Title: Workplace related predictors of exhaustion symptoms : results from a multi-level analysis of 26 office buildings
Authors : Janser, Marcel
Windlinger Inversini, Lukas
Conference details: Transdisciplinary Workplace Research (TWR) conference, Tampere, Finland, 20-22 September 2018
Issue Date: 2018
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Not specified
Language : English
Subjects : Workplace management; Office building; Indoor environmental quality; Privacy; Exhaustion
Subject (DDC) : 331: Labor economics
658.3: Human resource management
Abstract: Purpose: Many people spend a substantial share of their life time in office buildings. In this respect office buildings influence employees’ health, work performance, and satisfaction for long periods of time. The research described in this article investigated the importance of office related aspects in relation to other aspects for understanding health, work performance, and job satisfaction of office building occupants. This paper focusses on one of the measured health outcomes (physical exhaustion symptoms) und mainly examines whether subjective evaluations (e.g. with regard to privacy or task variability) are better predictors than objective indoor environment quality indicators (e.g. noise levels, speech intelligibility, CO2). Design/methodology/approach: Between 2012 and 2014 more than 6000 occupants from 26 office buildings participated in a survey on their satisfaction with their office space, on their health and work performance and on several control variables. Simultaneously air, indoor environment and acoustic quality were measured (CO2, air humidity and temperature, VOC, dust, noise levels and speech intelligibility) and building features were recorded (e.g. certification, automatisation, ventilation). Subsequently, data from different sources was analysed using multi-level modelling in order to identify the most important predictors of the focused outcomes (here: exhaustion symptoms). Physical exhaustion symptoms were measured using Andersons (1998) MM-questionnaire for work environments. Findings: Dissatisfaction with aspects of the office space (perception of warm room temperature / bad air and of insufficient privacy / noise protection) are statistically significant predictors of physical exhaustion symptoms. Both office satisfaction aspects are stronger predictors of exhaustions symptoms than other statistically significant predictors relating to job characteristics (qualitative and quantitative workload, task variability, task identity). In addition older and female occupants have a higher risk of experiencing exhaustion symptoms. Objectively measured factors such as building features and indoor environment quality parameters are not statistically significant predictors of exhaustion symptoms. Practical implications: The results show that perceived opportunities for controlling one’s own level of privacy and an indoor climate that is considered adequate are a resource for preventing physical exhaustion symptoms in offices. Keeping indoor environment quality indicators within recommended ranges is one important strategy to achieve this. Nevertheless workplace managers can realize additional workplace quality potentials if they try to not only manage the office space but also the related individual perceptions and evaluations of the occupants. Structured user needs analysis, carefully conducted change management, and continuous evaluation and optimization processes are tools that help to implement such a strategy. Originality/value: This study is original mainly with regard to the two following aspects: 1. Method: Multi-level analysis using a very large sample including subjective questionnaire and objective measurement data and data on building features (26 office buildings, more than 6000 respondents and 700000 measured data points) 2. Research question rarely discussed in the literature: Are subjective evaluations of different office aspects more important predictors of exhaustion symptoms than objectively measurable office aspects / other subjective evaluations
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Facility Management (IFM)
Publication type: Conference other
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/14443
Published as part of the ZHAW project : Qualität von Nachhaltigen Bürogebäude
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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