To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Office relocation: changes in privacy fit, satisfaction and fatigue

Clara Weber (School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Wädenswil, Switzerland and Environmental Psychology Department, School of Psychology University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, and)
Birgitta Gatersleben (Environmental Psychology Department, School of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 24 September 2021




The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an office move (and associated changes in settings, protocols and autonomy) on changes in privacy fit, privacy-related coping appraisal as well as changes in satisfaction and fatigue. The study builds on Altman’s (1975) privacy regulation model and the cognitive appraisal theory as a transactional model of stress.


Data was collected over two points of measurement from 61 office workers who moved from a standard open-plan office to an office that is activity based. The first questionnaire was distributed six weeks prior to the office move and the follow-up questionnaire approximately eight months after. With its longitudinal design, this study extends past research by demonstrating the changing nature of privacy fit and revealing predictors of change in privacy fit and coping appraisal.


Cross-lagged autoregression analysis of change confirmed suggested predictors such as increase in variety of settings and in adherence of others to protocols that positively influenced post-move privacy fit. Further, change in coping appraisal post move was predicted by an increase in perceived environmental and behavioural flexibility. Changes in privacy fit and appraisal were associated with increases in job and workplace satisfaction and decreases in emotional and mental work fatigue post move.


Results could inform physical workplace design as well as cultural interventions in organisations. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first study investigating the psychological process of privacy experience by using a transactional model of stress.



Weber, C. and Gatersleben, B. (2021), "Office relocation: changes in privacy fit, satisfaction and fatigue", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited