The association between office design and performance on demanding cognitive tasks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The physical office environment has been shown to be associated with indicators of both health and performance. This study focuses on how memory performance is affected in normal working conditions compared to a quiet baseline (with low amount irrelevant stimuli) in different office types, including individual office rooms, small open-plan offices, medium-sized open-plan offices and large open-plan offices. The results showed that the drop in performance from the quiet baseline to normal working conditions was higher in larger, compared to smaller, open-plan offices. However, contrary to our hypothesis we found that employees in individual office rooms had as high drop in performance as employees in large open-plan office environments. These results indicate that employees in small open-plan offices, in comparison to large, have better possibilities to conduct cognitively demanding tasks and that individual office rooms might not be as advantageous as previously thought.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • Productivity, Individual office rooms, Immediate free recall, Cognitive performance, Office type, Open-plan office
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-181
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch