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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2019

Brenda Groen, Theo van der Voordt, Bartele Hoekstra and Hester van Sprang

This paper aims to explore the relationship between satisfaction with buildings, facilities and services and perceived productivity support and to test whether the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the relationship between satisfaction with buildings, facilities and services and perceived productivity support and to test whether the findings from a similar study of Batenburg and Van der Voordt (2008) are confirmed in a repeat study after 10 years with more recent data.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were traced from a database with data on user satisfaction and perceived productivity support. These data were collected through the work environment diagnostic tool WODI light. The data include responses from 25,947 respondents and 191 organisations that have been analysed by stepwise multiple-regression analyses.

Findings

In total 38% of the variation of office employees’ satisfaction with support of productivity can be explained by employee satisfaction with facilities, the organisation, current work processes and personal- and job-related characteristics. The most important predictor of self-assessed support of productivity is employee satisfaction with facilities. In particular, psychological aspects, i.e. opportunities to concentrate and to communicate, privacy, level of openness, and functionality, comfort and diversity of the workplaces are very important. The findings confirm that employee satisfaction with facilities correlates significantly with perceived productivity support. Other factors that are not included in the data set, such as intrinsic motivation, labour circumstances and human resource management may have an impact as well.

Originality/value

This research provides a clear insight in the relation between employee satisfaction with facilities and the perceived support of productivity, based on survey data collected over almost 10 years in 191 organisations.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Sandra Brunia, Iris De Been and Theo J.M. van der Voordt

The purpose of this study is to explore which factors may explain the high or low percentages of satisfied employees in offices with shared activity-based workplaces.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore which factors may explain the high or low percentages of satisfied employees in offices with shared activity-based workplaces.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper compares data on employee satisfaction from two cases with remarkably high satisfaction scores and two cases with significantly lower satisfaction scores (total N = 930), all of the same organisation. These cases were selected from a database with employee responses to a standardised questionnaire in 52 flexible work environments. In the four case studies, also group interviews were conducted.

Findings

Overall, there are large differences in employee satisfaction between cases with, at first sight, a similar activity-based office concept. The main differences between the best and worst cases regard employee satisfaction with the interior design, level of openness, subdivision of space, number and diversity of work places and accessibility of the building. Employee satisfaction shows to be influenced by many physical characteristics of the work environment and by the implementation process. Satisfaction with the organisation may have an impact as well.

Research limitations/implications

Almost all cases regard Dutch organisations. Due to the lack of quantitative scales to define the physical characteristics of the work environment, the study is mainly descriptive and explorative and does not include advanced multivariate statistical analyses.

Practical implications

The data revealed clear critical success factors including a supportive spatial layout to facilitate communication and concentration, attractive architectural design, ergonomic furniture, appropriate storage facilities and coping with psychological and physical needs, such as privacy, thermal comfort, daylight and view. Critical process factors are the commitment of managers, a balance between a top-down and a bottom-up approach and clear instructions on how to use activity-based workplaces.

Originality/value

The study connects descriptive research with inductive reasoning to explore why employees may be satisfied or dissatisfied with flex offices. It is based on a combination of quantitative survey data from 52 cases and a closer look at two best cases and two worst cases based on qualitative data from interviews and personal observations. The study has high practical value due to the integral approach that incorporates many items of the physical environment and context factors like the implementation process.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 December 2001

Paul Vos and Theo van der Voordt

Many organisations have changed to new ways of working, steered or followed up by design interventions and sharing of activity related workplaces. Expectations have been…

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Abstract

Many organisations have changed to new ways of working, steered or followed up by design interventions and sharing of activity related workplaces. Expectations have been high. Innovative offices should lead to more efficient use of space and other facilities; greater job satisfaction; the projection of a positive image to clients; an improved performance of the organisation and its staff; and reduced costs. Have innovations in the working environment fulfilled these high expectations? Are the new offices really more efficient and more pleasant to work in? Or will constant changing of the workplace reduce satisfaction and productivity? What are the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of teleworking? Are the extra costs of nice ergonomic furniture, high‐tech information and communication technology (ICT) and image‐boosting gadgets counterbalanced by the expected profits in higher productivity and more efficient use of space? Evaluative research results show a mixed picture. Besides the considerable satisfaction with the attractive design and the improved opportunities to interact, there are many complaints about problems in concentrating on work. Psychological mechanisms, such as the need for status, privacy and individual territory, do not necessarily hinder ‘flexi‐working’, but only when the new situation provides considerable added value. Teleworking offers more freedom of choice, but there are attendant risks.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Miikka Palvalin, Theo van der Voordt and Tuuli Jylhä

This paper aims to explore the impact of workplaces, which support concentration and communication, and self-management practices on individual and team productivity. The…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the impact of workplaces, which support concentration and communication, and self-management practices on individual and team productivity. The underlying hypothesis is that the impact of these variables on the two levels of productivity (individual and team) and the two dimensions of productivity (quantity and quality) may be different.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on survey data from 998 Finnish knowledge workers. Factor analysis was used to test the dimensions of the conceptual model. Insights into the impact of workplaces for concentration and communications and self-management practices on productivity were obtained by multiple-regression analyses.

Findings

The findings show that self-management practices have a larger impact on the quality and quantity of individual output and the quantity of team output than workplaces for communication and concentration. Improving self-management skills is key to increase all productivity dimensions and in particular the quality of the output.

