive, and companies know it. At the SHRM Conference and Exposition last June in Washington, D.C., a survey showed that 85 percent of U.S. employers said they were interested in services to increase employee productivity, minimize absences and enhance the health of their employees. Estimates show that 18 to 20 million American adults age 19 to 64 are not working due to a disability or chronic disease, or are not working because of health reasons. Roughly 69 million workers reported missing days due to illness last year, for a total of 407 million days of lost time at work. Along these same lines, nearly 40 percent of U.S. workers experience fatigue, according to a study in the January "Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine." Researchers noted that the effects of fatigue, most related to a wide range of physical and mental health problems, on health-related lost productive time is not just absenteeism but also days the employee is at work and is performing at less than full capacity because of health reasons. For U.S. employers, fatigue carries overall estimated costs of more than $136 billion per year in health-related lost productivity, $101 billion more than for workers without fatigue. Eighty-four percent of the costs were related to reduce performance while at work, rather than absences.

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Non-tangible Victim Pain and suffering Moral and psychological suffering (especially in the case of a permanent disability) Moral and psychological suffering Medical and family burden Bad feeling Worry or panic (in case of serious or frequent accidents)

Tangible Loss of salary and premiums Reduction of professional capacity Loss of time (medical treatments) Financial loss Extra costs Loss of time and possibly also of premiums Increase of workload Training of temporary workers Internal audit Decrease in production Damages to the equipment, material Quality losses Training of new staff Technical disturbances Organizational difficulties Increase of production costs Increase of the insurance premium or reduction of the discount Administration costs Legal sanctions Loss of production Increase of social security costs Medical treatment and rehabilitation costs Decrease of the standard of living

Family and friends

Colleagues

Company

Deterioration of the social climate Bad reputation Weakening of human relations

Society

Reduction of the human labor potential Reduction of the quality of life

Table 2: Costs of occupational accidents and ill-health

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The Table shows clearly that occupational accidents and ill health can have serious consequences for individual workers, for their families and social networks, as well as for companies and society as a whole. In the Saudi Aramco, people are considered most important resource. Without good health and proper working conditions, people cannot produce to their optimum capacity, and thus may fail to reach both their own professional potential and the productivity required to make the Saudi Aramco function effectively. Their goal is to assist the employee in maximizing optimum health and professional productively while minimizing the ill effects of work area stress and hazards. Employees in Saudi Aramco are given job-related health information and counseling as soon as they begin in processing and it is continued throughout their period of employment. Initially the employee's health is evaluated in relation to the job to be performed, and the employee is orientated to the resources of Health Program. The employee's supervisor also notes physical/health problems the employee may have on the job or within the working environment. The employee is periodically instructed about potentially hazardous conditions existing in the work environment. Occupational health nurses give presentations to supervisors regarding their responsibility for employee health and safety and the Health staff also arranges for presentations on specific health problems that may affect certain groups of employees. In order to insure that the Health Program is effective, periodic visits are made to work areas by environmental and occupational health specialists. Workplace safety and health conditions are examined, along with any adverse results these conditions might have on employee health and safety. Problem areas are reported and corrective action is recommended. Recommended immunizations for employees working in hazardous areas are provided. When available, influenza vaccine is offered annually on a voluntary basis to all Saudi Aramco employees.

Emotional Stability and Employee Performance We all have our emotional ups and downs. Our ability to manage our moods in the face of everyday stresses is one of the secrets to job satisfaction. Emotional stability is the ability to handle pressure and stress, to consistently carry out responsibilities, and self-discipline. Emotionally stable employees are able to maintain a problem-solving attitude when dealing with a wide range of stressful work conditions.

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Neuroticism reflects one's tendency to experience negative affects such as fear, sadness, embarrassment, anger, guilt, and disgust (Costa and McCrae, 1992). According to previous scholars (Costa and McCrae, 1985, 1992), a higher level of neuroticism implies a higher level of psychological distress, emotional instability and maladjustment. Hence, people with neuroticism traits are those who experience more negative emotions, which would be reflected in poor job attitudes, and high levels of job stress. People with high levels of neuroticism (representing the negative pole of emotional stability) are described as depressed, insecure, and anxious. Tellegen (1985) suggested that neuroticism functions as a warning system, activated by perceptions of environmental uncertainty, and tends to interfere with one's ability to adapt. Thus, individuals high in neuroticism are thought to be less able to both control their impulses and cope effectively with stress.

In work settings, individuals high in neuroticism are emotionally unstable and experience negative affect (Costa and McCrae, 1985). Such information seems to suggest that these individuals are likely to perceive greater organizational stressors, which in turn, lead to higher job stress. Thus, one would expect the effects of organizational stressors on job stress among these individuals to be greater compared to those who are low in neuroticism. Generally, the stress level of employees with low levels of neuroticism shows an increasing trend when the unfavorable work environment level increases from low to high. Specifically, increase in job stress is at an increasing rate when the level of unfavorable work environment is perceived to range from moderate to high as opposed to when the level of unfavorable work environment is perceived to range from low to moderate. For employees with high level of neuroticism, their job stress level seems to remain constant when the level of unfavorable work environment is between low to moderate. However, the job stress level experienced by employees who have high neuroticism tend to decrease when the level of unfavorable work environment ranges from moderate to high.

Neuroticism was found to moderate the relationships between three organizational stressors (alienation, work overload, and unfavorable work environment) and job stress. For employees with low neuroticism, when the alienation level is low to moderate, their stress

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level showed an increasing trend and a decreasing one when the alienation level moves from moderate to high. For employees with high level of neuroticism, their job stress level decreases with low to moderate alienation level and increases as the alienation level moves from moderate to high. So low to moderate levels of work alienation are considered to be more preferable among employees with high neuroticism whilst moderate to high preferable levels of work alienation are more preferable among employees with low neuroticism.

These traits are considered would not facilitate effective job performance, and Barrick and Mount (1991) have argued that such individuals are often selected out of the labor pool altogether. It should not be surprising that in the Judge and Hies (2002) meta-analysis, emotional stability was the strongest and most consistent correlate of performance motivation. A similar result was obtained in a met analysis of European data (Salgado, 1997). Emotional stability has also been shown to positively and significantly predict academic performance (Nguyen et al, 2005) and turnover intentions (Caligiuri, 2000). Further, a meta-analysis conducted by Frye (2001) suggests that neuroticism is the latent construct underlying lower levels of self-esteem, lower self-efficacy, an external locus of control, and lower job satisfaction.

The impact of emotional stability/ neuroticism seems to be related to the ability to form and maintain positive relationships in one's work environment. Van Vianen and De Dreu (2001) found that high levels of emotional stability contributed to social cohesion in teams, and high levels of neuroticism predict anger and neglect in relationships (Barta and Kiene, 2005). We hypothesize that the relationship between emotional stability and employee performance and commitment is mediated by the relationship work environment dimension.

