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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2019

Barry P. Haynes, Louise Suckley and Nick Nunnington

The paper aims to explore the relationship between office occupier work activity and workplace provision. It tests the proposition that location-fixed office workers are…

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1054

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the relationship between office occupier work activity and workplace provision. It tests the proposition that location-fixed office workers are not well-supported in the working environment as location-flexible office workers. The research also explores the perceptions of the workplace provision based upon the types of tasks completed at the desk-location, whether this was collaborative or focussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a cross-sectional approach using an online questionnaire to collect data from several offices in the Middles East. The dataset consists of 405 responses. One-way analysis of variance was conducted to understand the relationship between location flexibility and perception of productivity. In addition, a series of t test were used to evaluate the relationship between work activities and office environment.

Findings

The results show that those workers who were location-fixed perceived the workplace provision to have a more negative impact on their productivity than those who had a greater level of location-flexibility, particularly with regards to noise levels and interruptions. In terms of types of activities, those that undertook more collaborative tasks valued the facilitation of creativity and interaction from the workplace provision.

Research limitations/implications

The research has limitations as data collection was at one-point in time and therefore lacks the opportunity to undertake longitudinal analysis. However, the research gives greater insights into the alignment of office environments based on flexibility and work activity.

Practical implications

The paper identifies implications for the design and development of office environments by identifying the need for office occupier activity profiles. These profiles can underpin data-led design which should promote a tailored choice appropriate work setting that can maximise productivity.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the research area of workplace alignment. It establishes that optimal workplace alignment requires a better understanding of office occupier needs based on location-flexibility and work activity.

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2019

Michael Roskams, Barry Haynes, Pyoung-Jik Lee and Sang-Hee Park

This paper aims to determine the extent to which employees’ experiences of acoustic comfort, well-being and productivity in open-plan offices are determined by specific…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine the extent to which employees’ experiences of acoustic comfort, well-being and productivity in open-plan offices are determined by specific characteristics (including demographic information, task characteristics, and personality traits).

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was distributed to the occupants of three open-plan office sites and was completed by 166 employees in total.

Findings

The results indicated that acoustic comfort in open-plan offices is largely determined by noise sensitivity. Higher noise sensitivity was associated with more negative ratings of acoustical quality, more perceived disturbance by speech and more difficulties in concentration. More negative experiences were also reported by employees with lower interactivity with colleagues.

Practical implications

There is significant inter-individual variability in experiences of acoustic comfort, well-being and productivity in open-plan offices. As such, workplace practitioners should consider acoustic and behavioural solutions for introducing a greater diversity of functional workspaces within the office, so that employees can choose the most suitable working area for their requirements.

Originality/value

Whereas the majority of past acoustics research has been laboratory-based, this study is conducted in real office environments with a representative sample of knowledge workers.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Barry Haynes, Louise Suckley and Nick Nunnington

Open-plan office environments are considered to offer workplace productivity benefits because of the opportunities that they create for interaction and knowledge exchange…

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6169

Abstract

Purpose

Open-plan office environments are considered to offer workplace productivity benefits because of the opportunities that they create for interaction and knowledge exchange, but more recent research has highlighted noise, distraction and loss of privacy as significant productivity penalties with this office layout. This study aims to investigate if the purported productivity benefits of open plan outweigh the potential productivity penalties.

Design/methodology/approach

Previous research suggests that office environments are experienced differently according to the gender and age of the occupier across both open-plan and enclosed configurations. Empirical research undertaken with office occupiers in the Middle East (N = 220) led to evaluations to establish the impact different offices had on perceived productivity. Factor analysis was used to establish five underlying components of office productivity. The five factors are subsequently used as the basis for comparison between office occupiers based on age, gender and office type.

