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Ergonomic analysis of the use of open-plan offices in Brazilian public sector offices


The open-plan office is a layout used in government offices in Brazil aimed at saving on space occupied and integrating employees. However, the design of these work-stations must follow the characteristics of tasks and their interrelationships, since adverse physical and organizational conditions may have a negative impact on work productivity. From this perspective, this study sought to identify, from the viewpoint of the ergonomics of the built environment, the adequacy of the open-plan government offices for financial auditing accounts and analyzing documents. Use was made of the Ergonomic Methodology for Evaluating the Built Environment - MEAC (in Portuguese) which systematically analyzes the physical space, by using a mix of physical-spatial assessments and tools for identifying how the environment is perceived. The MEAC was employed in three analytical phases of the physical aspects, namely: an analytical phase of the user’s perception; a diagnostic phase; and a final phase of propositions.