Review of the works on the effect of sound on office productivity

Cheuk Ming Mak, Hai Ming Wong, Shengxian Kang, Dayi Ou

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Noise in offices is related to an employee's comfort, health and productivity. This paper has briefly reviewed two recent works on office productivity. For the work of Mak and Lui, a seven-part questionnaire survey was conducted. Two hundred and fifty-nine office workers in thirty-eight air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong were recruited to participate in this survey. It was found that sound and temperature were the principal factors affecting office productivity. The most irritating noises were conversations, ringing phones and machines. The study also revealed that the environment mattered least to the younger participants. An extended analysis revealed that the female workers were found to be more sensitive to the environmental and office design factors including office layout, temperature and sound and the office should be more carefully designed especially for the female office workers. For the work of Kang et al., a questionnaire analysis was based on survey responses collected from two hundred and thirty-one people who were working in university open-plan research offices (UOROs) from nineteen universities in China. The results showed a clear picture of how office productivity was affected by the key IEQ aspects (such as acoustic environment) and how these key IEQ aspects were affected by their sub-factors (such as conversation noise).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication24th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2017
PublisherInternational Institute of Acoustics and Vibration, IIAV
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Event24th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2017 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Jul 201727 Jul 2017


Conference24th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Noise
  • Office productivity
  • Offices
  • University open-plan research offices (UOROs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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