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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Shang Gao, Sui Pheng Low and Hua Qian Gong

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the activity-based workspace (ABW) on employee belonging. Place attachment theory (PAT) is used as a proxy to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the activity-based workspace (ABW) on employee belonging. Place attachment theory (PAT) is used as a proxy to understand and measure the belongingness of employees to their physical workplaces.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study of a bank’s newly retrofitted ABW office is conducted, providing fresh perspectives on the effect of ABW on employee belonging. A questionnaire survey was used to understand employee belongingness. Surveys are conducted with employees of the bank (n = 100) who experienced the transition from the conventional open-plan office with designated seats to an ABW, to understand and compare the change in employee belonging after the transition, by studying the level of belonging achieved in the space before and after.

Findings

The results showed that there was a positive sense of belongingness amongst employees working in the ABW space, as per the PAT framework and an increased sense of belongingness compared with the previous conventional open-plan office. However, ABWs were found to also have a negative effect on employees’ sense of control and security.

Originality/value

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs indicates that a feeling of belonging is fundamental to humans. The need for belonging is also applicable in the workplaces of today’s progressive corporate organisations, where there is increased pressure and incentive to appeal to and retain talent. This research was conducted in response to the huge growth in interest in activity-based working across the corporate real estate community. As there has been no prior research done in the area of the emotional need for belongingness in ABW.

Details

Facilities , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 August 2020

Rianne Appel-Meulenbroek, Theo van der Voordt, Rik Aussems, Theo Arentze and Pascale Le Blanc

This paper aims to explore, which characteristics of activity-based offices are related to the position of workers on the burnout – engagement continuum.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore, which characteristics of activity-based offices are related to the position of workers on the burnout – engagement continuum.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review and an online survey amongst knowledge workers in the Netherlands, which provided data of 184 respondents from 14 organisations. The data has been analysed by descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, factor analyses and path analysis, to test the conceptual model.

Findings

Five physical work environment constructs were identified of which three showed to have significant relations with employees’ position on one of the three dimensions of the burnout – engagement continuum. Distraction has a direct and indirect (through overload) negative relation with the individual strain (meaning increased exhaustion). Office comfort has indirect positive relations (through recognition and appreciation) with the interpersonal strain (meaning increased involvement). The possibility for teleworking has an indirect positive relation (through control) on the self-evaluation strain (meaning increased efficacy).

Practical implications

The findings show that in the design and management of a healthy physical work environment, corporate real estate managers and human resource managers should particularly pay attention to lowering distraction, providing comfortable workplaces and considering the option of teleworking to some extent.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insights into the impact of distinct activity-based workplace characteristics on workers’ position on the burnout – engagement continuum.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Tuija Muhonen and Hanne Berthelsen

The aim of the current interview study was to investigate how the university staff and their immediate managers perceived the academic work environment after a transition…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the current interview study was to investigate how the university staff and their immediate managers perceived the academic work environment after a transition to activity-based workplaces (ABW).

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted with 11 university lecturers/researchers and 12 academic middle managers, that is, heads of departments or units in a Swedish university.

Findings

The qualitative content analysis revealed four central themes indicating how the academic environment had been affected: challenges related to decision-making and implementation of ABW, interpersonal relations and communication, consequences for academic identity and issues related to the physical work environment.

Research limitations/implications

The non-purposive sampling of participants coming from a single university is a limitation of the current study. More studies are needed to deepen the knowledge and to further corroborate the transferability of the findings.

Practical implications

The savings the universities expect to achieve in terms of reduced costs for premises, when introducing ABW, may lead to other kinds of costs, such as jeopardizing employee performance, comfort and well-being. It is therefore important that the academic staff is empowered and involved during the planning and implementation process of new offices.

Originality/value

The study contributes new knowledge concerning implementation of ABW and its consequences for the academic work environment.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2011

Rianne Appel‐Meulenbroek, Peter Groenen and Ingrid Janssen

The activity‐based office concept of the modern office is set to increase productivity through the stimulation of interaction and communication while retaining employee…

Abstract

Purpose

The activity‐based office concept of the modern office is set to increase productivity through the stimulation of interaction and communication while retaining employee satisfaction and reducing the accommodation costs. Although some research has gone into understanding the added value, there is still a need for sound data on the relationship between office design, its intentions and the actual use after implementation. The purpose of this paper is to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

An evaluative study on the effectiveness of activity‐based office concepts was carried out to gain more insight in their use. The study included relevant literature on workplace design, combined with an observation and a survey of 182 end‐users from four different service organizations in The Netherlands.

Findings

The findings from these case studies underline some known benefits and disadvantages of activity‐based office concepts, and provide insight in the importance of several physical, social and mental aspects of the office environment in employee choice behavior. This study shows that the office concept is not always used as intended what could result in a loss in productivity, illness and dissatisfaction. People's personal preferences seem to have a bigger effect on the use of certain types of workplaces than some workstation facilities, although ergonomics and IT equipment and systems are expected to be satisfactory everywhere. Misusage of the concept is often the consequence of critical design (process) failures.

Originality/value

The originality of this research lies in the combination of studying the program of requirements, a questionnaire and most of all the observation in a quiet period, providing new information on choice behavior.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 26 May 2020

Yujin Kim and Eunhwa Yang

This paper aims to propose a theoretical framework for workplace research based on sociomateriality. Sociomateriality is a theory to explain the effects of social practice…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a theoretical framework for workplace research based on sociomateriality. Sociomateriality is a theory to explain the effects of social practice and materiality in an organization. Workplace studies in facility management (FM) can adopt this theory to understand the complex relationships between physical work environments and human factors.

Design/methodology/approach

Review of sociomateriality was conducted to understand the connection to existing workplace studies in FM. This study addresses the components of the workplace through the sociomateriality perspective.

Findings

The main focuses in sociomateriality theory are materiality and social practice. For workplace concepts specifically in FM, workplaces and their components are a material agency, and work and workers are a social practice agency. By considering both materiality and sociality in workplace environments, researchers can understand office dynamics and interrelationships. Lastly, two statistical analysis methods are suggested to analyze the framework: structural equation modeling and multilevel analysis.

Originality/value

To understand the human–environment relationship, it is essential to consider both materiality and social practice perspectives simultaneously. The proposed framework can be a foundation to explain the complex interactions between the physical environment and human factors of workers in individual organizations.

Details

Facilities , vol. 38 no. 13/14
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2020

Per Anker Jensen and Theo van der Voordt

This paper aims to investigate how facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate management (CREM) can add value to organisations by contributing to improved…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate management (CREM) can add value to organisations by contributing to improved productivity of knowledge workers, and to explore interrelationships between productivity, employee satisfaction and other value parameters.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a literature research of possible contributions of FM and CREM to improved labour productivity in relation to five activity areas of FM/CREM (portfolio management, project management, space and workplace management, property management and service management) and a first exploration of interrelationships between productivity and other value parameters.

Findings

The findings indicate that FM and CREM most directly can contribute to productivity by space and workplace management that supports different types of work and organisational activities. Portfolio and project management can mostly contribute by providing appropriate locations, adjacency relations between different parts of the organisation and supporting process flow and logistics. Property management can contribute to productivity by ensuring business continuity and comfortable indoor climate. Service management can contribute by relieving staff from trivial tasks by efficient services and by providing exiting experiences. Productivity shows to be mainly positively related to satisfaction; insights into interrelationships with other value parameters are still limited.

Practical implications

The results can be used to obtain a deeper understanding of how FM and CREM can add value to organisations by contributing to improved labour productivity. Practitioners can find inspiration on how to contribute to labour productivity and additional benefits within specific activity areas of FM and CREM. The exploration of interrelationships between productivity and other values can be used as input to a future research agenda.

Originality/value

The paper adds new insights to the growing body of knowledge about how FM/CREM can contribute to increased labour productivity and how other value parameters may be interrelated with productivity.

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Inka Kojo and Suvi Nenonen

This paper aims to categorize the typologies of co-working spaces and describe their main characteristics.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to categorize the typologies of co-working spaces and describe their main characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

The aim is reached by means of analyzing 15 co-working spaces located in the capital area of Finland. The data used consist of interviews, websites, event presentations and brochures.

Findings

As a result, six co-working space typologies were identified: public offices, third places, collaboration hubs, co-working hotels, incubators and shared studios. The categorization was made by using two axes: business model (for profit and non-profit) and level of user access (public, semi-private and private).

Research limitations/implications

The results provide a viewpoint on how co-working spaces can be categorized.

Practical implications

In practise, the results can be applied by all stakeholders who are working with alternative workplace solutions to respond to the needs of new ways of working, especially via workplace services for multi-locational and flexible working, including facilities managers, corporate real estate executives and designers.

Originality/value

This research builds on the previous academic literature on co-working spaces by making the phenomena more explicit for researchers and practitioners who are facing the challenges of developing new alternative workplace offerings.

Details

Facilities, vol. 34 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2017

Robyn Creagh, Sarah McGann, Marian Tye, Jonine Jancey and Courtney Babb

The purpose of this paper is to report on research investigating the relationship between physical activity and workplace design. In particular, the paper explores the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on research investigating the relationship between physical activity and workplace design. In particular, the paper explores the social–ecological context of a new workplace building. This paper seeks to understand why better physical activity outcomes for the staff were not observed in the new building despite influence from a staff wellness committee during design; achieving success against existing best-practice indicators; and staff reporting increased feelings of wellness, energy and satisfaction with the new building.

Design/methodology/approach

Three design aspects are taken as a focus from within an opportunistic pre-/post-physical activity study of an organisation as they move from a building they occupied for 30 years into a new purpose-designed building. This study was conducted through mixed methods, incorporating ethnographic, architectural and quantitative means.

Findings

The social, spatial and personal context is important for understanding participant workplace-based physical activity. Despite the health and well-being goals and 5 Star Green Star outcomes of the new building, participants were sedentary for a substantive part of their workday in both buildings.

Practical implications

A well-designed environment can support staff feeling healthier, but the 5 Star Green Star rating does not implicitly ensure a healthier, activity-promoting environment. Facilities managers and designers can act to provide physically active paths as the most straightforward circulation option in workplaces.

Originality/value

The originality of this study lies in the opportunity to conduct a pre-/post-study of physical activity where the organisation, workforce and type of work are constant and where the variable is the building design, spatial configuration and location. The methods used in this study draw from both health promotion and architectural research practices.

Details

Facilities, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Peggie Rothe, Anna-Liisa Sarasoja and Christopher Heywood

This paper aims to examine short-distance firm relocations, the most frequent form of relocation, to better understand how employees as individuals experience those…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine short-distance firm relocations, the most frequent form of relocation, to better understand how employees as individuals experience those relocations.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was a multiple-case study with five organisations that had relocated within the same metropolitan area during the previous 18 months. To understand why and how the relocation was carried out, 15 semi-structured interviews were conducted with company representatives who were actively involved in making decisions and executing the relocation of their organisation. Subsequently, to study the employees’ experience and perception of the process, 17 employees who did not have an assigned role in the process were also interviewed.

Findings

The findings show that even within the same organization, people experience relocation differently; therefore, the employees should not be treated as one object of change but as several individuals who experience change. Further, it was identified that relocation included both location and workplace change aspects.

Research limitations/implications

The study is of qualitative nature and, therefore, the findings should not be generalized to individuals outside of the context of study. Instead, the value lies in the description and the themes developed in the specific context. The findings show that emphasis needs to be put on how the relocation process is managed, and that relocation change management efforts should include both location and workplace changes.

Originality/value

This study provides new insight on how individual employees experience the relocation process and augments the previous body of knowledge on employee experiences and satisfaction with various elements in the work environment and/or with new ways of working, and the previous studies on relocation that focus on comparing employees’ experiences of the old office with the new one.

Details

Facilities, vol. 33 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2020

Megan Divett

This paper aims to evaluate perceptions of leaders and team members on productivity, satisfaction and leader-led team dynamics within an activity-based, flexible…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate perceptions of leaders and team members on productivity, satisfaction and leader-led team dynamics within an activity-based, flexible environment compared to an open plan workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses cross-sectional (N = 1,275) and longitudinal survey data (N = 138) collected from three offices in Australia. Baseline responses were collected 3–12 months prior to the transition into a new environment and comparison responses were collected after at least three months of working in the new environment. Paired sample t-tests and linear regression were used.

Findings

Team members were more satisfied and felt more productive within the activity-based working (ABW) environment compared to the open plan workplace. Leaders were more satisfied and felt team productivity improved, yet individual productivity for leaders remained the same. Occupants felt the key drivers of productivity were team Interaction and decision-making.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused on one activity-based building based in Australia that was consciously designed for individual focus, team working and cross-team collaboration. This style of workplace may not be representative of all activity-based environments.

Originality/value

Most research into ABW has relied on cross-sectional data. This study also adopts a within group, longitudinal approach to directly compare the perceptions of the same individuals over time. Activity-based environments are changing the way we think of leaders and the way they encourage productivity. This study showed that despite relinquishing an office, leaders were more satisfied and equally productive within an activity-based environment. The study also showed that teams realise greater productivity by focussing on team interaction and effective decision-making.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

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