Findings

This research shows that benefits and penalties to workplace productivity are experienced equally across open-plan and enclosed office environments. The greatest impact on perceived workplace productivity however was availability of a variety of physical layouts, control over interaction and the “downtime” offered by social interaction points. Male occupiers and those from younger generations were also found to consider the office environment to have more of a negative impact on their perceived workplace productivity compared to female and older occupiers.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is that it develops the concept of profiling office occupiers with the aim of better matching office provision. This paper aims to establish different occupier profiles based on age, gender and office type. Data analysis techniques such as factor analysis and t-test analysis identify the need for different spaces so that occupiers can choose the most appropriate space to best undertake a particular work task. In addition, it emphasises the value that occupiers place on “downtime” leading to the need for appropriate social space.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2019

Michael Roskams and Barry Haynes

Advancements in wireless sensor technology and building modelling techniques have enabled facilities managers to understand the environmental performance of the workplace…

Abstract

Purpose

Advancements in wireless sensor technology and building modelling techniques have enabled facilities managers to understand the environmental performance of the workplace in more depth than ever before. However, it is unclear to what extent this data can be used to predict subjective environmental comfort. This study aims to pilot test a methodological framework for integrating real-time environmental data with subjective ratings of environmental comfort.

Design/methodology/approach

An open-plan office was fitted with environmental sensors to measure key indoor environmental quality parameters (carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity, illumination and sound pressure level). Additionally, building modelling techniques were used to calculate two spatial metrics (“workspace integration” and workspace density) for each workspace within the study area. In total, 15 employees were repeatedly sampled across an 11-day study period, providing 78 momentary assessments of environmental comfort. Multilevel models were used to explore the extent to which the objective environmental data predicted subjective environmental comfort.

Findings

Higher carbon dioxide levels were associated with more negative ratings of air quality, higher “workspace integration” was associated with higher levels of distractions, and higher workspace density was associated with lower levels of social interactions.

Originality/value

To our knowledge, this is the first field study to directly explore the relationship between physical environment data collected using wireless sensors and subjective ratings of environmental comfort. The study provides proof-of-concept for a methodological framework for the integration of building analytics and human analytics.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 31 October 2008

Barry P. Haynes

This paper aims to establish if office occupiers, who adopt different work patterns, can be segmented based on differences of perceived productivity with regards to the…

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3775

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to establish if office occupiers, who adopt different work patterns, can be segmented based on differences of perceived productivity with regards to the physical environment and the behavioural environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Components of office productivity were used in an office productivity model with categorical data enabling a unique opportunity to undertake an analysis of office occupiers by work process type.

Findings

The four distinct evaluative components used were comfort, office layout, interaction and distraction. The components were subsequently used for more detailed statistical analysis. This study establishes that statistical differences exist between the work styles under investigation.

Research limitations/implications

This research establishes that to truly appreciate office productivity there is a need to further understand the way that people work in offices and their specific requirements. The matching of office occupier need with space provision can only be achieved if the office occupier is involved in the creation of the office solution.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates that there is a need to consider how the office environment matches the work patterns of the office occupiers. This understanding of how the office works could be considered as establishing the office landscape or “officescape”.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Barry P. Haynes

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the relationship between corporate strategy and corporate real estate (CRE) strategy.

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3199

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the relationship between corporate strategy and corporate real estate (CRE) strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper will identify, and evaluate, a number of components that collectively form the CRE strategy. Linkages between the business environment, the aims and objectives of the organisation and the real estate solution will be explored.

Findings

The paper will illustrate the alignment of the CRE strategy to the corporate strategy through the development of a CRE alignment model. The model will demonstrate that only when optimum alignment is achieved can the CRE strategy deliver added value and enhanced organisational performance.

Practical implications

CRE managers can use the model to evaluate the alignment of their CRE strategy with their corporate strategy.

Originality/value

The paper fills a void by proposing a framework that seeks to identify the true impact of real estate to business by examining the benefits of optimal alignment between, planet, position, purpose, place, paradigm, processes and people to produce performance and productivity.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 6 August 2019

Michael Roskams and Barry Haynes

The purpose of this study is to pilot test the effectiveness of the experience sampling approach for measuring employee satisfaction with the workplace environment…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to pilot test the effectiveness of the experience sampling approach for measuring employee satisfaction with the workplace environment. Additionally, the authors also aimed to explore, which aspects of environmental comfort have the strongest impact on momentary well-being and productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 15 knowledge workers in an open-plan office environment were sent a brief survey (measuring environmental comfort, momentary well-being and perceived productivity) each day over an 11-day study period and provided 78 individual survey responses in total.