2.4) Relationship between Office Design and Productivity

Over the years, many organizations have been trying new designs and techniques to construct office buildings, which can increase productivity, and attract more employees. Many authors have noted that, the physical layout of the workspace, along with efficient management processes, is playing a major role in boosting employees' productivity and improving organizational performance (Uzee, 1999; Leaman and Bordass, 1993; Williams et al. 1985).

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The Gensler 2006 U.S. Workplace Survey reveals that workplace design has a very real impact on companies' bottom lines. In fact, the effect of office design on worker productivity in the U.S. is estimated to be at least $330 billion annually for the eight industry groups sampled in the survey, according to an analysis and an independent research firm conducted a research on US workplace environment (Gensler, 2006). These survey findings suggest businesses that ignore the design and layout of their workplaces are failing to optimize. According to the survey, office workers believe they would be 21% more productive if given a better working environment. Almost half say they would log an extra hour per day under such improved circumstances. The Gensler 2006 U.S. Workplace Survey is part of the firm's annual inquiry into the impact of design on business performance and builds on an earlier workplace survey conducted by Gensler's U.K. office. "Businesses are waking up to the fact that the workplace is much more than just real estate and a means to house their people," said Diane Hoskins, an Executive Director at Gensler. "They are embracing performance-focused workplace design as a strategic business initiative--as the forum that can drive employee excellence, business objectives, and ultimately, the bottom line." According to the survey, nine in ten workers believe that better office design leads to better overall employee performance, and also makes a company more competitive. Nearly 90% of senior executives, including occupants of the C-suite, feel that a better physical working environment would have a positive impact on their company's bottom line. They also estimate that their companies would be able to perform an average of 22% more work if their companies had better designed physical working environments. The work environment can also have an impact on an individual's ability to work safely, competently and in compliance with operational performance targets. It is important to address the following: Furniture Workspace availability Light intensity Weather/temperature Ventilation/humidity Noise/vibration Premises hygiene/welfare facilities

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Furniture Office furniture comprises of desks chairs, the filing system, shelves, drawers, etc. All these components have a specific role to play in the proper functioning of any office and the productivity and the efficiency of the employees. And, one of the most important thing to be considered while buying office furniture is to ensure whether it is ergonomic or not. Ergonomics of office furniture is important because an employee has to work with them for the entire time that he is on office, and if they are uncomfortable and not user friendly, their working style and efficiency gets hampered considerably, in turn affecting the overall organizations. Non-ergonomic office furniture can also lead to health problems of employees, which again has an adverse effect on the productivity. Ergonomic office furniture ensures that each employee gels well with the things around him, like desks, chairs, computer alignment and even environmental factors. If the employee is uncomfortable due to any reason, his work is bound to get affected. If all factors surrounding the employee are ergonomically correct, then the employee will be comfortable and remain motivated to give his best. These days' organizations consult, and even employ ergonomic experts that advice people on how to improve their office ergonomics and what type of furniture would be suitable to make the ergonomics of a work place better. Having ergonomic office furniture reduces the chances of any risk injury. They are designed in manner that makes them safe to be had around and also reduce the possibility of any accidents in the work place. Office furniture like desks can be designed to give greater leg room and adequate support to the elbows while working on the computer. The positioning of the computer monitor and the mouse should also be adequate, so that the user does not have to strain his vision to view and stretch uncomfortably far to reach them. Office furniture helps the organization tremendously in increasing its productivity, and at the same time taking care of the employees' health.

Noise: It is probably the most frequently forgotten of the environmental pollutants whose effects can be far-reaching. Noise harms us in more ways than we can think of and at times without us even knowing about it. We cannot have a noise free world but we sure can have a noise safe world. There are various sources of noise pollution. In some places noise from construction projects predominate, while in others it is vehicular traffic or noise from airports. Other sources include the noise in occupational settings or even the noise of simultaneous conversations. In our country unleashed loudspeakers disturb the neighborhood on seemingly endless nights, where the laws are either battered in the name of religion or just for fun.

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Talking of the business world, office noise poses some serious concerns. But the severity of this potential problem is overlooked. In a recent study completed for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) by Yankelovich Partners, 70% of office workers polled agreed that productivity can increase if office noise is decreased. But a subsequent study (conducted for ASID by LC Williams and Associates) proved that business executives do not acknowledge office noise: 81% of those who polled reported they were not concerned with office noise. Through this discrepancy, it is apparent that companies must increase their attentiveness of the acoustic environments of open-office spaces, if business success is to be achieved. Beyond productivity, office acoustics also affects employee health and safety. Many studies acknowledge that noise (even at low levels) is a cause of stress that causes health problems such as digestive disorders, headache, hypertension, and ulcers. Unhealthy employees not only would be a cause of concern but also their health is directly proportional to their productivity and hence their performance. One of the most important aspects of an open office, as far as productivity is concerned, is the ability to conduct work without distraction. Architects and interior designers have a big and profound responsibility to design functional and sound safe environments. It is very difficult, if not impossible to meet these goals without considering acoustics. Acoustics is essential to the functioning of almost every type of environment. Some environments can even become dangerously loud and unsafe for the occupants. In order to effectively address these issues, acoustics should be considered in the design phase itself. If your space does not meet the needs of the end user or is found to be unsafe, you could be held liable, and worst yet, you could be putting people in danger. Very often, noise does not produce visible results. That is why probably, people believe that noise does not cause health hazards. But as per different studies, noise creates health hazards affecting children the most, with extremely high noise levels even causing hear loss in newborns. Virtually every space demands acoustic attention in order to function for its specified purpose. Architects and Interior designers have a notion that acoustically treated spaces are not aesthetically appealing. But thanks to the perseverance of certain individuals and their constant innovative study and experience, today's acoustics have both `beauty and brains'. Now acoustics is no more limited only to the dark cinema halls or big auditoriums, it has become a part of homes, offices, hospitals, educational institutes and also retail spaces. Allowing the end-users to experience true acoustic comfort in the spaces designed will be appreciated anytime. Noise can cause irritation, annoyance, anxiety, anti-social behavior, hostility and violence. It should not be forgotten. When one is designing an open office, he should always consider the acoustic impact of the materials being used. Think about where are the people being placed, how are the job types being grouped, sound masking, the type of telephones being used, panel heights and ceiling systems.

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There are plenty of solutions available to combat potential acoustic problems in open-office spaces in order to facilitate employee productivity. In the past, there has been a stigma associated with acoustic products. Some professionals think they're utilitarian and that they limit your design options, but this could be nothing but taking one further away from the truth. Today with the endless options in acoustic themes and with the widened horizon of designers who now combine architecture with acoustic designing, an acoustically perfect, well furnished office could be designed which will take care of noise and will also give the visual delight of perfect interior designing.

