The impact of office ergonomics on employee performance; a case study of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC)

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Office ergonomics is a widely acceptable means of providing an enabling environment that best facilitates employees’ performance and general productivity. This study sought to find out the impact of office ergonomics on employee performance using the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) as a case study. The objectives of the study were to analyze the office design, finishes and furnishing of the head office building of GNPC, identify ergonomic features in the design, finishes and furnishing in terms of their suitability and comfort of the employees, assess the impact of office ergonomics on the performance of GNPC employees at the Petroleum House in Tema and finally propose specific ergonomically based interventions that would address employee health, comfort and wellbeing and thereby enhance optimum performance. The study was based on a sample of 88 GNPC staff randomly drawn from various departments and units at the Petroleum House, as well as 10 senior managers. Data for the study obtained mainly from the administration of questionnaires was analyzed quantitatively using the SPSS and Microsoft Excel and presented with the aid of frequency distributions, pie charts, tables, pictures and graphs. The research identified considerable office ergonomic deficiencies which included uninspiring and old-fashioned office design and décor (largely cellular offices), use of dark wooden partitions resulting in poorly illuminated offices, and continuous use of un-ergonomic furniture at the Petroleum House. The study also confirmed that the ergonomic deficiencies have had varying adverse effects on the performance of GNPC employees by between 20-80 percent. The study recommends the relocation of the GNPC head office to a new modern facility designed and furnished to suit the peculiar needs of the Corporation. The development and operation of a Real Estate Policy that leverages on the workplace environment to attract, retain and boost employee performance has also been recommended.
A Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Commonwealth Executive Masters of Business Administration, September-2012