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The Office - An Explorative Study: Architectural Design's Impact on Health, Job Satisfaction & Well-being
KTH, Skolan för arkitektur och samhällsbyggnad (ABE), Arkitektur.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-7987-1567
2010 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis examines the office environment’s influence on employees’ perception oftheir workplaces, their organizations and their job satisfaction, as well as their health and wellbeing.It is based on an empirical study of 491 office employees from twenty-six companies anddivisions in large companies. Seven office types, defined by their architectural and functionalfeatures, are represented in the study group: cell-office, shared-room office, small open planoffice, medium-sized open plan office, large open plan office, flex-office and combi-office. Theresearch has its basis in architecture, although an interdisciplinary approach using organizationaland management theory, environmental psychology, and social and stress medicine has beenemployed. Qualitative (Articles I & V) and quantitative methods(Articles II & IV) were used.The thesis also contains an explorative, review article. Thus it comprises all in all five articles.Article I is an analysis of the importance of architectural quality for employees´ perceptionand experience of the office using Lynch’s method (1960) developed to measure inhabitants’perception of architectural quality in cities. The study shows that in the office the experienceto a high degree is independent of both the scale of the office and office type; instead it isdetermined by the quality of the plan layout combined with the quality of other design features.It also shows Lynch’s method to be useful in foreseeing where the elements that reinforce‘imageability’ will most likely appear in an office environment.Article II investigates employees’ environmental satisfaction focusing on:1) ambient factors; 2) noise and privacy; and 3) design-related factors. The results, based onregression models with age, gender, job rank and line of business as additional covariates,show office type as a factor with a statistically significant impact on satisfaction with the officeenvironment. Employees in cell-offices are prominently most satisfied, followed by those inflex-offices, cell-offices rate low only on social aspects of design-related factors. A major findingis the internal differences between office types where employees share workspace and facilitieswith lowest satisfaction in medium-sized and large open plan offices.Article III is a review article that analyzes the employees’ office experiences in two ways:1) by framing the physical work environment’s influence on employees into the model oforganizational theorist Davis (1994); and 2) by categorizing the office experience into twogroups based on the nature of the experience and problems related to them. The results of theemperical study presented in Article II are the basis for the discussion in this article.Article IV examines employees’ health, well-being and job satisfaction. A multivariateanalysis applied to the study sample and equivalent to that of Article II shows significantly higherrisks for ill health and poor well-being in medium-sized and small open plan offices, comparedespecially with cell-office. In medium-sized open plan and combi-offices the employees evincethe lowest job satisfaction. The best chance for good health status and job satisfaction is in cellofficesand flex-offices.Article V examines the office architecture´s importance for employees’ perception of theirown workplaces and organizations based on the two key components of architecture—theaesthetical and functional dimensions. The results show that overall the employees had positiveexperiences of their office environments. These mainly concerned the aesthetical dimension,whereas the negative comments dealt with the functional dimension. The aesthetical dimensionappears not only to set the agenda for employees’ perception of the workplace and organizationas a whole, but also for the perception of the functional dimensions. The functional dimensionswere only in focus when the workstation and its proximate area were discussed.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: KTH , 2010. , s. xiii, 122
Serie
Trita-ARK. Akademisk avhandling, ISSN 1402-7461 ; 10:02
Nyckelord [en]
employees, office environment, office type, architectural features, functional features, architecture, experience, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, health, job satisfaction, perception
Nationell ämneskategori
Arkitekturteknik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24429ISBN: 978-91-7415-700-0 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-24429DiVA, id: diva2:349771
Disputation
2010-09-20, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Anmärkning

QC 20100908

Tillgänglig från: 2010-09-08 Skapad: 2010-09-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2012-11-16Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. Applying Lynch’s Theory on Office Environments
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Applying Lynch’s Theory on Office Environments
2005 (Engelska)Ingår i: Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, ISSN 1236-6064, E-ISSN 1893-5281, Vol. 4, s. 69-79Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Nationell ämneskategori
Arkitekturteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24425 (URN)
Anmärkning