Light intensity: Up until recently, the only purpose of indoor lighting was to aid with visually directed tasks when there wasn't enough external light. But a recent discovery has shown that light has an impact beyond merely helping us see. Non visual receptors in the retina of the eye form nerve pathways that directly influence our biological clock, the part of our brains that controls and moderates sleep and wakefulness, directly affecting our levels of alertness. Light is an important therapy treatment for individuals who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). SAD includes depressive symptoms and is experienced by approximately six out of one hundred people in the developed world, primarily in the autumn and winter months, when the days are shorter. Some studies shows as much as 10 percent of people are affected. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of clinical depression related to morning light deprivation, usually in the late fall and winter days. It is an acute depression, which can be a serious, life threatening condition and thus requires medical advice. Treatment of SAD consists of exposure to high light levels for 30 minutes each day, preferably before 10:00 a.m. It is now being suggested that modern working conditions can make these symptoms worse, as many workers spend the majority--if not all--daylight hours indoors, exposed to little, if any, natural light. Common knowledge, backed up by scientific research proves that the quality of indoor lighting in the office can have significant effects on the performance and the well-being of employees. In just the last few years, the understanding of how light impacts upon our health has grown by leaps and bounds. The brightness of office light effects alertness, concentration, and task performance. Adjusting the type and quality of light can significantly improve working experience and productivity.

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Over-lighting can actually make a workplace uncomfortable and distracting. In addition, giving workers control over their lighting has been demonstrated to increase productivity and workplace satisfaction.

Newer technologies such as T8 lamps with electronic ballasts increase the lighting output, eliminate flickers, offer an excellent color rendition (have a high Color Rendering Index) and save energy. Also, direct/indirect linear suspended fixtures eliminate glare and increase the visual comfort of the occupants. Dimmable intelligent lighting systems allow the user to control light levels and save energy. Task lamps relieve inefficient overhead lights of their massive duties, notably reducing energy use and over lighting. It is easier to turn off localized lighting when it isn't needed than to shut off lighting from a general overhead source.

Using direct lighting to illuminate specific areas instead of relying on ceiling fixtures that light entire rooms is an innovative idea. Task lamps and desk lamps are essential pieces of office equipment, offering workers the control they need to be comfortable and productive, while reducing energy use. Dimmers, sensors and multiple switches also enable varied lighting levels to match needs.

Giving workers control over their lighting has been found to result in energy savings and increased workplace satisfaction. Task specific or directed lighting makes for a more comfortable and aesthetic workspace. An over lit office can be uncomfortable and increase agitation and distraction.

Workers who use computer display terminals typically prefer relatively low lighting levels to minimize glare and reflections on their display screens. On the other hand, workers who read, write and draw on paper typically prefer higher lighting levels so they can see small letters and fine details. Older workers, and others with weak vision, also need higher lighting levels. The ability to adjust lighting levels is particularly important for workers seated near windows, who must adapt to varying levels of sunlight during the day and workers who require adjusted lighting levels for the different daily tasks that they perform.

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Sky EffectTM Technology With this understanding of how light affects our bodies, Nature Bright has created a new generation of industrial lighting. The Sky EffectTM range of fluorescent lights are specially designed for office and factory use. Unlike conventional lights, these deliver a far broader spectrum of light.

Figure 6: The effect of sky on workplace

These new lights incorporate greater levels of shorter wavelength light--light in the blue range of the spectrum. This blue light has been shown to have the greatest effects upon our central biological clock. It also happens to be precisely the spectrum of light that is missing in conventional indoor lighting! This light is only slightly different in appearance to conventional lights. Its brightness is exactly the same and its clarity is pleasing to the eye. Sky EffectTM lights are described as having a "higher color temperature" than conventional lights. And this higher temperature will result in a brighter mood--for you and your coworkers. As you consider workplace productivity and satisfaction, look up at your lights. There may be a bright way to change your workplace and give everyone there a boost. Benefits: Increases focus, alertness, and concentration Boost performance Fends off fatigue Reverses Seasonal Affective Disorder, minimizing lost work time and maximizing productivity

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Temperature and Humidity: What temperature works best for one's productivity depends on one's body. For a thin person, a higher temperature might be better. But for someone not as thin, a lower temperature may work better. Currently there are no regulations governing high temperature levels in offices and the responsibility of employers to their employees in this respect, although the World Health Organization recommends a maximum working temperature of 24ºC. Regulation 7 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that`During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable'. Unless intense physical effort is involved, the workplace regulations say that temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16ºC (a workroom is defined as a room where people work for more than short periods). It should be stressed however, that temperature alone may not ensure `reasonable' comfort, as other factors such as air movement and relative humidity will also have a part to play. Possible Effects of Temperature/Humidity: High Temperature Levels: Employee lethargy and tiredness as a result of increased body temperature lead to possible efficiency decreases. Low Temperature Levels: Low Temperature Levels decrease in efficiency due to cooler body heat and shivering. High humidity In itself may not be a direct problem, but it does increase our susceptibility to high temperature levels as evaporation of body sweat is impeded. Low Humidity Levels have a debilitating effect on our ability to breathe and swallow without discomfort as our mouths and noses can become dry due to the increased level of evaporation in the surrounding environment. EMPLOYEE COMFORT Temperature and humidity can have a significant impact on how alert or tired somebody might feel. This, in turn, can have a dramatic effect on the performance of a worker. In hot environments, it is not uncommon for staff to become irritable and less efficient. It can be very easy for employers to underestimate the importance of general day-to-day comfort. A lot of emphasis has been placed in recent years on issues such as maximum working hours, avoiding RSI, ergonomically designed offices, etc., but the overall comfort of the working conditions of employees can sometimes be overlooked.

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PRODUCTIVITY AND TEMPERATURE An ergonomics study by the Cornell Institute in the US concluded that there were definitive links between the efficiency/productivity levels of workers and the environmental conditions in offices. Although by no means completely representative of all kinds of environments and all type of industry, the research concluded that higher temperatures (in the region of 2425ºC) resulted in fewer keyboard errors than occurred at temperatures of around 19ºC. In other words, colder workers could mean more errors and therefore higher costs for the employer. Temperature and humidity monitoring in office environments has often been overlooked as a mechanism for ensuring that a workforce is both happy and efficient. Health and Safety regulations mean that some form of ongoing monitoring should be carried out by employers, but, in addition, regular monitoring could also help companies and organizations to identify how environmental conditions can be adjusted to help improve productivity and efficiency within the office workplace.

In March 2006, a survey was conducted by taking a sample size of 2013. The research was related to; workplace designs, work satisfaction, and productivity. 89 percent of the respondents rated design, from important to very important. Almost 90 percent of senior officials revealed that effective workplace design is important for the increase in employees' productivity. The final outcome of the survey suggested that businesses can enhance their productivity by improving their workplace designs. A rough estimation was made by executives, which showed that almost 22 percent increase can be achieved in the company's performance if their offices are well designed. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID, 1999) carried out an independent study and revealed that the physical workplace design is one of the top three factors, which affect performance and job satisfaction. The study results showed that 31 percent of people were satisfied with their jobs and had pleasing workplace environments. 50 percent of people were seeking jobs and said that they would prefer a job in a company where the physical environment is good.

