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Office-type in Relation to Health, Well-being and Job Satisfaction Among Employees
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7987-1567
2008 (English)In: Environment and Behavior, ISSN 0013-9165, E-ISSN 1552-390X, Vol. 40, 636-668 p.Article in journal (Refereed) 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 40, 636-668 p.
Keyword [en]
employment, health status, modeling, multivariate analysis, regression analysis
National Category
Architectural Engineering Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8315DOI: 10.1177/0013916507307459ISI: 000259301500003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-48749115553OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8315DiVA: diva2:13604
Note
QC 20100908Available from: 2005-11-02 Created: 2005-11-02 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Office environment, health and job satisfaction: an explorative study of office design's influence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Office environment, health and job satisfaction: an explorative study of office design's influence
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis investigates environmental factors impact on office employees. More specifically, it investigates: 1) perception and experience of office environments, 2) satisfaction with office environments, and 3) health status and job satisfaction in connection to office environment. It is based on an empirical study with 491 office employees from twenty-six companies and divisions in larger companies. Each one respectively represents one of seven identified office-types in office design: cell-office, sharedroom office, small open plan office, medium open plan office, large open plan office, flex-office and combi-office. This study takes its basis in architecture, although an interdisciplinary approach from organizational and management theory, environmental psychology, and social and stress medicine has been used. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used.

In Article I a review of the different research fields that investigate environmental influences are presented with a focus on office environments. Different perspectives on the environmental impact on office employees are investigated.

In Article II an analysis of office environment based on the employee’s perception and experience of the architecture is done based on in-depth interviews using a method originally developed by Kevin Lynch (1960). The method measures the "imagebility" of a space, rated by the users with following elements: landmark, node, path, edge and district. The result showed that the method, based on employees’ perception and use of space, is a possible tool in the design process to get a better understanding of where the elements that reinforce "imageability" most likely will appear in an office environment. The method thus gives a better idea of the future "imageability" of a space and could be useful as guidance in the design process of how the architectural design will be received by the users in the end.

In Article III employees’ satisfaction with the office environment in different office-types is investigated. The article focuses on three domains: 1) Ambient factors, 2) Noise and Privacy and 3) Designrelated factors. The statistical analysis was done using a logistic regression model with multivariate analysis. Adjustment was done for: age, gender, job rank, job satisfaction and market division. The results show differences in satisfaction with the office environment between employees in different office-types, many of which were statistically significant. When differences persist in the multivariate analysis they can possibly be ascribed to the office-type. Results show that employees in cell-offices are prominently most satisfied followed by those in flex-offices. Cell-offices rate only low on social aspects of Design-related factors. A major finding is internal differences between different office-types where employees share workspace and facilities. The medium and large open plan offices could be described as high-risk officetypes.

In Article IV differences between employees in different office-types with regard to health, wellbeing and job satisfaction are analyzed. A multivariate analysis of the data was done with adjustment for the confounders: age, gender, job rank and market division. The results show that there are risks of ill health and poor well-being in medium and small open plan offices. Employees in these office-types show significantly higher risks compared with those in other office-types. In medium open plan and combioffices the employees show the highest prevalence of low job satisfaction. The best chance for good health status and job satisfaction is among employees in cell-offices and flex-offices; there are, however, internal differences in distribution on different outcome variables for job satisfaction. The major finding of these studies is that there are significant differences with regard to satisfaction with office environments as well as health status and job satisfaction between employees in different office-types; differences that can possibly can be ascribed to the office-types as they persist after adjustment for important confounders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2005. 45 p.
Series
Trita-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2005:1
Keyword
office employees, physical environment, office-type, architecture, experience, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, health, well-being, job satisfaction, perception, architectural features, functional features
National Category
Architectural Engineering Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-472 (URN)91-7178-168-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2005-11-08, Sal E51, Osquars backe 14, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101126Available from: 2005-11-02 Created: 2005-11-02 Last updated: 2010-11-26Bibliographically approved
2. The Office - An Explorative Study: Architectural Design's Impact on Health, Job Satisfaction & Well-being
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Office - An Explorative Study: Architectural Design's Impact on Health, Job Satisfaction & Well-being
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. xiii, 122 p.
Series
Trita-ARK. Akademisk avhandling, ISSN 1402-7461 ; 10:02
Keyword
employees, office environment, office type, architectural features, functional features, architecture, experience, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, health, job satisfaction, perception
National Category
Architectural Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24429 (URN)978-91-7415-700-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-09-20, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20100908

Available from: 2010-09-08 Created: 2010-09-08 Last updated: 2012-11-16Bibliographically approved

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