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Productivity, Satisfaction, Work Environment and Health after Relocation to an Activity-Based Flex Office: The Active Office Design Study
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4656-7606
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6936-5126
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2021 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 18, no 14, article id 7640Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Implementation of activity-based flex offices (AFOs) are becoming increasingly common. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an AFO on perceived productivity, satisfaction, work environment and health. Questionnaire data from the longitudinal, quasi-experimental Active Office Design Study was used. The study evaluates a public organization relocating staff to either an AFO or to cell offices. Measures from baseline, 6 and 18 months after relocation, were analyzed. Employees in the AFO experienced a decreased productivity and satisfaction with the office design. Lack of privacy as well as increased noise disturbance, less satisfaction with sit comfort and work posture were reported. Employees in the AFO with work tasks requiring a high degree of concentration experienced lower productivity while those with a high proportion of teamwork rated productivity to be continually high. No significant group differences were found between the two office types in general health, cognitive stress, salutogenic health indicators or pain in the neck, shoulder or back. The study highlights the importance of taking work characteristics into account in the planning and implementation process of an AFO. Flexible and interactive tasks seem more appropriate in an AFO, whereas individual tasks demanding concentration seem less fit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2021. Vol. 18, no 14, article id 7640
Keywords [en]
activity-based work, job performance, longitudinal study, new ways of working, occupational health, office worker
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health Architecture
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-186923DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18147640ISI: 000676147300001PubMedID: 34300090Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85110122622OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-186923DiVA, id: diva2:1587977
Available from: 2021-08-26 Created: 2021-08-26 Last updated: 2021-08-27Bibliographically approved

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Öhrn, MariaWahlström, ViktoriaHarder, Mette S.Nordin, MariaPettersson-Strömbäck, AnitaOlsson, DavidAndersson, MartinSlunga Järvholm, Lisbeth

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Öhrn, MariaWahlström, ViktoriaHarder, Mette S.Nordin, MariaPettersson-Strömbäck, AnitaOlsson, DavidAndersson, MartinSlunga Järvholm, Lisbeth
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Section of Sustainable HealthUmeå School of ArchitectureDepartment of Psychology
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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Occupational Health and Environmental HealthArchitecture

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