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CHAPTER 3:

Research Methodology 3.1 Research Design

The research design is a basic research and it is a field survey through self administered questionnaires. Primary data is collected through a survey. Descriptive statistics are used to analyze the data. Content analysis procedures (Spradley, 1979) are used to determine relationships between subjects' answers. This study examines office workers in different offices in order to collect information required to meet the objectives of the study, secondary data is obtained from books, articles from journals, and official web sites. The effects of design features are compared to other organizational factors. Questions are structured to discover which organizational factors (i.e., workplace design features, management support, technology and equipment, and coworker support) in relevant workplace workers perceive to hamper or encourage their ability to perform effectively. Workspace types such as enclosed cubicles with partition walls, cellular offices with floorto-ceiling walls, and desks located in open areas were included. A review of the literature on work environment and performance is conducted. The study includes recommendations for better practices aimed at identification of effective occupational strategies to aid in improved work ability.

3.2 Study Population

As mentioned in the sampling procedure, the study conducted in the Project Management business line in Saudi Aramco Company, this business line covers the biggest number of employees and tasks in the company. The study was conducted through two questionnaires, the first one was about the office design and its impact on employee performs, and the second questioner was about the work environments and its impact on employee

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performance. The study covers most of the business lines employees, with a letter explaining that it's for study which may solve many problems, the employee can meet in the work environment. And the people who participate in the questioners were from different levels of jobs ranging from the manager to the business cleric.

3.3 Sampling Procedure:

The petroleum Aramco Company (Project Management Business Line), Saudi Arabia has been chosen as the population for the study because it covers most of Aramco employees and various kinds of jobs that begin from the genitor to the Senior Vice President. It also covers many jobs cycle in Aramco such as Chapter 8 (which is the out of Kingdom assignment, and it has works with the contractors (out side company that help Aramco in some job like the drilling and design). So this business line covers the biggest number of employees and tasks in the company. This survey was distributed to the managers and secretaries as well, to the admin clerks and admin assistances. It also included the IT group departments, engineers in their different ranges, system business analyst, cost group ,timekeepers ,HR group and the planning group. The survey consisted of employees from different departments of Aramco's business line like (FPD facility Planning Dept, PS&CD project support dept, NAPD Northern Area Projects Dept, SAPD Southern Area Project dept, and others. I tried to cover all the business line to have a large number of answers from different employees in different jobs. A total of 200 employees from these 7 departments were taken as the sample size. The distribution of sample among offices and number of employees taken from each office are given. Primary data was collected through a structured questionnaire. Observation was also used to collect the required information. Managers were provided a summary of the results of employee perceptions of the work environment to encourage participation in the research. The survey focused on two factors. · · The relationship between personality, work environment and employees' productivity The relationship between office design and employees' productivity.

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In the first survey, subjects consisted of employees of seven different departments, representing financial analysts, direct-sales representatives, telemarketers, information systems specialists, customer service personnel, and medical. The subjects were chosen using quota sampling, as every employee in the position analyzed within each organization was included as a subject. All subjects were located in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. A total of 90 subjects participated in the study. A wide range of offices and positions were chosen to provide greater heterogeneity in both job context preferences and personalities in the sample. All of the surveys were administered through internet, allowing the employees to hide their identity which improved the response rate. Managers were provided a summary of the results of employee perceptions of the work environment to encourage participation in the research.

3.4 Data Collection and Measures

As my survey was divided into two parts, so there were two Questionnaire forms named as: Questionnaire A to study relationship between personality, work environment and performance Questionnaire B to study relationship between office design and employees' productivity Survey 1:

Questionnaire A consisted of 24 questions; 4 questions on each variable. Out of these, 4 questions were on productivity, based on the technique of subjective productivity measurement. Subjective productivity data was gathered from the employees, supervisors, clients, customers and suppliers. A direct subjective productivity measurement is a survey question concerning an employees' own productivity. For example, such a question might be, on a scale of 1-4; `how your productivity changed during the last year' (Black and Lynch, 1996 and Laitinen et al. 1999). Data was collected from the sample of 13 offices (105 employees). A five point Likert Scale was used to measure all the variables. The scale varies from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) for most of the questions. A few questions were measured by the five point Likert Scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (always). The questions in the questionnaire for the subjective productivity measurement were in percentages.

The survey was administered to the direct supervisors or managers of the employees to collect ratings of each subject employee's performance. The performance measure used was the Minnesota Satisfactoriness Survey (MSS) (Gibson et al, 1977). The strength of the MSS is its broad definition of performance, including assessments of the quality and quantity of

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an employee's work, and their overall dependability and promo ability. The twenty-eight item instrument asks managers to rate each employee's efforts and outcomes in comparison to the rest of the work group. Studies indicate that the reliability coefficients for the MSS range from .69 to .95, with a median of .87, and the MSS has demonstrated validity in longitudinal examinations of tenure and promotions across a variety of occupations (Gibson et al., 1977). The first survey, administered to the employees, included three instruments. The first was the Work Environment Scale (WES) (Moos, 1994), which was used to measure subjects' perceptions of their ideal work environment. The WES was chosen to measure work environment preferences as it utilizes a broad approach to defining work environments in three distinct dimensions: system maintenance (referring to how orderly and organized the work setting is), goal orientation (the degree of job challenge and task orientation), and relationship dimensions (desired levels of social interaction, support and cohesion among workers). The WES has shown validity in predicting outcomes with employees in health care, military, and correctional facility environments (Moos, 1994). The WES consists of ninety statements such as "The work is really challenging" and "People take an interest in each other," which subjects rate as either true or false in representing their work environment preferences. Reliabilities of the WES (using Cronbach's Alpha) have varied from .69 to .83 on the various subscales (Moos, 1994).

The second instrument in the employee survey, the NEO-FFl Form S, represents the Big Five personality measure (Costa and McCrae, 1991). Validity of the NEO-FFI's five factors has been indicated across a large number of studies (Costa and McCrae, 1995; McCrae and Costa, 1987). The third measure in the employee survey examined employee commitment. O'Reilly and Chatman's (1986) psychological attachment instrument was used, as it provides a parsimonious measure of overall commitment that has been effectively used in research linking individual preferences with organizational attitudinal outcomes

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Survey 2: Different types of offices have been compared and have taken into consideration the fact that there may be differences among those employed in different types of office with respect to age, sex, appointment and the type of company. In an initial study, 491 people employed by 26 companies were analyzed with reference to self-reported health status, job satisfaction and perception of the physical office environment. The types of office we are studying are defined by their architectural and functional characteristics as outlined below:

· · · · ·

cell office (private room) shared room (2-3 people/room) flexible office (no workplace of one's own) combination office (team based office type) and open plan office, broken down into a. b. c. small open plan office (4­9 people /room) open plan office of medium size (10­24 people/room) and large open plan office (>24 people/room)

Conceptual framework Based on the literature review, the relationship between office design and productivity was conceptualized and depicted in Figure below. The relationship is defined in such a way that the set of factors impact on an individual, which in turn determine the final outcome in terms of increased or decreased productivity of that individual. These factors have different impacts on different employees based on their gender.

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Conceptual framework

Furniture

Noise

Lighting Productivity Temperature

Spatial Arrangements

Independent Variables

Dependent Variable

Figure 7: The effect of five basic elements on productivity

Five indicators of office design such as furniture, noise, temperature, lighting and spatial arrangement were considered for study in the second survey. The overall response for each factor was analyzed and the mean and standard deviation values are shown in the Table 1. Data was analyzed to identify the factor that the relatively high tendency towards decreasing productivity. Different office design factors such as furniture, noise, lighting, temperature and spatial arrangement were used to determine the extent of the loss in productivity.

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Factors Furniture Noise Lighting Temperature Spatial arrangement

Total number of respondents 105 105 105 105 105

Mean (SD) for Factor 3.70 (0.63 3.67 (0.62) 3.23 (0.77) 3.86 (0.44) 3.41 (0.63)

SD= Standard deviation Table 3: Mean of factors

The prime factor which affects the productivity of employees is lighting in the office. Next to the factor lighting, it is spatial arrangement. Then the importance sequence is noise, furniture and temperature. Both natural and artificial light is very essential in any office environment. It gives a sense of energy and affects the mood of the employees. Hawthorne effect is the best example of benefit of lighting in productivity. Accomplishment of daily tasks in workplaces with less or dim light is difficult for employees. Working in dim light leads to eye strain and thus causing headaches and irritability. Due to this discomfort, productivity is very much affected causing overall decrease in employee's performance.

According to the data collected, 26.6 percent respondents were female employees and 73.3 percent were male employees. The overall response according to the gender and the mean and productivity for male and female employees is detailed in Table 2.

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Factors

Factors Mean (SD) for Male employees 3.68 (0.64) 3.84 (0.46) 3.26 ((0.82) 3.84 (0.46) 3.49 (0.61)

Mean (SD) for female employees

Furniture Noise Lighting Temperature Spatial arrangement

3.77 (0.61) 3.21 (0.77) 3.13 (0.59) 3.92 (0.36) 3.21 (0.66)

Overall mean Overall Productivity

3.62 3.62

3.45 3.23

SD= standard deviation Table 4: Overall Responses according to Gender

According to the results in Table 2, male employees are affected by the furniture in their offices (3.68); their productivity is also affected by the furniture they are using or which surrounds their workplaces (3.62). Along with this the results also show that female employees are less affected by the furniture in their work area (3.77) and their performance also remains unaffected with uncomfortable furniture (3.23). If only the performance of both male and female employees is compared then we can see that male employees perform less than female employees due to bad furniture, which they use in their workplaces. While analyzing the means of Noise obtained from the data, it was revealed that male employees were not much affected by noise (3.84) but due to even a little noise their productivity was affected (3.62). On the other hand, the female respondents' results show that there are many noise distractions in their workplace (3.21) and in their surroundings. But due to this noise productivity of female employees is not affected (3.23).

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Because female employees are always chatting, therefore, they can work in noisy surroundings. Comparing the productivity of male employees (3.62) and female employees (3.23) with respect to noise, productivity of male employees is more then female employees. One of the most important features in office design is light. Both natural and artificial light is needed in a proper and adequate amount to carry out normal activities of everyday office work. This factor was analyzed in my research. Results revealed that male employees show a low mean (3.26), which means that lighting is not proper in offices and when we see the productivity of male employees against this mean it is high (3.62). So, the conclusion can be made that due of improper lighting in offices male employees have difficulty in completing and concentrating on their work and their productivity (3.62) is affected. In the someway when female employees' results were analyzed, and it transpired that they were affected (3.13) a little more than male employees, but their productivity (3.23) is not affected by lighting around their workplace. On comparing, only the productivity of male employees (3.62) and female employees (3.23) the result shows that lighting affects male employees more while working in offices then female employees.

Temperature affects productivity the most. Female respondents' results show that the temperature conditions of their offices are good (3.92) in both summers and winters. Due to the pleasant temperature in summers and winters there is no adverse effect on their productivity (3.23). Similarly, the mean value for male employees is (3.84), which means that temperature is not irregular in their offices. But a little irregularity in temperature affects their productivity (3.62). Another major aspect of the way in which the workplace aids productivity is in supporting work processes through the way that space is arranged.

According to the results female employees are more conscious about the arrangement of space in their workplaces (3.21) but due to this their productivity is not affected (3.23), it is satisfactory. In case of male employees, they are far less affected (3.49) by the spatial arrangement than female employees but their productivity (3.62) is affected by this.

The overall mean of all the factors show a low mean for female employees (3.45) and a relatively high mean for male employees (3.62). This means that female employees are more concerned about their workplace surroundings than male employees. Differences are found amongst the responses to different factors in the workplace. Male employees' results show that they are more concerned about the lighting in their offices then the spatial arrangement and other factors. There is a direct relationship between office Design and productivity. This relationship between office design and productivity was determined by using the Pearson's Correlation in standard statistical software "Statistical Package for Social Sciences" (SPSS). Pearson's Correlation is a measurement of the strength of a linear or straight line relationship between two variables. The Correlation Coefficients indicate both the direction of the relationship and its magnitude (Table 3).

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Office design Elements Furniture Noise Lighting Temperature and Air Quality

Pearson Correlation (r) .194(*) . 429(**) .720(**) .467(**) .380(**)

Significance (2-tailed) .047 .000 .000 .000 .000

Spatial arrangement

r is Pearson correlation coefficient * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). Table 5: Correlation between Elements of Office Design and Employee Productivity The analysis of the results indicate a positive correlation between furniture and productivity (r = 0.194) and is significant at 0.05. This shows that when the furniture of the office is not comfortable and according to the needs of the employees their productivity is affected. There is a positive relationship between Noise and Productivity. The correlation coefficient (r=0.429) is significant at 0.01. The positive relationship between lighting and productivity (r = 0.720) at 0.01 shows that employees' productivity highly correlates to the lighting conditions in the offices.

The results of temperature reveal its significant correlation with productivity (r=0.467) at p=0.01. Spatial Arrangement is the space factor in office design; when the correlation was calculated in SPSS it gave a positive relation with productivity (r=0.380) where p=0.01. It means that the spatial arrangement has a considerable effect on the employees' Productivity (Table 5).

