Title: Effects of changes in office environments on health and satisfaction : a longitudinal study in four organisations
Authors : Windlinger Inversini, Lukas
Conference details: International Association People-Environment Studies (IAPS) Symposium Workplace environments, Rom, July 12th 2018
Issue Date: 2018
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Not specified
Language : English
Subjects : Workplace Management
Subject (DDC) : 331: Labor economics
658.3: Human resource management
Abstract: Current studies on the effects of work environments on employee wellbeing can be criticised with regard to three aspects: (1) they are often based on single buildings or organisations and therefore not generalizable. (2) The influences of work design and the social environment are often not separated from the influences of the material, ambient, and socio-spatial work environment. (3) Most studies use cross-sectional research designs. In a study with four organisations and a control group naturally occurring changes in office environments were analysed. The changes consisted in the introduction of new office concepts, in two cases combined with moves to other buildings. All changes were similar since they consisted in changes from cell offices (median of 4 employees per room) to open-plan offices (median of 40 employees per room). Data were collected 6-14 weeks before the change and 9-24 weeks after the change. 535 employees participate in the pre-change survey and 371 in the post-move survey. The longitudinal sample consists of 260 participants. A control group consisted in 133 (time 1 measurement), 88 (time 2), and 69 (longitudinal sample) participants. Measures of the office environment comprised material aspects (workplace quality, work and storage spaces, environmental stressors, and workplace instrumentality), ambient aspects (office noise, lighting, and indoor climate), and socio-spatial aspects (distractions, privacy, crowding, social density). In order to identify separate and confounded effects of built, social and job environment, these measures were completed with job design variables (e.g. scope of action, task variety, social support) and measures of social stress and work climate. Data were analysed using repeated-measures ANCOVA and longitudinal hierarchical regression analysis. Outcomes analysed consist in health status (psychosomatic complaints), environmental satisfaction, and job satisfaction. The repeated measures analyses of variance showed that the control group members’ perceptions of the work environment remained stable over time. In the experimental groups, the changes in the office environments elicited changes in the reported perceptions and assessments of the office environment. There were no changes in perceptions of job characteristics or perceptions of the social environment. Results show that the changes in the four organisations had different effects on the outcomes, i.e. magnitude and direction of change differed between organisations. Furthermore, there were no effects of the changes in office environments on self-reported health status. There were, however, medium-sized interaction effects of time-x-organisation on job satisfaction and environmental satisfaction. Longitudinal hierarchical regression models are used to analyse whether changes in influencing variables are paralleled by corresponding changes in outcomes while third variables are controlled. Results show that job satisfaction was influenced by (lack of) privacy and office noise. Environmental variables explained seventeen per cent of variance in job satisfaction. Results from the longitudinal regression analyses for environmental satisfaction are inconclusive. There are some indicators, however, showing that workplace instrumentality affects environmental satisfaction.
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Facility Management (IFM)
Publication type: Conference Other
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/14444
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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