Workspace Utilisation, Maintenance Practice and Lecturers' Satisfaction with Indoor Environmental Quality in Selected Nigerian Univerities
Global concern over Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) emanates from its effects on health, general well-being and labour productivity because 60-90% of daytime is spent indoors. Evidence of Building Related Illnesses (BRI), Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and absenteeism from work due to poor IEQ has made IEQ one of the indices of environmental sustainability. There is, however, paucity of research on IEQ and its relationship with workspace utilisation and maintenance practice in Nigeria. The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between workspace utilisation, maintenance practice and lecturers’satisfaction with IEQ in selected Nigerian universities. The objectives are: to evaluate the intensity of workspace utilisation by lecturers; determine the difference between satisfactory and unsatisfactory IEQ; determine the effects of lecturers’ and workspace characteristics on IEQ; examine the relationships between maintenance practice, workspace utilisation and lecturers’ satisfaction. Lecturers in the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Federal University of Technology, Minna and University of Ilorin were purposively selected as respondents. Data for the study were gathered through questionnaire survey and physical measurements of temperature, humidity, acoustics, lighting and airflow in 18 offices containing 43 workspaces. Mean score, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Wilcoxin Signed Rank Test (WSRT), Paired-samples t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, Krukas-Wallis test and Spearman rho correlation are the statistical tools used for analysis. Predictions were modelled using Ordinal Logistic Regression (OLR). Results revealed fairly good intensity of workspace utilisation (32.01-42.31%) by lecturers in the three selected universities. There were no significant differences between measured IEQ parametres (temperature, humidity, acoustics, airflow and lighting)which were adjudged as satisfactory and unsatisfactory by lecturers. Lecturers’ characteristics (gender, age, qualifications, and tenure in workspace) affect lecturers’ satisfaction with IEQ parameters such as acoustics, adjustability of furniture and airflowwhile workspace characteristics (type of building, floor level, direction faced by window, and type of office) affect lecturers’ satisfaction with IEQ parameterslike size of workspace, airflow, and visual comfort. Correlation was established between maintenance practice tasks except users’ role and IEQ parameterswhich include visual quality, acoustics, size and layout of workspace. There was also correlation between workspace utilisation on formal reading, internet surfing and relaxation and IEQ parameters such as IAQ, thermal quality and visual quaity. OLR models revealed lecturers’ characteristics and maintenance practice as major predictors of satisfaction based on subjective assessment (Pseudo R-Square (R2)=0.261; Odds Ratio (OR) =1.157). Prediction with objective data, however indicated workspace characteristics as major predictor (R2=0.86; O.R=1.976). In conclusion, lack of uniformity in provision and use of workspace have effects on maintenance practice and lecturers satisfaction in Nigerian universities. The findings of this empirical study indicate that IEQ affects lecturers’satisfaction and comfort in workspaces. By implication, satisfaction and comfort of lecturers will create optimal workspace utilization, higher academic productivity and better global rating of Nigerian universities.Retrofitting and monitoring of workspaces, by maintenance units, are therefore recommended for desired IEQ in workspaces of lecturers. Adoption of the predictive models for assessment, policy formulation, bench-marking, environmental design of new buildings and performance evaluation of existing stock are also recommended.