"Productivity is the ratio of output to input". The output is measured in terms of the quantity and quality of an organisation’s product whereas the input is the resources (e.g. time and money) required to produce the output.

The cost of ownership and maintenance of buildings, combined with the cost of the staff who works in these buildings, is significant. A number of studies carried out in UK and in North America shows that Maintenance and Building Operating cost are 5 times the Construction cost and the Business Operating cost can easily reach 200 times the Capital Cost.

While the methods for measuring productivity are not standardised, there is a growing evidence which demonstrates that comfort, health and satisfaction of staff has a positive impact on productivity. Is it possible to assess the impact of team workplace design on individual and group performance and to integrate this assessment in a practical tool?

In today’s competitive environment all resource costs need to be identified and reduced as a way of improving business efficiency, reducing costs and increasing profit or service provision. Successful organisations often demonstrate that although plant, buildings, business processes etc. are important, those that focus on people (both staff and customers) in an integrated approach develop a clear advantage. The optimisation of productivity of people is a source of significant competitive advantage, particularly when the cost of ownership is considered over the medium term.

Operational productivity may be influenced by up to 17% by addressing factors which include, noise, temperature fluctuation, lighting and glare, comfort, relocation frequency, layout and the users perception and level of control. NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association, 1989) produced a comprehensive list of indicators of increased productivity:

1. Performing tasks more accurately
2. Performing faster without loss of accuracy
3. Capability to perform longer without tiring
4. Learning more effectively
5. Being more creative
6. Sustaining stress more effectively
7. Working together more harmoniously
8. More able to cope with unforeseen circumstances
9. Feeling healthier and so spending more time at work
10. accepting more responsibility
11. Responding more positively to requests

The main objectives of the workplace impact on productivity studies are to:
help prepare design and management strategies which measurably aim to improve performance for organisations and individuals.
evaluate the "building’s ability" to improve productivity
give designers and managers indications of the main factors within their control might influence human productivity at work