Findings

All but one of the measures on the survey had low test-retest reliability, indicating that employees’ experiences of environmental comfort varied significantly each time they completed the survey. Additionally, higher environmental comfort was associated with improved well-being and productivity.

Practical implications

The results suggest that an experience sampling approach to the workplace occupant survey is justified to better capture the temporal variability in experiences of environmental comfort. The results also suggest that improving environmental comfort, particularly by reducing the level of distractions, will enable employees to work more productively.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first field study which has attempted to directly address limitations in traditional occupant surveys by using an experience sampling approach rather than a one-time-only questionnaire.

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2019

Michael Roskams and Barry Haynes

This paper aims to identify the employee characteristics which are most strongly associated with perceived requirements for different aspects of the workplace environment.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the employee characteristics which are most strongly associated with perceived requirements for different aspects of the workplace environment.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was completed by 364 employees from a large private-sector organisation. Respondents were surveyed on different work-related, personality and demographic characteristics. They then completed a series of items measuring perceived requirements for four aspects of the workplace environment (workspace segregation, workspace territoriality, individual environmental control and aesthetic quality). Associations between employee characteristics and perceived workplace requirements were explored using multiple regression analyses.

Findings

Numerous significant associations emerged. For example, the requirement for more segregated workspaces was associated with higher susceptibility to distraction, and the requirement for higher workspace territoriality was associated with less positive perceptions regarding the impact of flexible working on work effectiveness.

Originality/value

The individual difference factors which moderate satisfaction with the workplace environment have received relatively little attention in past research. The present study addresses this knowledge gap by including a wider range of employee characteristics and comprehensively investigating which of these most strongly predict differences in perceived requirements for the workplace.

Details

Facilities , vol. 38 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Barry Haynes and If Price

Despite well‐publicised successes and failures, the evidence base for the impact of a workplace on an organisation’s business performance remains small and confused…

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2815

Abstract

Despite well‐publicised successes and failures, the evidence base for the impact of a workplace on an organisation’s business performance remains small and confused. Theoretical perspectives are, with few exceptions, limited to matching physical environment to task. The concept from complexity theory of “edge of chaos” – a critical density of connectivity (Kauffman’s K) between the agents in a network in which adaptability is maximised – may explain how workplaces enable, or retard innovation. Formal rectilinear open plan offices are conceived as freezing occupants in a state of connectivity as low as traditional cellular designs. Offices without minimal acoustic or visual privacy (high K) may create chaotic stress and reversion as individuals seek to recreate safety. In between are offices known to have enhanced informal conversation between their occupants and resultant innovation.

Details

Facilities, vol. 22 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2020

Michael Roskams and Barry Haynes

There has been limited investigation into how “biophilic design” (i.e. the integration of nature within the built environment) can be effectively used within the workplace…

Abstract

Purpose

There has been limited investigation into how “biophilic design” (i.e. the integration of nature within the built environment) can be effectively used within the workplace to facilitate the process of psychological restoration. The purpose of this study was to focus, in particular, on the effectiveness of biophilic “restoration pods” in promoting recovery from stress.

Design/methodology/approach

A randomised field experiment was conducted. A total of 32 employees from a participating organisation completed two tests replicating typical office work (proofreading and arithmetic) and subjective ratings of stress, anxiety and task-load both before and after a 10-minute micro-break, taken in either the regeneration pods (treatment group) or an ordinary meeting room (control group).

Findings

The results showed that participants who took their break in the regeneration pod reported lower post-break anxiety and perceived task-load, and higher post-break arithmetic task performance, than the control group.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that purpose-built spaces for restoration within office buildings will be effective for helping employees to proactively manage their stress levels while at work. Biophilic design principles will enhance the effectiveness of these spaces, and this does not necessarily need to involve direct exposure to plants or views of nature.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first randomised field experiment to test the effectiveness of a purpose-built space for restoration within offices. Additionally, this paper explores different forms of biophilic design than previous studies.

Details

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

Keywords

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