Project Objectives

The project's primary objective was to develop a comprehensive workplace design evaluation and benchmark tool for the Creative and High-Performing Knowledge Workplace (CHPKW). The tool CAPTIW© is freely available to the practice community to create better workplaces and lead to comparative evidence-based practice. CAPTIW© examines the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the physical work environment for CHPKW against the measures of innovation performance and economic competitiveness. This is to evaluate the relationship between the physical work environment and its outcomes in the forms of innovation performance and economic competitiveness. The tool also analyzes the patterns of the KPIs of physical work environments of companies by demographics information such as types of industries, size of companies and economic performance. It also provides individual companies their standing within the benchmarks.

Objectives of the project

  1. Create a comprehensive evaluation and benchmark tool for innovative knowledge workplace design and management
  2. Develop an online tool and database for workplace design analysis and diagnosis to assist practitioners of knowledge workplace design, consultation, and facility management
  3. Test and refine the evaluation tool for validity and reliability
  4. Examine the KPIs of the creative and high-performing companies in order to offer implications for the financial competitiveness of the businesses

Innovation Performance

Creativity is an essential necessity of knowledge workers. This is because the intrinsic role of knowledge workers is to generate potentially useful ideas and solutions for products, services, or processes (1). Innovation is the outcome of creativity, which springs from successful implementation of creative ideas that are accepted by stakeholders of organizations (2).

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) defines innovation as the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organizational method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations (3). The US definition incorporates financial aspects and defines innovation as: the design, invention, development and/or implementation of new or altered products, services, processes, systems, organizational structures, or business models for the purpose of creating new value for customers and financial returns for the firm (4).

Innovation is at the heart of the knowledge-intensive economy and creativity is the key foundation of innovation. Innovation is also a key driver of economic competitiveness. Competitiveness means a capacity to sustain growth through either increasing productivity or expanding employment (5). Innovation is important to economic competitiveness because innovation allows the growth of outcomes to exceed the growth of inputs while, in the traditional economy, the growth of outcome is only possible by increasing the amount of inputs (6).

The most frequently used and adopted innovation measures are available from The Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data (OECD and Eurostat, 2005). The Oslo Manual is the first comprehensive measures of innovation, developed by the OECD and Eurostat to harmonize and promote the quality of innovation surveys. It has been adopted by many other counties since then, and innovation surveys have been conducted throughout the world including all EU countries, most Latin American countries, Switzerland, Russia, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and Canada. The US has also recently adopted the innovation survey by combining the indicators from the Oslo manual and the existing US Census Bureau R & D survey since 2008.

The Oslo manual suggests four types of indicators to measure innovation: product innovation, process innovation, organizational innovation, and marketing innovation (7).

  • Product innovation: measures introduction of new or significantly improved goods or services
  • Process innovation: implementation of new or significantly improved production, delivery or distribution methods
  • Organizational innovation: implementation of new or significantly improved business practices, workplace organization or external relations
  • Marketing innovation: implantation of new marketing methods in product design or packaging, product placement, product promotion or pricing

Key Performance Indicators of the Physical Work Environment

When creativity is a fundamental component to innovation in the knowledge workplace, an environment conducive to creativity and innovation becomes a critical issue. Various frameworks and attributes of the creative environment have been explored, especially in Europe. Those frameworks were known to foster a creative environment conducive to innovation in knowledge organizations. Some of the well-known frameworks include the Creative Knowledge Environments (CKEs) by Hemlin, Allwood, and Martin (8), Enabling Spaces by Peschl and Fundneider (9), Physical Environmental Components Linked to Creativity by McCoy (10), the Characteristics of the Physical Work Environment for Creativity and Innovation by Moultrie et al. (11), Creativity Development Quick Scan (CDQS) by Dul and Ceylan (12), and the Impact of the Physical Environment on Creative Workplace Performance by Martens (13).

The project leader of this project, Dr. Lee, compiled these various frameworks and attributes to create a comprehensive framework for the key indicators of the physical work environment for the creative knowledge workplace. The framework is called Seven Creative Workplace Measures. The seven key indicators are: Recharge Spaces, Doodle Spaces, Unusual and Fun Atmosphere, Relaxing Environment, Stimulation of Senses, Technology Interface for Collaboration, and Balanced Layout.

Parallel to this topic, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) criteria affecting worker performance (and health and/or well-being) has always been an important discourse in the field of the built environment. Typical instruments used to measure worker performance influenced by IEQ criteria are post occupancy evaluations (POEs) with employees. In addition to POEs, there are widely known standards/guidelines, instruments, and meta-studies that identified IEQ criteria affecting human performance, health, and well-being (PHW). These include the Occupant Indoor Environmental Quality Survey (14), Workplace Performance IndexSM (15), the Ratings of Environmental Features (16)/ Cost-effective Open-Plan Environments (17), Building Use Studies (18)/ Post Occupancy Review of Building Engineering (19), Health Optimisation Protocol for Energy-efficient Buildings (20), Building Investment Decision Support (21), Health and Productivity Benefits of Green Schools (22), Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings (23), Design Quality Indicator (24), Whole Building Design Guide (25), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design© (26), Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (27), the National Health Service's Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT) (28), Active Design Guidelines (29), and Well Building Standard® (30).