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Model Summary Model 1 R .759(a) R Square .576 Adjusted R Square .555 Std. Error of the Estimate .51525

R= Correlation coefficient a. Predictors: (Constant), Spatial arrangement, Noise, Furniture, Lighting, Temperature Table 6: Regression Results of Model Source: Survey

Model

Sum of Squares 35.717 26.283

df

Mean Square 7.143 .265

F

Sig. . 000(a)

1 Regression

5 99 104

26.907

Residual Total

62.000

df= degree of freedom , F=regression mean square/residual mean square ,Sig=P-value a. Predictors: (Constant), Spatial arrangement, Noise, Furniture, Lighting, Temperature b. Dependent Variable: Productivity Source: Survey The coefficient of determination R. square = 0.576. This gives us the ratio of explained variation to total variation. On converting the R. square value to percentage it comes to be approximately 58 Percent. From this percentage it is concluded that 58 percent of the variability of employees' productivity is accounted for by the variables in this model. The regression co-efficient for the predictor variables; furniture, noise, lighting, temperature and spatial arrangements are 0.015, -0.068, 0.739, and 0.021 and 0.162, respectively.

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The coefficient values show, the change in productivity with a unit change in a variable value, when all the other variables are held constant. When we analyze the coefficient value for the variable, `lighting' we can say that there is an increase of 0.739 in the productivity of an employee for every unit increase (betterment) in the lighting conditions of the office, keeping all the other variables constant. The Regression Equation: Employee Productivity = -0.645 + .015 F - 0.068 N+ 0.739 L + 0.021 T + 0.162 SA (Where F=furniture, N=noise, L=lighting, T=temperature and SA=spatial arrangements)

3.5 Instrumentation

Two surveys were developed as instruments to collect information for the study under consideration. Surveys provide quick, inexpensive, efficient and accurate means of assessing information about the population. Also surveys are considered quite flexible. Survey questions were a combination of open ended questions and fixed alternative questions. Open ended questions allow respondents to express their opinion about a particular issue in their own words. Fixed alternative questions allow respondents to choose from given limited alternative responses, the one closest to their answers. For example, such a question might be, on a scale of 1-4; how your productivity changed during the last year' (Black and Lynch, 1996 and Laitinen 1999). The use of combined of open ended and fixed alternative questions potentially allow for greater response information than single type questions. ordinal scales was used. A combination of nominal and

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An example of questionnaire is as follows: Job Characteristic : Trust employer to treat me fairly Employer treats me with respect Safe work environment Good communication among co-workers Job allows me to balance work and family/life Good job security Good relationship with supervisor Freedom to decide how to do work Friendly and helpful co-workers Percentage :

Table 7: Example of questionnaire

3.6 Scale Validity and Reliability

There were different scales used for the survey questionnaires to ensure validity and reliability of scale for certain questions. Primarily an ordinary scale was used for most of questions, since most of questions were measuring knowledge, feeling, and experience. The scale reliability was ensured through applying two concepts, namely repeatability and internal consistency. Questionnaires contain different questions asking about the same thing but in different forms. For internal consistency, the split half method was used.

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CHAPTER 4

Results and Analysis

Survey 1

The results of the data analyses provide support for the importance of goal-orientation on the personality-performance relationship. Three models were used to examine each of the three hypotheses. The first model examined the relationship between the independent variables, the Big Five personality dimensions, and the mediators (the work environment preference dimensions of relationship, goal orientation, and system maintenance). A separate regression equation was used for each work environment dimension. The second regression model looked at the relationships between the independent variables (the Big Five factors) and the outcome variables of employee performance and commitment. The third regression model examined the relationship between the Big Five independent variables and the outcome variables of performance and commitment in the presence of the work environment mediating variables. The results of the first model regressions indicated that three of the Big Five factors were significant predictors of work environment preferences. Extraversion, conscientiousness, and emotional stability were all significant predictors of a goal orientation preference, and agreeableness was a significant predictor of a preference for system maintenance. The second model regressions indicated significant and positive relationships between two of the Big Five personality factors and the outcome variables. Conscientiousness was a significant predictor of employee performance, and extraversion indicated a significant relationship with employee commitment. In the third model, where both the personality and work environment dimensions were included to assess mediating effects, the work environment dimension of goal orientation was the only variable that maintained a significant relationship with employee performance and commitment. All of the personality dimensions were non significant for both outcome variables when the work environment measures were included in the equation. The results of these analyses provide partial support for hypotheses 1-3. Although the system maintenance and relationship dimensions of work environments were not significant

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factors mediating the personality and performance/commitment relationships, goal orientation was a significant outcome of all three hypothesized personality dimensions (extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness). Goal orientation was also the only significant predictor of performance in the full (third) model, and fully mediated the effects of conscientiousness on performance. In addition, the effects of extraversion on commitment were non-significant when the goal orientation dimension of work environments was included in the analysis.

Survey 2:

Research findings support the existence of an important link between a good physical working environment and the performance of a company. Thus, the quality of a working environment has a strong influence on the productivity and profitability. The results reveal considerable differences. As regards health status, two types of office, flexible and cellular, had much better results than the others. The worst reported health occurred among those working in open plan offices of medium size, closely followed by those in small open plan offices. As regards job satisfaction, flexible offices and shared rooms were best. The worst were combination offices and open plan offices of medium size. Those working in cell offices were best satisfied with their working environment - it was only when the social aspects of the office were considered that they were dissatisfied, for example with the support of the office environment for community spirit among all employees. Best satisfied with the support given by the office for community spirit and interaction were those working in flexible offices. The worst rating with respect to contentment was received by open plan offices of medium size, followed by large open plan offices. Topping the list of employee show satisfaction about physical environment to be spacious, having quiet areas, comfortable workstations, and modern design. Other notable responses from the study include: Most of the respondents say their current workplace design promotes health and well-being; yet healthy and secure working conditions are reported as the most important factors in an efficient working environment. 62% of Aramco office workers have great respect for leaders who work in an open plan environment with their teams rather than in private offices. Only 42% of respondents say they would be proud to show important customers or potential recruits their current workplaces.

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Office design and productivity:

Analysis of the collected data revealed that office design has a substantial impact on the employees 'productivity. The overall impact of different elements showed that lighting affects the productivity of most employees. The overall mean of all the factors show that female employees are more concerned about their workplace surroundings, whereas, their male counterparts are less concerned with it. The overall response, according to gender, showed differences amongst the responses for different elements in the workplace. Male respondents' results show that they are more concerned about the lighting in their offices, followed by the spatial arrangement. There is a direct relationship between office design and productivity. The Relationship between Office design and Productivity was determined by using the Pearson's Correlation in SPSS. A strong correlation exists between elements of office design and productivity of office design. The regression analysis of the data shows that the coefficient of determination R. square = 0.576, so, it can be concluded that 58 percent of the variability in employees' productivity is accounted for by the variables in this model.

