The impact of a workplace environmental change on work-related outcomes: productivity, presenteeism and cognition
The purpose of this study was to examine whether a workplace environmental intervention would improve work-related outcomes including productivity, presenteeism and cognition. The secondary aim was to investigate whether work-related outcomes are correlated to observed changes in sitting time, physical activity, and sleep. The study was introduced as part of a naturalistic environmental change in which university staff and faculty were relocated into a new building (n=23). The comparison group consisted of university staff within the same college with no imminent plans to re-locate during the intervention period; there were no environmental changes to this workplace (n =10). Participants wore two behavioral monitoring devices, activPAL and GeneActiv, for 7 consecutive days at two time points (immediately prior and 16 weeks following the office relocation). Measures of productivity and presenteeism were obtained via four validated questionnaires and participants underwent cognitive performance testing. Baseline adjusted analysis of covariance statistical analyses were used to examine differences between groups in work-related outcomes. A residual analysis in regression was conducted to determine the differences between observed changes in sitting time, physical activity and sleep, and work-related outcomes. The results showed that a reduction in work hour sitting time was not detrimental to work related outcomes. Decreased sitting was observed to potentially improve presenteeism and absenteeism. Additionally, physical activity was shown to modestly improve productivity, presenteeism and absenteeism. Poor sleep patterns were associated with work impairment and increased absenteeism.