Dr. Lee also compiled these various instruments, standards/guidelines, and meta-studies, and developed a comprehensive framework called Eight IEQ Criteria for PHW. These eight key indicators include Spatial Layout, Furniture Ergonomics, Neuro-Aesthetics, Acoustics, Visual Comfort, Thermal Comfort, Indoor Air, and Healthfulness. These two frameworks developed by Dr. Lee have become a foundation of the KPIs of the physical work environment of the CHPKW in this project.


  1. Amabile, T.M. (1988). A model of creativity and innovation in organizations. In B.M. Staw & L.L. Cummings (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior, 10, pp. 123-167.
  2. Oldham and Cummings (1996).
  3. OECD & Eurostat (2005). Oslo Manual Guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  4. The Advisory Committee on Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century Economy (2008). Innovation measurement: Tracking the state of innovation in the American economy. Report to the Secretary of Commerce.
  5. Manyika, J., Dobbs, R., Lund, S., & Roxburgh, C. (2010). How to compete and grow: A sector guide to policy. San Francisco: McKinsey Global Institute. Retrieved from: http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/reports/freepass_pdfs/competitiveness/Full_Report_Competitiveness.pdf.
  6. The US Department of Commerce & the National Economic Council (2012). The competitiveness and innovative capacity of the United States. Retrieved from http://www.commerce.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2012/january/competes_010511_0.pdf.
  7. OECD and Eurostat (2005). Oslo Manual Guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data. Paris: OECD Publishing
  8. Hemlin, S., Allwood, C.M. & Martin, B.R. (2004). What is a creative knowledge environment? In S. Hemlin, C.M. Allwood, & B.R. Martin (Eds.), Creative knowledge environments: The influences on creativity in research and innovation (pp.1-28), Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  9. Peschl, M.F. & Fundneider, T. (2012). Spaces enabling game-changing and sustaining innovations: Why space matters for knowledge creation and innovation. Journal of Organisational Transformation & Social Change, 9(1), 41-61.
  10. McCoy, J.M. (2005). Linking the physical work environment to creative context. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 39(3), 167-189.
  11. Moultrie, J., Nilsson, M., Dissel, M., Haner, U.E., Janssen, S., & Van der Lugt, R. (2007). Innovation spaces: towards a framework for understanding the role of the physical environment in innovation. Creativity and Innovation Management,16(1), 53-65.
  12. Dul, J. & Ceylan, C. (2011). Work environments for employee creativity. Ergonomics, 54(1), 12-20.
  13. Martens, Y. (2011). Creative workplace: instrumental and symbolic support for creativity. Facilities, 29(1/2), 63-79.
  14. The Center for the Built Environment. (2014). Occupant Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Survey. Retrieved from http://www.cbe.berkeley.edu/research/survey.htm.
  15. Gensler. (2008) The Gensler Design + Performance Index: The U.S. Workplace Survey. Retrieved from http://www.gensler.com/uploads/documents/USWorkplaceSurvey_07_17_2008.pdf.
  16. Stokols, D., & Scharf, T. (1990). Developing standardized tools for assessing employees' ratings of facility performance. AS special technical publication, (1029), 55-79.
  17. Veitch, J.A., Charles, K.E., Farley, K.M., & Newsham, G.R. (2007). A model of satisfaction with open-plan office conditions: COPE field findings. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 27(3), 177-189.
  18. Building Use Studies. (2012). Building Use Studies Flyer. Retrieved from: http://www.usablebuildings.co.uk/WebGuidePDFs/BUSFlyers.pdf.
  19. Leaman, A. & Bordass, W. (1999). The PROBE occupant surveys and their implications. In: Proceedings of the CIBSE National Conference 1999. United Kingdom: Harrogate.
  20. Bluyssen, P.M. (2002). European project Hope (Health Optimisation Protocol for Energy-Efficient Buildings). In: Proceedings of Indoor Air 2002 Conference. Monterey, California.
  21. Loftness, V., Hartkopf, V., Gurtekin, B., Hansen, D., & Hichcock, R. (2003). Linking energy to health and productivity in the built environment. In: Greenbuild Conference 2003. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  22. CRAHPBGS. (2006). Review and assessment of the health and productivity benefits of green schools. Washington DC: The National Academies Press.
  23. ASHRAE, USGBC, & CIBSE. (2010). Performance measurement protocols for commercial buildings. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
  24. Gann, D., Salter, A., & Whyte, J. (2003). Design quality indicator as a tool for thinking. Building Research & Information, 31(5), 318-333.
  25. Whole Building Design Guide. (2013). Sustainable design guide: Enhance indoor environmental quality. Retrieved from: http://www.wbdg.org/design/ieq.php
  26. The US Green Building Council. (2013). LEED rating systems. Retrieved from: http://www.usgbc.org/leed/rating-systems
  27. BRE Global. (2013). What is BREEAM? Retrieved from: http://www.breeam.org/page.jsp?id=27#1
  28. The National Archives. (2013). NHS Environment Assessment Tool guidance. Retrieved from: www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_411994.
  29. City of New York. (2010). Active Design Guidelines. Retrieved from http://centerforactivedesign.org/dl/guidelines.pdf
  30. International Well Building Institute™. (2014). Well Building Standard. New York: Delos Living LLC