December 19, 2021
Journal Article

A Statistical Evaluation of Combining Human Productivity Metrics in the Indoor Environment


The potential of improving human productivity by providing healthy indoor environments has been a consistent interest in the building field for decades. This research field’s long-standing challenge is to measure human productivity given the complex nature of office work. Previous studies have diversified productivity metrics, allowing greater flexibility in collecting human data; however, this diversity complicates the ability to combine productivity metrics from disparate studies within a meta-analysis. This study aims to categorize existing productivity metrics and statistically assess which categories show similar behavior when used to measure the impacts of indoor environmental quality. The 106 productivity metrics compiled were grouped into six categories: neurobehavioral speed, accuracy, neurobehavioral response time, call handling time, self-reported productivity, and performance score. Then, this study set neurobehavioral speed as the baseline category given its fitness to the efficiency-based definition of productivity (i.e., output versus input) and conducted three statistical analyses with the other categories to evaluate their similarity. The results showed the categories of neurobehavioral response time, self-reported productivity, and call handling time had statistical similarity with neurobehavioral speed. This study contributes to creating a constructive research environment for future meta-analyses to understand which human productivity metrics can be combined with each other.

Published: December 19, 2021


Keene K.M., and W. Jung. 2021. A Statistical Evaluation of Combining Human Productivity Metrics in the Indoor Environment. Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities 2, no. 4:Art. No. 041002. PNNL-SA-168070. doi:10.1115/1.4052872

Research topics