Office-goers spent 92 yrs waiting for elevator

Updated: Apr 30, 2010, 13:42 PM IST

Chicago: Time spent by office workers across 16 US cities last year waiting for an elevator is equivalent to a staggering 92 years, according to an IBM study which said such inefficiencies in office buildings are leading to lost productivity and added costs.

US office buildings have failed to keep pace with the revolution in automation that pervades modern life, the survey
of American office workers by IBM said.

"The cost of the intelligence gap is reflected in many ways. About 25 percent of the respondents said elevators in their office buildings are poorly coordinated; for example, too few or too many at any one time, or insufficient capacity," the IBM Smarter Buildings study said.

The study said the cumulative time that office workers across the 16 cities spent in the last 12 months waiting for elevators totalled 92 years, describing it as "onerous".

Further, the cumulative time that office workers spent "stuck in elevators" in the last one year totalled 33 years across these 16 cities.

"Even as automobiles, transportation systems, electrical grids and other modern systems are achieving greater efficiency, many office buildings remain rooted in the past," vice president for Energy and Environment at IBM Rich Lechner said.

Separately, the time that office workers spent stuck in elevators across the 16 cities in the past 12 months was 5.9
years in New York City, 4.3 years in Los Angeles and 3.2 years
in Chicago.

The other cities were Houston (2.9 years), Dallas/Fort Worth (2.4 years), Washington DC (2.2 years), Atlanta (1.9 years), Boston (1.8 years), Philadelphia (1.7 years).

Similarly, the time spent waiting for an elevator in New York City is 16.6 years, Los Angeles, 8.7 years, Chicago, 9.0 years, followed by Houston (6.8 years), Dallas/Fort Worth (5.5 years), Washington DC (7.7 years), Atlanta (4.3 years) and Boston (5.4 years).

The study surveyed 6,486 office workers in 16 US cities on issues ranging from office building automation and security to elevator reliability and conservation issues.

The survey also revealed a groundswell of desire among working people to help remake their offices into greener environments.

Los Angeles fared best in a number of key categories surveyed. The city had the highest percentage (40 per cent) of respondents who said their office buildings automatically sense when people are in a room and adjust lights and temperature accordingly ? compared with the average of 27 percent.