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Performance-oriented office environments – framework for effective workspace design and the accompanying change processes

Annette Kämpf-Dern (Faculty of Civil Engineering, Bauhaus-Universitat Weimar, Weimar, Germany)
Jennifer Konkol (Department of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Zurcher Hochschule fur Angewandte Wissenschaften, Kilchberg, Switzerland)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 13 November 2017




The purpose of this paper is to introduce a comprehensive framework that covers the major dimensions of performance-oriented office environments including involved actors and performance parameters on the one hand, and the processes and success factors of implementation and change management of such workspace projects on the other hand, with their interaction to be considered as well. This framework can serve as a first guideline and rough “checklist” to support such projects, both in research and practice.


The framework was developed and refined by combining international literature analyses, industry experience from the authors and application of first conceptual ideas to a pilot project. The methodology of the whole endeavor, not only this paper, is a grounded theory approach, acknowledging the intermediate state of prior theory regarding workspace change projects. The framework will thus be further developed with additional case-based empirics in the future.


The framework addresses the design parameters (the content) of (re)developing performance-oriented office environments as well as the management (the processes) of this (re)development including its implementation. Due to the considerable number of dimensions and factors relevant for workspace projects in addition to their interaction and dependency as well as the individuality of situation and stakeholders, the probability of workspace project failure is high. Knowing the parameters of workspace change project success and measures to be tracked and checked during the design and implementation processes of such projects is therefore imperative. Suggestions for operationalizing the relevant factors are made. Equally important is to understand and address individual emotions and concerns of those being involved in or affected by the change situation, and to inform and include them adequately. The comprehensive framework provides a respective first overview.

Research limitations/implications

The framework is conceptual, based on many sources. Yet, the exhaustive inclusion of all research on the many relevant factors is neither feasible nor intended. The paper rather tries to be comprehensive on the dimensions to be considered and to only exemplarily concretize how to handle this complexity in a manageable and practical way. Future research needs to test and adapt the proposed framework, to detail key performance indicators (KPIs), indicators and processes suggested, and to develop an according planning and controlling system.

Practical implications

The paper pictures key aspects for the effective design and change management of holistic workspace projects. KPIs as well as leading indicators are introduced that can be used to measure the various dimensions in an ongoing process throughout all phases of the project, enabling the organization to anticipate or at least rapidly react to problems arising. Accordingly, success factors for managing workspace change are collected and structured along the workspace dimensions including actors and performance.


The originality of this study lies in the approach to comprehensively integrating design and change management parameters of workspace projects, the explicit performance orientation and the inclusion of the multitude of actors (i.e. users, facilities management, Human Resources, ICT). Instead of the design and its implementation only being supported by change management, the organizational environment and its needs – like way of working, organization models, performance priorities and change capabilities – are driving the design, which constitutes a new approach in the design activity.



This paper forms part of a special section Papers from 23rd ERES Conference 2016.


Kämpf-Dern, A. and Konkol, J. (2017), "Performance-oriented office environments – framework for effective workspace design and the accompanying change processes", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 208-238.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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