Designing for Employee Performance (12-15-21)

Johnson, Zimmermann, and Bird investigated links between workplace design and employee performance via data collected at Microsoft using surveys and interviews.  They identified “factors that were considered as important for work environments: personalization, social norms and signals, room composition and atmosphere, work-related environment affordances, work area and furniture, and productivity strategies. We built statistical models for satisfaction with the work environment and perceived productivity of software engineers and compared them to models for employees in the Program Management, IT Operations, Marketing, and Business Program & Operations disciplines. In the satisfaction models, the ability to work privately with no interruptions and the ability to communicate with the team and leads were important factors among all disciplines. In the productivity models, the overall satisfaction with the work environment and the ability to work privately with no interruptions were important factors among all disciplines. For software engineers, another important factor for perceived productivity was the ability to communicate with the team and leads.”  For all, “private offices were linked to higher perceived productivity.”

Brittany Johnson, Thomas Zimmermann, and Christian Bird. “The Effect of Work Environments on Productivity and Satisfaction of Software Engineers.”  Microsoft Research, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/uploads/prod/2019/02/johnson-tse-2019.pdf