What is the best energy-efficient lighting that will increase employee productivity? Newer technologies such as T8 lamps with electronic ballasts increase the lighting output, eliminate flickers, offer an excellent color rendition (have a high Color Rendering Index) and save energy. Also, direct/indirect linear suspended fixtures eliminate glare and increase the visual comfort of the occupants. Dimmable intelligent lighting systems allow the user to control light levels and save energy. Back in March 2006, with the help of professional survey firm D/R Added Value, they polled over 2,000 office workers (selected from a pool of over 8,000 to achieve a representative sample) about their workplaces. Here are some results: Workplace and empowering creativity:

· · · · ·

90% of American workers believe that workplace design affects their productivity 50% of workers say their current office environment empowers them to innovate 49% of workers said that they would work an extra hour per day if they had a better work environment 33% say workplace improvements are a priority at their company The average office worker feels he or she has less time to think than they did five years ago

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Where and how people work effectively:

· · · ·

84% of employees say they accomplish their best work at the office 12% of workers say they do their best work at home 67% said they were more efficient at developing ideas when collaborating closely with co-workers 80% of workers feel technology has enhanced their workplace environment (including desktop computers, mobile phones, video conferencing, wireless access, and mobile e-mail devices)

·

Who works in offices and what do they do all day?

· · · · · ·

42 years old is the average age of an office worker 6.3 years is the average time they have been at their job 210 is the average number of employees a person works with in the same office 13% was the average amount of work time spent answering e-mail 14% was the average amount of time spent on the phone 20% was the time spent in meetings

While this survey was likely biased toward larger companies, the results offer useful insight into workplaces generally, but especially for the larger companies. The data that I found most provocative was that while 90% of people feel their workplace is important to their productivity, only 33% see this as a priority at their company.

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CHAPTER 5

Discussion and Conclusion

Work Environment and Productivity: To more fully understand the degree to which the "people make the place," this study examined the relationship between individual personality, work environment preferences, and performance and commitment in organizations. The results suggest that a specific "place" variable--an employee's work environment preference for goal orientation--plays a predominant role in performance and commitment outcomes. Goal orientation fully mediated the significant direct relationship between conscientiousness and performance, and the significant direct relationship between extraversion and commitment was removed when preferences for goal-oriented work environments were included in the analyses. Agreeableness was significantly related to both goal orientation and system maintenance, but these relationships did not translate into either performance or commitment. Neither the personality characteristics openness and emotional stability, nor the work environment preference for relationships had a significant effect on performance and commitment. The results suggest that agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness may combine to form a preference for work environments that offer high levels of goal orientation. Thus, the effect of personality on performance and commitment has a situational context; it does not occur in a vacuum. Challenging goals may communicate high levels of confidence in the abilities of employees and increase self-efficacy (and performance), and these positive feelings may also manifest themselves in enhanced employee commitment (Whittington et al., 2004). If managers provide goal-oriented work environments to individuals with these desirable personality characteristics, they should reap the benefits of enhanced performance and commitment. The ability to attract, keep, and motivate high-performers is becoming increasingly important in today's competitive organizational environments. The results of this study indicate that an over-reliance on employee selection processes may be misguided, and the development of goal-oriented work environments may be a more effective means of improving employee performance and commitment. This may be particularly relevant in work environments where managers have very large spans of control which restrict them from frequent and direct contact with employees. Strickland and Galimba (2001) found that goals provide structure to ambiguous situations, reducing the effects of cognitive interference on task performance.

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Work environments can provide social cues to organizational members on how to act appropriately, and employees tend to conform to such expectations to receive social approval from their peers (Salancik and Pfeffer, 1978; Schneider, 1975). Thus, if a work environment develops a strong goal orientation, employees are more likely to align their individual goal orientations with the norms of the work environment to maintain harmony with their surroundings (Neal et al., 2000). As climate scholars generally identify managers as the primary architects of group member climate perceptions (e.g., Naumann and Bennett, 2000), the results of our research indicate the potential importance of leaders in focusing on the development of goal-oriented work environments to achieve enhanced performance and commitment. Whittington et al. (2004) found that goal setting enhanced the direct relationship between transformational leadership and employee commitment and performance, and concluded that goal-oriented environments provide clarification, direction, focus, and longer-term perspective needed to translate transformational leadership effectively into performance. Future research could examine the specific influence of leaders in the form of behavioral modeling and leader-member exchange on the personality--work environment performance relationship.

As employers have a duty to make provision for emergencies that may affect the health and welfare of their employees it is essential to recognize the needs of all disabled employees, irrespective of the disability.

There should be a procedure in place to ensure managers are confident as to the action to take place in seeking such advice. Advice should only be sought on specific issues directly related to the person's employment. Decisions affecting the employee should only be based on medical advice as it applies to the specific work environment.

As with physical disability, there will be occasions when specialist advice is needed to assist someone with a mental health problem.

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This may be when:

· · ·

There are frequent short-term and/or long-term absences from work The employee appears to be experiencing side-effects from medication Perceived unusual behavior patterns take place.

SUGGESTIONS:

Employee Stress Reduction and Tips for Boosting Morale Several on-the-job techniques may aid in stress reduction and help boost employee morale. While it's important for employees to develop stress management and coping skills, there are several things that managers and business owners can do to help employees decrease their stress levels:

· · · ·

·

Adopt reinforcement techniques that will reward workers who excel. Encourage feedback, especially when faced with new projects or when rolling out new products. Explore health-related options, including a wellness program and insurance incentives. Incorporate an outside facilitator or coach into the employee program. Personnel are more willing to provide input to an outside source, and supervisors will gain from receiving anonymous feedback. Understand limitations. Expecting too much in a limited amount of time produces stress and decreases the quality of employee output.

Employers and employees should keep in mind that some level of stress or pressure is beneficial to reaching project completion. In moderation, stress creates the motivation to perform and be proud of the results. Be wise, however, about what leads to detrimental stress, including unrealistic goals and impossible expectations.

Managing Employee Attitudes: The results of this study also have implications for managing employee attitudes. Given the consistency of employees' job attitudes, the significant relationship between goal-oriented work environments and commitment enhances the argument that employers should do more to try to structure work environments in a positive way so that work is a more satisfying and rewarding experience. Although selecting employees on the basis of favorable and relatively stable individual dispositions may have a favorable impact on employee attitudes and performance, work situations are within the control of most managers.

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Our research suggests that unfavorable work situations can directly impact employee performance regardless of personality predispositions, whereas the development of supportive work environments can have a direct and positive affect on employees. Following the recommendations of research by Luthans and Sommer (2005) and Tata and Prasad (2004), future studies should examine the effectiveness of human resource departments functioning as strategic partners in creating performance-oriented work climates and team self-management contexts to aid in the adaptation towards increasing worker autonomy and larger spans of control in contemporary work environments. Future research could also provide useful information regarding the role of personality and goal-setting work environments on a more comprehensive set of dependent variables that have been linked to personality, such as organizational citizenship behaviors (Neuman and Kickul, 1998), satisfaction (Staw and Cohen-Charash, 20 05), and turnover (Jenkins, 1993). It would be helpful to determine if the omission of potential mediators or moderators of the relationships between personality variables and employee performance outcomes in past research has served to enhance the importance of personality relative to contextually-oriented variables.