QC 20100908

Tillgänglig från: 2010-09-08 Skapad: 2010-09-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-12Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Difference in satisfaction with office environment among employees in different office types
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Difference in satisfaction with office environment among employees in different office types
2009 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, ISSN 0738-0895, ISSN 0738-0895, Vol. 26, nr 3, s. 241-257Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Differences between office types may have an influence on the employees' satisfaction and psychological responses with respect to different aspects of the office environment. For this study, 469 employees rated their perceptions of and satisfaction with the office environments of seven different office types, which were classified as cell-office, shared-room office, small open-plan office, medium open-plan office, large open-plan office, flex-office, and combi-office. Three domains of environmental factors were analyzed: (1) ambient factors, (2) noise and privacy, and (3) design-related factors. Employee responses were evaluated using multivariate logistic and Poisson regression., Adjustments were made for potential confounders such as age, gender job rank, and line of business. Substantial differences between employees in different office types were found The analysis of frequencies in complaints within the three domains shows that noise and privacy is the domain that causes the most dissatisfaction among office employees. Cell-office employees are most satisfied with the physical environment overall, followed by those in flex-office. However the results for cell-office are not uniformly best, since they score low with regard to the social aspects of design-related factors and, in particular on support of affinity. The most dissatisfaction is reported in medium and large open-plan offices, where the complaints about noise and lack of privacy are especially negative. Architectural and functional features of the offices are discussed as the main explanatory factors for these results.

Nyckelord
age class, architectural design, building, differentiation, environmental gradient, frequency dependence, functional change, gender, ideology, job search, noise, office location, open space, perception, physiological response, policy analysis, private sector, workplace
Nationell ämneskategori
Samhällsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24390 (URN)000271241800005 ()2-s2.0-70449113082 (Scopus ID)
Anmärkning

QC 20100907

Tillgänglig från: 2010-09-07 Skapad: 2010-09-07 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-12Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Office Experiences
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Office Experiences
2008 (Engelska)Ingår i: Product Experience / [ed] H. Schifferstein, Elservier , 2008, s. 605-628Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This chapter discusses the individual office employee’s experience of the physical office environment; its influence on the individual employee and in the prolongation on the organization to which the employee belongs. Since most organizations and businesses operate in a physical environment and the physical office environment sets the conditions for the activities performed, its impact should be recognized. The office experience has an impact through its functional, social, and symbolic implications on interaction and cooperation among employees; thus office experiences are fundamental at both an individual and an organizational level. Research on how the work environment influences employees is found in numerous fields such as architecture, organizational and management theory, social and stress medicine, as well as environmental and social psychology. Although this chapter touches upon all those fields, its focus is on the interior experience of office environments among employees. The aim is to discuss how the office environments influence employees, with an interdisciplinary approach to the subject. The special focus is on the part of the research presented in it that investigates the influence on employees’ office experience by different office types. When comparing the employees’ experiences of different office environments it is important to use the variety of office types that exists in office design today, instead of only comparing a vaguely defined open plan office to a single room office. According to the research, the architectural and functional features that define the existing office types have a great impact on office employees in different respects, such as employees’ health status, job satisfaction, and office experiences. Therefore, this chapter discusses how research results can be used in the professional practice of office design.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Elservier, 2008
Nationell ämneskategori
Arkitekturteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24426 (URN)10.1016/B978-008045089-6.50029-0 (DOI)2-s2.0-84882876692 (Scopus ID)978-008045089-6 (ISBN)
Anmärkning

QC 20140925

Tillgänglig från: 2010-09-08 Skapad: 2010-09-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2014-09-25Bibliografiskt granskad
4. Office-type in Relation to Health, Well-being and Job Satisfaction Among Employees
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Office-type in Relation to Health, Well-being and Job Satisfaction Among Employees
2008 (Engelska)Ingår i: Environment and Behavior, ISSN 0013-9165, E-ISSN 1552-390X, Vol. 40, s. 636-668Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates the hypothesis that office type has an influence on workers’ health status and job satisfaction and 469 employees in seven different types, defined by their unique setup of architectural and functional features, have rated their health status and job satisfaction. Multivariate regression models were used for analysis of these outcomes, with adjustment for age, gender, job rank, and line of business. Both health status and job satisfaction differed between the seven office types. Lowest health status was found in medium-sized and small open plan offices. Best health was among employees in cell offices and flex offices. Workers in these types of offices and in shared room offices also rated the highest job satisfaction. Lowest job satisfaction was in combi offices, followed by medium-sized open plan offices. The differences between employees could possibly be ascribed to variations in architectural and functional features of the office types.

Nyckelord
employment, health status, modeling, multivariate analysis, regression analysis
Nationell ämneskategori
Arkitekturteknik Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8315 (URN)10.1177/0013916507307459 (DOI)000259301500003 ()2-s2.0-48749115553 (Scopus ID)
Anmärkning
QC 20100908Tillgänglig från: 2005-11-02 Skapad: 2005-11-02 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-14Bibliografiskt granskad
5. Aesthetics versus Function: What matters to Office Employees?
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Aesthetics versus Function: What matters to Office Employees?
(Engelska)Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt) Submitted
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24428 (URN)
Anmärkning
QC 20100908Tillgänglig från: 2010-09-08 Skapad: 2010-09-08 Senast uppdaterad: 2010-09-08Bibliografiskt granskad

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