Practical implications

This paper contributes to a better understanding of the impact of workplace characteristics and self-management practices on different levels and dimensions of productivity. It offers valuable lessons for managers, as they are able to recognize how productivity can be approached from several perspectives. Different dimensions can be enhanced using different workplace settings. For example, the quantitative output of employees can be increased by adding more space for concentration, while quantitative team productivity can be increased by providing appropriate space for collaboration. An important means to enhance a higher quality of the output is to improve self-management skills. The findings also suggest that collaboration between different disciplines – corporate management, corporate real estate management, human resource management and IT – is needed to optimize individual and team productivity.

Originality/value

This paper explores work environment experiences of Finnish office workers and connects both workplace appraisal and work practices to perceived productivity support, on individual level and team level. It also adds insights into the different impacts on quantity and quality.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Theo J.M. van der Voordt

In the early 1990s, a few organisations in the Netherlands began to experiment with flexible workplaces. Traditional cellular offices and the open‐plan offices or…

12875

Abstract

In the early 1990s, a few organisations in the Netherlands began to experiment with flexible workplaces. Traditional cellular offices and the open‐plan offices or team‐oriented bullpen spaces in which everyone had their own fixed workplace were no longer a matter of course. Making use of modern information and communication technology, the pioneers redirected their attention towards the sharing of activity related workplaces in a combi‐office. Economic considerations (eg low occupancy of expensive workplaces), organisational developments (network organisations, teamwork, fast exchange of knowledge, part‐time work) and external developments (globalisation, strong competition) are important drivers for change. The aim is to stimulate new ways of working (dynamic, less closely linked to place and time), to improve labour productivity and to make major cost savings (fewer workplaces, fewer square metres), without reducing employee satisfaction. Since then a number of new offices have been realised. Twelve per cent of organisations that have moved recently use flexible workspaces for the most part or exclusively. An important question now is whether the aims have been achieved. What are the actual benefits? What are the risks? How should consultants advise their clients? The field is dominated by the opinions of those in favour and those against. Statements expressing the successes or failures of flexible offices contradict each other. Hard data are almost lacking. Due to the scarcity of empirically supported insights, the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands together with the Centre for People and Buildings and the Centre for Facility Management are carrying out investigations into the costs and benefits of workplace innovation. This paper reports on progress so far, with a focus on employee satisfaction and labour productivity.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Theo J.M. van der Voordt

391

Abstract

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Theo van der Voordt

This paper aims to explore similarities and dissimilarities between facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate management (CREM) regarding its history and key…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore similarities and dissimilarities between facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate management (CREM) regarding its history and key issues, and whether the similarities may result in a further integration of FM and CREM.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a review of FM and CREM literature, seven interviews with experienced academics and consultants and the long experience of the author as a researcher and teacher in accommodating people and activities.

Findings

Both FM and CREM aim to support primary business processes by aligning the physical resources of organisations to the organisational strategies in order to contribute to organisational performance and to add value to the organisation. Efficiently and effectively supporting the primary activities and business purposes are key issues. Dissimilarities consider the focus on facilities and services (FM) versus that on buildings and real-estate portfolios (CREM), as well as a shorter time frame and high flexibility of facilities (FM) versus a long life cycle and rather static buildings (CREM). In spite of the differences, it is expected that both disciplines will be more integrated in the future.

Research limitations/implications

The selection of key topics and key publications may be biased by the personal knowledge and European perspective of the author and the input from seven expert interviews.

Practical implications

The common body of knowledge of FM and CREM may be used to improve both professions and disciplines and may result in a more integrated approach of facilities and real estate management (FREM).

Originality/value

This paper combines insights from two related disciplines with different histories and focus points, and explores what they have in common and can learn from each other.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Theo J.M. van der Voordt

Because of the transition of the Dutch health care sector from a governmentally steered domain towards regulated market forces, health care organisations have become fully…

Abstract

Purpose

Because of the transition of the Dutch health care sector from a governmentally steered domain towards regulated market forces, health care organisations have become fully responsible for their real estate. This paper aims to explore if/how Dutch health care organisations adopt the concept of adding value by corporate and public real estate, which values are prioritised and how these values are implemented in daily practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature study and a meta-analysis of six student theses (1 × BSc, 1 × MSc, 3 × post-MSc and 1 × PhD) on adding value by health care facilities were conducted, using document analysis and semi-structured interviews with CEOs, project leaders, real estate managers and facility managers. All respondents work in Dutch hospitals, assisted living facilities for the elderly, or mental health care facilities. The interviews were jointly prepared by the students, and the author of this paper being their supervisor.

Findings

End-user satisfaction, enhancing productivity and stimulating innovation are highly prioritised. Which values are prioritised depends on the organisational objectives, target group, available budget, position in the life cycle of design, construction and use and external context, in particular governmental policy and competition with other health care suppliers. The operationalisation into concrete design choices and strategic management of buildings-in-use is still underdeveloped.

Research limitations/implications

The interviews lasted 1-1.5 hours, which is rather limited to get a complete picture. Although much work has been done to operationalise the added value of corporate real estate and building-related facilities, there is still a lack of a widely agreed taxonomy of added values and how to measure and manage these values. Ongoing international collaboration between researchers and practitioners aims to contribute to a common framework and to develop standardised measurement methods.

Practical implications

The insights can support decision-makers in value-adding real estate and facilities management value by public and corporate real estate. The listings of prioritised values and related interventions can be used as a frame of reference to improve the current design and management of health care real estate.

Social implications

A clear insight in value-adding management of corporate real estate may result in a better fit among real estate, organisational objectives and end-user needs.

Originality/value

The findings link the added value theory to corporate real estate management in Dutch health care practice.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

Open Access
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.

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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

Keywords

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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