Perceptions of performance and satisfaction after relocation to an activity-based office

Linda Rolfö, Jörgen Eklund, Helena Jahncke
2017 Ergonomics  
Many companies move from open-plan offices (OPO) to activity-based workplaces (ABWs). However, few studies examine the benefits and drawbacks following such a change. The aim of this study was to explore how physical conditions, office use, communication, privacy, territoriality, satisfaction and perceived performance change following a company's relocation from an OPO to an ABW. A mixed methods approach included pre-and post-relocation questionnaires and post-relocation focus groups,
more » ... interviews and observations. The questionnaires enabled comparisons over time (n = 34) and broader analyses based on retrospective ratings of perceived change (n = 66). Results showed that satisfaction with auditory privacy, background noise, air quality, outdoor view and aesthetics increased significantly after relocation. Negative outcomes, such as lack of communication within teams, were perceived as being due to the high people-to-workstation ratio and lack of rules. Overall satisfaction with the physical work environment increased in the ABW compared to the OPO. Perceived performance did not change significantly. Practitioner Summary: Activity-based workplaces (ABWs) are commonly implemented although their effects on performance and well-being are unclear. This case study gives advice to stakeholders involved in office planning. Despite shortcomings with the people-to-workstation ratio and rules, employees showed improved satisfaction with auditory privacy and aesthetics in the ABW compared with the previous open-plan office.
doi:10.1080/00140139.2017.1398844 pmid:29134874 fatcat:ew6kqdw5zvetrnpczrpkdz3n2q