Future research In summary, the primary contribution of this research was the examination of the unique variance contributed by personality and work environment preferences in determining employee performance. The results of this study indicate that the relationship between personality, work environment, and employee outcomes is interrelated and in need of further examination. The significance of employee goal-orientation preferences in fully mediating the relationship between personality and workplace outcomes provides further evidence to support the contention that the relationship between personality and performance may not be divaricates, and that intervening variables play a substantial role. Future research should examine the dimensionality of both personality and outcomes in the workplace to understand the complexities of the relationship.

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APPENDIX

QUSTIONNAIRS

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Questionnaire for Research study on "Impact of Office Design on Employees' Productivity" INSTRUCTIONS: Please READ each question carefully. ENCIRCLE the option you think best suits you. Encircle only ONE option for each question. Name :( optional) _________________________Designation:______________________ Bank's Name: ______________________Branch's Name: ________________ Age____ Gender___________ Furniture 1. My furniture is flexible to adjust, rearrange or reorganize my workspace. · Not at all · To some extent · Almost · Fairly enough · Completely flexible 2. My furniture is comfortable enough so that I can work without getting tired till 5pm. · I strongly disagree · I disagree · I'm neutral · I agree · I strongly agree 3. The physical conditions at work influence my productivity. · Not at all · To some extent · Often · Mostly · Always 4. Adequate and comfortable furniture will affect my productivity positively. · I strongly disagree · I disagree · I'm neutral · I agree · I strongly agree Noise 5. My work environment is quiet. · Not at all · To some extent · Often · Mostly · Always 6. I am able to have quiet and undisturbed time alone. · Not at all · To some extent · Often · Mostly · Always

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7. My workspace has many noise distractions. · I strongly disagree · I disagree · I'm neutral · I agree · I strongly agree

8. Noise free environment will increase my productivity. · 10% · 20% · 30% · 40% · 50% or more Temperature 9. To what extent your room temperature affects your normal level of productivity. · No effect · Positive effect · Normal effect · Quite good effect · Bad effect 10. The overall temperature of my workspace in winters is · Cold · Cool · Pleasant · Slightly warm · Warm 11. The overall temperature of my workspace in summers is · Cold · Cool · Pleasant · Slightly warm · Warm 12. I am able to control temperature or airflow in my office. · I strongly disagree · I disagree · I'm neutral · I agree · I strongly agree Lighting 13. My workspace is provided with efficient lighting so that I can work easily without strain on my eyes. · I strongly disagree · I disagree · I'm neutral · I agree · I strongly agree 14. Do you have control over the lighting on your desk (i-e adjustable desk light on desk)? · Not at all · To some extent · I don't need desk light · Mostly · Completely

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15. Ample amount of natural light comes into my office. · Not at all · To some extent · Often · Mostly · Always

16. Number of windows in my work area complete my fresh air and light need. · Not at all · To some extent · Did not notice · Mostly · Always

Spatial Arrangement 17. My office/branch is open enough to see my colleagues working. · I strongly disagree · I disagree · I'm neutral · I agree · I strongly agree 18. My work area is sufficiently equipped for my typical needs (normal storage, movements, etc). · Not at all · To some extent · Often · Mostly · Always 19. I am satisfied with the amount of space for storage and displaying important materials. · Extremely dissatisfied · Dissatisfied · Neutral · Satisfied · Extremely satisfied 20. My workspace serves multipurpose functions for informal and instant meetings. · I strongly disagree · I disagree · I'm neutral · I agree · I strongly agree Productivity 21. Favorable environmental conditions(less noise, suitable temperature etc) in the office building will increase my productivity at work · No effect · Increase by 20% · Increase by 30% · Increase by 40% · Increase by 50% or more

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22. Unfavorable environmental conditions (noise distractions, unsuitable temperature etc) in the office building will Decrease my productivity at work · No effect · Decrease by 20% · Decrease by 30% · Decrease by 40% · Decrease by 50% or more 23. Due to overall office environment can you complete your daily tasks easily? · Not at all · To some extent · Often · Mostly · Always

24. By what percentage your overall productivity would increase if the related office environment Problems are solved. · No change · 10% · 20% · 30% · 40% or more

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Questionnaire for Research study on "Impact of Work environment on Employees' Productivity" INSTRUCTIONS: Please READ each question carefully. ENCIRCLE the option you think best suits you. Encircle only ONE option for each question. Name :( optional) _________________________Designation:______________________ Bank's Name: ______________________Branch's Name: ________________ Age____ Gender___________

1. Which of the following best describes the department you work in? · Customer Service · Finance/Accounting · MIS · Sales/Marketing · Corporate Marketing · Human Resources 2. Which of the following best describes your position here? · Clerical · Technician · Managerial · Accounting · Project Management · Other

3. How long have you worked at (company)? · · · · · 4. Less than 6 months 6 months - 1 year 6 months - 1 year 1-2 years 3-5 years

Overall how satisfied are you with your position at this company? · Very dissatisfied · Somewhat dissatisfied · Not satisfied or dissatisfied · Somewhat Satisfied · Very satisfied

Please indicate your level of agreement with each of the following statements. 5. Do you feel that employees are recognized as individuals? · Always · Usually · Sometimes · Rarely · Never · Not sure 6. How motivated are you to see the company succeed? · Very motivated · Somewhat motivated

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· · ·

Not very motivated Not at all motivated Not sure

7. Not sure The Company clearly communicates its goals and strategies to me? · Strongly disagree · Somewhat disagree · Don't agree or disagree · Somewhat agree · Strongly agree 8. How flexible is the company with respect to your family responsibilities? · Very inflexible · Somewhat inflexible · Neither · Somewhat flexible · Very flexible 9. Do you take part in your company's flextime program? · Yes · No 10. Would you refer a friend to apply for a job at this company? · Definitely · Probably · Not sure · Probably not · Definitely not 11. Have you ever observed or experienced any of the following forms of discrimination or harassment at this company? · Racial discrimination · Sexual harassment · Age discrimination · Sexual orientation discrimination · No, none of the above have been observed or experienced 12. The company clearly communicates its goals and strategies to me. · Strongly disagree · Strongly disagree · Somewhat disagree · Neither agree nor disagree · Somewhat agree · Strongly agree · 13. Which of the following describes the variety of tasks required by your position? · Too many · Enough · Not enough 14. I receive enough opportunity to interact with other employees on a formal level · Strongly disagree · Somewhat disagree · Neither agree nor disagree · Somewhat agree · Strongly agree How would you rate (Company) on each of the following? 15. I have a clear path for career advancement. · Strongly disagree · Somewhat disagree

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· · ·

Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat agree Strongly agree

16. My job requirements are clear · Strongly disagree · Somewhat disagree · Neither agree nor disagree · Somewhat agree · Strongly agree How would you rate your manager in each of the following areas? Please assign a rating on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 represents "Poor" and 5 represents "Excellent". Poor Communication Average Good Very Good Excellent

Planning and organizing

Directing and coordinating

Job/Technical knowledge

Interpersonal relationship

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